Copywriter, technical writer, translator (FR>EN, ES>EN, IT>EN), journalist

Job interview question: Can I see your Facebook account?

Earlier this year, news media picked up stories of employers asking prospective staff for access to their social media accounts. Some stories made the requests sound as matter-of-fact as if they were asking for a mailing address.

It’s an improper question at any time, but if you’re jobless and eager to secure a job, what do you do?

That’s up to you, of course. But even if your social media presence is squeaky-clean, don’t think that you need to give this information to a hiring manager. Even the mere request, according to some legal experts (like those at the Ontario Human Rights Commission), constitutes an act of discrimination.

That’s the short answer. Check out employment lawyer Stuart Rudner’s Lawyers Weekly article Employers: think before you click for more details.

1 Comment
  1. You make one good point and bring up another not-so-very-subtle point. First, it’s an improper question, but if you’re currently without work, you will IMMEDIATELY feel under the gun when asked this, there is NO right answer. Second, The interviewer is putting you in a HUGELY awkward position. If you say no, then you’re flagged as hiding something, if you say yes, then you open yourself up to surrending ALL of your account information (maybe only slightly exaggerating a bit, but if Facebook is fair game, what about LinkedIn, Klout, Google+, hotmail, your own private email?).

    All this doesn’t even talk about what this does to the future of this “relationship” in the future?! How far can you trust “them”? Are they going to change your password? Are they going to KEEP your password? Where does it stop?

    Great discussion point Luigi!