Going on an interview? How would you react if mid-interview, the employer asked for your social media accounts and Facebook passwords? Would you provide the information or excuse yourself from the interview? Are you obligated to accept friend requests from supervisors, HR managers, and coworkers?
Manuel Valedez and Shannon McFarland explain in their article, “Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords,” how companies are now asking job applicants for their Facebook login and password during interviews. Businesses that don’t ask for login information may require applicants to friend the HR manager. Some companies are even reviewing Facebook pages with the interviewees. Several people were asked their feelings on this controversial topic. Some believe requesting the login information is a violation of privacy, while others believe that if you are in need for a job, then you should provide the information willingly.
Valedez and McFarland mention how one company believes “that people keep their social profiles updated to the minute, which allows us to consider them for other jobs in the future or for ones that they may not realize are available currently.” Some companies may feel more entitled to the information than others. Should certain job types require access to personal profiles? Perhaps a law enforcement versus an office manager position? With social media becoming very influential to businesses about whom they hire, it’s a good idea to be prepared and aware of everything in your profile.
Here is an excerpt from the article.
Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.
Companies that don’t ask for passwords have taken other steps – such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Once employed, some workers have been required to sign non-disparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.
Asking for a candidate’s password is more prevalent among public agencies, especially those seeking to fill law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers.