This job interview question is dividing the internet: How to know when personal questions cross the line

There are a series of standard questions that job seekers know to expect in a job interview.

Most people can perfectly recite a time when they need to manage stress at work, or express their greatest strengths without coming across as too arrogant.

But one interview question shocked one candidate so much that she shared it on social media—and the internet was just as amazed (and mostly, outraged) about it.

“How do you feel life has worked for you so far?” Salem Pierce was asked as part of her application for a visual design leadership position at an unnamed company online.

The application also asks to “record a short, roughly 2-5 minute video response and paste the link here,” the 30-year-old graphic designer revealed to Twitter.

Pierce described the need as a “new level of job application hell” and many others online agreed.

The tweet went viral—this is what users are saying

The idea that hiring managers are asking job candidates to go through the effort of preparing, filming, and uploading a video—and asking such a personal question—doesn’t sit well with most of the people.

A user ended simply: “Omg it’s definitely not worth it.”

“The question and the requirement for a video response caused an internal outcry,” wrote another user. “When I try it, it’s probably 2-5 minutes of outside screaming.”

Many Twitter users are also concerned that the question is at best distracting, and at worst, discriminatory.

A user commented that the question seemed like a “sneaky way to screen out people with difficulties” while adding “being asked to make a vid is enough but the question to answer seems distracting and questionable.”

“I can’t think of a way in which it can’t be used to discriminate,” another person said AGREES.

other returned the joke and commented, “I’ll just drop my therapist an email and tell them she’ll give them the Reader’s Digest version.”

Despite the general consensus that the question is inappropriate, a small number of people welcome the opportunity to open up about their life so far and explain any gaps in their CV.

‘It’s interesting. Sometimes I wish I had a chance to expand on my obstacles in life versus trying to make things make sense on my resume. As for me, I think I’ll use this time to explain why my career trajectory looks the way it does. but [I don’t know] what is their end goal here,” one person said WRITES.

Do such personal questions cross the line?

Job hunters can expect to be asked some personal questions, but timing and words are key to keeping things professional, recruiters say. luck.

“I understand why the question was asked because I believe that overcoming obstacles can really shape a person and make you stronger, smarter, and truly grow,” said Victoria Naughton, senior associate at u&u Recruitment. Partners.

But he warned employers that such information should not be asked at an early stage of an interview before meeting the candidate in person.

“Job applications should be based on skills. Anything other than that can leave room for discrimination and prejudice. That this is an example,” agreed Zahra Amiry, Omnicom The media group’s talent attraction associate director.

Personal questions can certainly be asked later in an interview setting, but he cautions that they should be “professional and non-invasive” to avoid crossing the line.

Amiry suggests relying on classic questions like “How do you overcome a challenge?” or “Tell me about something you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of?” because they enable candidates to “be candid and pull from personal experience—if they want to.”

How job seekers can avoid personal inquiries—and toxic companies

Even if a hiring manager intends to intervene when asking a personal question, these things can happen. And, the line between what is offensive and acceptable in an interview is completely subjective.

So instead of being bothered by a question, take a breath.

“My biggest tip in any interview is to always take a few seconds before any question, take your time to formulate an answer,” Amiry said.

That way you can think, if the question makes you uncomfortable, how can you answer it in a way that turns the conversation around your career?

But if the question is more than anger, then don’t forget that you’re not the only one in the hot seat: As an employer judges you, you’re equally considering whether the role and the company are right for you.

“An interview is a window into a company’s culture,” adds Amiry. “So remember if the interview doesn’t go well it indicates there may be another role elsewhere that is a better fit for you.”

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