You’ve done your research, polished up the resume, gathered amazing references and are ready to blow the interviewer out of the water. Then, they completely throw off your game by asking you for something you wouldn’t even give your best friend.
Over the past week, the Internet has been abuzz with the news that some employers are now asking for your Facebook password during interviews. After you have taken all the necessary steps to make your profile private, they want to go in there and see exactly what you are like in the Facebook world.
While there are no statistics on how often this is happening (and my guess is that it isn’t all that common), it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Is this fair? Maybe not. Is this legal? At this time, yes.
So what should you do?
You have a few options:
- Give them the password. If you are 100 percent positive that you have nothing to hide, then go for it. Be sure to log in while preparing for the interview and check that everything is on the up and up. Go through all your previous posts to make sure you have never said anything bad about the company or any former employers.
- Don’t give them the password. If you are uncomfortable with this (and really, I can’t blame you) then simply tell them that you like to keep your social life and business life separate, and your resume and references are sufficient for them to view your work and judge your work ethic.
- Suggest another idea. Build a professional profile on on a different site and suggest this angle instead of Facebook. Find a site that focuses on professional networking and not your social life.
- End the interview. While I wouldn’t recommend this option, if you are so disgusted that they would ask you for this you can always end the interview. This should only be used if you are completely sure that you wouldn’t want to work for a company that would ask you for this information. However, options two and three would probably open up more doors for you in the future.
Facebook has come out and said they may start taking legal action against those employers who request your password. Also, some lawmakers have said they will create legislation which would make these type of requests illegal. So, here’s hoping you don’t have to sweat this for too long.
Remember, even if the company doesn’t request your password, chances are they are still looking you up in the social media world. Either make sure everything you have is appropriate, or make your account private. Don’t forget about your profile photo either, it may be the first impression you give them.