You’re at an interview for your dream job. Your hands are shaking, palms are sweaty and you’re hoping you sound intelligent while answering the questions. The potential boss seems impressed with your credentials and personality. The interview is coming to an end and you are confident that you are getting the job.
Then you are asked one more question. Your potential new boss wants your username and password for Facebook. What do you do?
Employers are increasingly asking potential employees for their username and password for Facebook. They want to login and be you to see what you and your friends are saying and what pictures you have.
“Nobody ever has a right to demand your username and password to Facebook or any other networking site for any reason. Period. Even the police,” said Jane Price, career specialist at DePaul University, in an e-mailed response.
According to Facebook’s terms of service, if the company learns that you gave your information to someone, your account will be shut down. This breaches the terms of service you sign when creating the account.
Sarah Duncan, a service manager for a chain grocery store, said she would never ask for a person’s Facebook information.
“Absolutely not! It’s their personal business which should be kept separate from the work place,” she said.
But Judith Carruthers, the former director of Career Development at Castleton, was less worried about employers asking to pry deep into students’ Facebook accounts when interviewed last semester. She said she had actually been advising students on how they can use Facebook to their advantage.
“Use it as a marketing tool, promote the clubs you are in. if the employer wants to see your profile, make it to show them what you have achieved and done,” she said.
But there are some who disagree.
“Honestly, if I was ever asked to provide access to my personal Facebook, I’d refuse. What I put on Facebook has never had anything to do with my professional life nor has it ever affected my work performance,” said Alex Noble, a former studentof Adirondack Community College in nearby Queensbury, N.Y.
While it is illegal for companies to gain access to your account, they can ask you to login and look over your shoulder.
“They could ask you to get on and then look at your profile that way, but no, they can’t ask for your username and password. Might as well ask for your bank account information to!” said Kelsey Power, a junior at Castleton.
So, the advice students are getting from Carruthers and other advisors is to clean up your account. If you have any pictures of you chugging alcohol or other things that may be looked upon as questionable, get rid of them. But be aware that the pictures or posts you delete will always still be there to be seen, she said.