8 Good and Bad Interview Answers for "We need your Facebook Password."

Posted by The Editors on August 14, 2012
8 Good and Bad Interview Answers for "We need your Facebook Password."

Can you imagine employers asking for such personal information as access to your social media accounts? As frightening as that sounds, there have been many occurrences of this happening, and you should know what to do if this happens to you. Employers are asking for this information because they want further insight into who you are in everyday life but just because they ask, doesn’t mean you have to say yes.

Good Answers:

1.  Private Person

“I’m a very private person in regards to my online social presence, and would prefer not to give out my passwords, but please feel free to view my profiles as they publicly appear.” For some companies, this may be enough to continue the interview without having to reveal your password.

2.  Delaying Tactics

“I use software (1Password) to remember all of my highly complex passwords, so I don’t have it memorized, but I can email it to you when I get home.” This will get you out of the situation, and give you time to clean up your profile before sending them a password, if that is what you choose.

3.  Professional Profiles

“I’m glad you’ve taken an interest in my online profiles, so please take a look at my Linkedin profile to see my professional network and recommendations.” If this isn’t good enough for the employer, they’re probably already looking for an excuse not to hire you.

4.  Required or Optional

“Is it a requirement for the interview process to move forward that I give you access to my profiles?” Some employers may not require this to move on, and will  just ask in hopes of you turning it over without questioning it.

Bad Answers:

5.  That’s Illegal

“You can’t ask that, its illegal.” Unless you’re in Maryland, the first state that has banned employers from asking for user names and passwords,  it’s not illegal for employers in other states to ask.

If you think having an employer ask for your facebook password is illegal, or that they can’t view your profile because it reveals status’s like marital, or your age, you are wrong.  An employer can ask to see your license as proof of identity. Your license shows your birth date.  Facebook is no different.  Just because asking the question directly is illegal, its not illegal for the employer to find out that information indirectly.

6.  Not on Facebook

“I don’t have a Facebook profile.” Not a good answer, even if true, and the employer may not believe you anyway. Worse, if they are that interested in social media, they may think it’s suspicious that you don’t have an account. If you don’t have a Facebook or similar profile, make sure you’re on Linkedin or another professional social media site, so you have something to show them.

7.  My Profile is Embarrassing

“There is a lot of embarrassing stuff on there I’d rather you not see”. This is exactly what the employer is concerned about, and you’ve told them without making them check.

8.  Wrong Password

“Sure here’s my (wrong) password.” The employer might decide to log in right then and there, so this excuse will be short lived.

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