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What personal info can a Company ask for during the interview process?

By lanpro ·
I recently lost my job of 12 years in the IT field due to contract cuts. Now that I'm back on the market, I recently experienced something that I thought to be strange & possibly illegal. "Before" a first interview with a prospective company, I was asked for my SS#, Drivers License#, & date-of-birth. This position did not require any driving. My question is: Is asking for this info illegal & if you refuse to give this info, would this hurt your chances of getting the job? Also, are companies "open" to you giving this info at the end of the interview process or just before an offer is presented? I am very concerned due to age discrimination which I believe exists & also the problem of "identity theft".

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Depends on jurisdiction

by JamesRL In reply to What personal info can a ...

In many places, there is no harm in asking, but no requirement to answer. It would be difficult however to prove you were screened out because of these questions.

I went to an interview where I was asked to fill out a form which had this kind of questions and worse - criminal convictions(ok i can see that if you are in a role if you need to be bonded), car accidents(job did not require car) and credit information(hold on there). I don't believe there was any attempt to steal my personal information, but I wasn't comfortable giving them that detail, so I left. I would suggest if they ask unethical questions, do you really want to work for them?

I believe in Canada, you are only obligated to give SS#s for tax purposes, IE when they have hired you.

James

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yup,

by Jaqui In reply to Depends on jurisdiction

in Canada asking for social Insurance Number is illegal, until after you have accepted an offer.

d.o.b. is not legal at all.
and dl# only if you will be driving company owned vehicle. ( for insurance purposes )

they cannot do any background checks other than a work history through revenue canada ( C.C.R.A. ) without explicit agreement, requiring your signature before doing the checks.

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Credit check

by DC Guy In reply to What personal info can a ...

It seems to be permissible everywhere in the USA for a prospective employer to run a credit check on a prospective employee. Responsible people are responsible throughout all facets of their lives, or so goes the reasoning.

As a hiring manager I would be VERY interested in criminal history. If you have one we'll talk about it and you get to say your piece, but I need to know. Of course I run it through my own filters, the laws on victimless crimes are blatantly unconstitutional. But I would have a problem with someone with a history of violence, failure to respect others, or inability to consider the consequences of his own deeds.

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That's the least of your problems

by countrytechie In reply to What personal info can a ...

What that company asked for is pretty standard considering all the information security acts out there HIPPA,Sarbanes-Oxley etc. A quick national agency check is most likely prudent.

What is bad is the habit some companies have of googling your name. Recently read were a woman's ex husband had decided he was transgender. Since her name was linked with his on many sites potential employers found out about this. (the ex is very vocal in the transgender community) Well at 2 interviews the subject was brought up in the interview. She didn't get the job in either case. Fun part this was in San Francisco. Imagine what her chances are else where.

I guess we all should google our names regularly and see what we have been associated with.

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Googling

by LibraryGeek In reply to That's the least of your ...

Even more important, if you find listings of personal information that you do not want listed, you can often have that removed (e.g., yahoo white pages); sometimes you will need to go the source's source,but it can be done.

As far as having your name associated with other items it is important to be pro-active. Be active, have a blog or website (not that I can talk here...), make public posts that *show* the kind of person and thinker you are. Rather than ignoring the fact that her ex is TG--knowing that he is vocal and active--the woman could have posted her own opinions about the situation. That way *her* view is also represented. It seems that she would have been in the right to request her ex to not use her name or any legally identifying information; the ex was really in the wrong for "outing" the ex wife

But, yes googling is going to happen. I don't think it is a bad habit. When conducting my last job hunt, you can bet that I googled! I also dug into the potential employer's website to try to get a picture of the who's who/how do they run things. I did have one interviewer that was disconcerted by the fact I recognised her. That showed a lack of current awareness in my opinion. The woman was one of the principles listed on the company website along with her photo!

To sum up my meandering, be proactive -- use the Internet to provide the information you want to be out there.

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common

by highlander718 In reply to What personal info can a ...

I find that pretty common lately. And I think it make sense for the company to know if you had convictions or credit issues.
I don't mind them doing the check, as long as I have nothing to hide.

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I have issues

by LibraryGeek In reply to common

They recieve facts without any context.
For example, a catastrophic illness or serious emergency (house burns down, parents both die) can force people into bankruptcy. In the case of catastrophic illness, money management skills have nothing to do the issues --loss of the ability to work makes you poor! Are these the most common causes of bankruptcy? I doubt it, I rather think that poor decisions and management are the cause of MOST bankruptcies. People who think that the way to pay off a card is to open another card are prime steak to the bankruptcy hawk. However, the exceptions are at risk of being unfairly tarnished and blocked from getting their lives back up and running.
In addition, I've heard and read numerous nightmares about ID thefts that have ruined people's credit, rendered them unable to obtain loans -- even after filling out all required reports etc. This is another growing segment that is unfairly affected by this management assumption.

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reply to Librarygeek

by macghee In reply to I have issues

LibraryGeek,
You're off target on what leads most people to bankruptcy. The three biggest causes are loss of employment, divorce, and medical expenses.

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by antuck In reply to What personal info can a ...

The SS# and DL# I'm not sure of but the DOB I do belive is illegal. I would be surprised with the age discrimination laws they would even ask that. It seems as soon as you ask that you are setting up a discrimination law suit. I remember briefly I did some hiring for a company and had asked about why was there no DOB on the aplication. I was told they did not want age discrimination to come into play. But it didn't take much to figure out a general age based on other information provided.

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Not sure but...

by jdmercha In reply to

It seems to me that SSN (or its equivalent) is needed to prove you are authorized to work in the US. I wouldn't think DL# is needed uless driving is part of the job or a security clearance is needed.

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