What to do when your interviewer asks to see your Facebook profile.
So I just got back from a conference (NCCWSL) where I ran a workshop titled “Your Online Presence. Control Your Brand”. The conference attendees were mostly college females and I wanted to give some insight into how to control their online presence, especially for those entering the workforce. The workshop went well. There were some GREAT questions. Some of them I was prepared for and others I wish I knew more about.
Several times throughout the conference I ended up discussing the recent phenomenon of interviewers and hiring managers asking to view facebook profiles. I’ve heard several iterations of this practice:
- Interviewer asks you to show your profile page during your interview
- Interviewers secretary friends you on facebook (for stealth stalking)
- Interviewer asks you for your fb login information
What to do if your interviewer asks to see your facebook profile during an interview.
So, what do you do if your interviewer asks to see your facebook profile during an interview? This was maybe the trickiest, and the answer came to me this morning as I was waking up. During my workshop at NCCWSL I responded along the lines: “I would respectfully and gracefully decline to show my fb page.” But I was not entirely satisfied with that answer.
So let’s think about it logically, facebook profiles are essentially private information that you share with friends and family (in a perfect world, right?). My main concern is that people not be opening themselves up to judgement by an interviewer based on their pictures (that may or may not be appropriate to have on facebook anyway), status updates and other information. And that’s when the lightbulb turned on.
There is NOTHING on your facebook profile that is relevant to whether or not you are capable of performing the job you are applying to.
So for this particular instance I would amend my response to, “Thank you Mr./Ms. Interviewer, I am glad you are curious about my extracurricular interests and activities. I am happy to discuss those with you, but believe that my facebook profile provides no relevant information about whether or not I am qualified for this position.” Now, I’ll tell you, I would be sweating bullets while giving this response, especially if I really wanted the job. But there are some things we have to stick up for, right?
Now for a few disclaimers:
- If the job you are applying to has ‘social media’ in the title or description/job duties, I can see the argument that your facebook profile could give some insight into your experience with managing facebook pages (I manage close to 20…).
- Please be careful with pictures you allow yourself to be tagged in.