How much personal information should you reveal during a job interview?
Quite simply, there are some things that you may not want to offer up during an interview.
We're not talking about lying, we're simply talking about the fact that some things are better left unsaid and don't need to be divulged during an interview.
Depending on where you live and the local laws that govern hiring, interviewers tend to shy away from asking questions related to your sex, gender, race, religion, marital status, age, sexual preference and other personal areas especially when they don't directly relate to the job.
If you are a woman, you should not expect to be asked if you're planning to have children so there is really no need to offer this information up either.
Unless it's directly related to the job and your ability to perform it, you probably won't be asked a lot of unrelated personal questions so be careful with what information you volunteer.
There might be questions that do touch on personal issues when it is relevant to the job. For example, this could include asking you about your propensity to travel if the job requires significant travel.
Alternatively you could be asked about your ability to speak a certain language if it's a requirement of the job.
Sometimes, personal questions are asked by inexperienced interviewers with no malice intended and they may not realize the question is inappropriate. This is no excuse for them to do this, but just watch how you react and respond to the question.
If you find that the interview is starting to move into the realm of personal questions or if you accidentally steer the interview in that direction by offering up personal information that you maybe shouldn't have, try to steer the interview back into a discussion of the job.
The company you are going to interview with is most likely not going to tell you everything about them if you don't ask.
If the last person who held the job you are interviewing for was fired because they had an office affair, do you think the interviewer will tell you?
Or do you think they'll probably just tell you that "the last person who held the job left the company for another opportunity" or something like that?
Probably the latter.
You simply need to be careful with what information you choose to divulge because it can be used against you.
While certain personal information might be necessary to discuss during the interview, interviewers tend to stay away from asking many personal questions so if a question is not asked, you probably don't have to feel an obligation to volunteer to divulge it.