Tricky Interview Question or Veiled Illegal Inquiry?

By Judee Szaro-TreanorA caucasian businessman riding a scooter to work
If you’re close to getting a job and an Interviewer asks “Do you think the commute will be too long for you?” that may not appear to be a tricky question, but, in reality, it is.
Career Coach, Stan Robinson, believes this is a tricky question because there’s no way to really know what the Interviewer is actually thinking.
It may simply be that the Interviewer wants to be reassured that you will be consistently on time for work. If the commute is exceptionally long, he or she may be looking for an indication of how committed you are to working with the company, according to Robinson, a Social Selling Strategist, who helps sales & business development professionals use social media to increase their sales productivity.
It may also be asked as a way around an illegal question. Since Interviewers are not allowed to ask you how you intend to care for your children while you are working, they may use the question about how you will handle the commute, instead, Robinson explained. They may want to see if you will volunteer any information about your child care arrangements that may affect your work schedule, according to the LinkedIn consultant.
Robinson recommends just addressing the commute question. Simply say that you don’t think the commute is too long. If, during past jobs, you’ve had problems with a longer commute you can add that to substantiate your comment. You can also mention that you’ve researched multiple routes to the employer’s location, in case traffic jams occur. It will show that you have prepared for the unexpected and are committed to getting to work on time.
To contact Stan Robinson to discuss your own career, send an email to

Leave a Reply