Job Interview Strategy: Employment and Facebook Privacy.

Employment and Facebook Privacy.∗

There have been recent reports that companies are asking prospective candidates for their username and passwords to their social media content. This is in direct violation of the terms of service agreement that a user has made with the social media provider and compromises not only their information but also compromises the privacy that is expected by all of the connections/users.

How do your respond to such a request? Example: “While I respect the fact that you would like access to my account; unfortunately, I must adhere to the Terms of Service Agreement presented by (insert social media provider, i.e.Facebook) for the privacy and safety of my account and those connected to my account and therefore will be unable to do so. As you can imagine, I would also not provide the username and passwords that would be issued by this company, in the event I am hired, and I hope you can appreciate my integrity in this matter.”

Also consider, this could be a test to see how trusted you would be in situations that could compromise the security and policies of the organization. How? Well if you are too quick to give up your Facebook username and password, not to mention violating the Rights and Responsibilities as a Facebook user, would you do the same with their company information too? Something to think about.

Ethics and Integrity in the workplace are valued commodities and you would want to question the ethics and integrity of an organization that would choose not to hire you in the event you stood firm on your commitment to avoid relinquishing or compromising your privacy and the privacy of other Facebook users.

DO NOT relinquish your Facebook or social media username and passwords to a prospective employer as a precondition of hire , in this case, you would be violating your agreement to the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and compromising the privacy of your connections. Even if you feel you have “nothing to hide”, this is not only about you, but the expectations of privacy on behalf of your connections as well.


Registration and Account Security∗∗

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way.  Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1.  You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
2.  You will not create more than one personal profile.
3.  If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4.  You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
5.  You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
6.  You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
7.  You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
8.  You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9.  You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
10.  If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).

∗Disclaimer: This is strictly the opinion of Denise Anne Taylor and should not constitute legal advice, if you question your rights please seek legal counsel.

∗∗Extracted from the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Job Interview Strategy: Ask Questions.

question-mark-in-a-circle_318-27276-png

The job interview process is a two-way street; dialogue is the key to a successful encounter.

Remember the Five “P’s”, Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Questions for consideration include:

1. What happened to the previous employee or why is the position available?
This will allow you to determine if the employee was promoted (This is a good sign and may indicate future opportunity if the company promotes from within.) or did they move on (This will indicate that you may have to dig deeper in your questioning to determine management style and corporate culture to determine “fit”.) or is the job a newly created role and the question can reveal the amount of turnover in the position. Beware:  If the position has had five people in that role in the last four years this may be a “red flag”, especially if they are no longer with the company, it could signal management or leadership concerns, etc.

2. What type of on-boarding or initial training is provided to ensure success?  Does (insert name of organization) support continuing education or certifications?  
This question allows the company to express the fundamentals they have in place to ensure your success through a detailed on-boarding and trainee program, continuing education, and resources or certifications for continued professional growth and development.  Ongoing training programs are proven to increase employee engagement.

3. What is the preferred management style of the (insert department, company, etc.)?
This will determine if the role is that of a “worker bee” with minimal contribution or does the culture support input allowing you to contribute concepts and ideas for growth and development of your role and the organization.

4. Would you paint a picture of the typical day in the role of a (insert job title)?
This will allow the organization to provide a snapshot of the role and what you can expect. Look for defined, confident replies.  Some companies allow for job shadowing to determine if a role is a good fit for you and the company. 

5. What challenges/problems/concerns are associated with (insert the department, the role, the company)?
This will reveal the pain they need to address and may open the opportunity for you to share background, skills, or abilities that may assist in overcoming the various challenges revealed and/or mentioned in the job posting.  How can you be of immediate benefit to help the team and the company achieve their defined goals and objectives?

6. How are expectations measured?
This will allow you to get a sense of how your progress and success or failure will be reviewed.  Does the company provide 90-day feedback and review? 6-months? or Annually?  The employee review allows for periodic feedback to assess your contributions and keep you on track for success in your role.

7. What are next steps in the hiring process?
This question should be asked at the end of your job interview. You will gain insight as to the hiring manager’s processes for moving forward and you will be able to navigate your next steps for outreach and expectations.  Should you follow-up by phone? email? When will they be making a decision? 

It is “OK” to ask questions. It is necessary and required! You are interviewing the organization and their team just as much as they are interviewing you. Why? Because you need to also determine “fit”, to learn if this organization’s culture and leadership environment “fits” with your work style and career goals so that you can flourish and succeed and contribute in a productive and meaningful capacity.  Good Luck!