When landing a job interview takes so much effort, you want to make the most of it.

And while your social media activities might not prevent you from getting an interview, they could make your interview more challenging.

What can you do to ensure an easy, low-risk interview? Well, you’d post nothing. Ever.

But that’s not very realistic in our current world of Facebook, Twitter & Instagram – especially when these same tools can be used to enhance your online resume & advertise your talents.

So here are a few tips on navigating the interview process as a social media user.

Social Media Discrimination & Your Interview

During the hiring process, a thorough interviewer wants to ask a multitude of questions. But many of these questions never get asked – because it is not legal to do so.

It’s also illegal for the interviewer to discriminate against you due to any information that they may have obtained through your social media content. But if they’re discreet – and can provide a legitimate reason for not selecting you – it is still possible for them to discriminate based on your online activities.

So – as you already know – be cautious regarding the content you post.

What They Really Want to Know

There are a number of “taboo” topics that interviewers and companies would like to gather more information about even though they cannot ask direct questions.

Because of this ulterior motive, you must be extremely careful during an interview, as they may attempt to obtain this information from you by wording questions in a slightly odd manner. If you don’t experience an odd-sounding question or two, it’s likely because they’ve already taken information from the profiles of your social channels in order to achieve their goal.

What are they looking for? Information regarding disabilities, children, mental or physical illnesses, age and religion.

And just because they’re not permitted to inquire on these topics, that doesn’t mean that your interviewer won’t attempt to ask you a series of crafty questions trying to determine whether or not you are physically capable of completing the job.

Questions To Look Out For

Here’s a question you could be asked: “Is there any reason as to why you would not be able to perform this role to the expected standard?”

This may seem like an innocent query, but it is often a used in order to determine whether the candidate suffers from any disabilities that may affect their performance at work. And it’s not legal to ask.

Another example of how social networking sites can be used against you is by your interviewer noticing that you frequently mention external commitments. Things like always being in charge of looking after your children if something arises because your partner doesn’t pull their weight. Information such as this would suggest that you are a less committed or reliable employee, and that if you were to be given the job you could be absent often.

And since an employer cannot openly base their decision on information that they have discovered through your social channels, they may instead ask vague questions such as “Do you have any responsibilities outside of work that could affect your performance?”

It’s important that you do not let questions such as this throw you off balance. You should respond as politely as possible by answering with a line such as “My responsibilities would not affect my working performance or my professional etiquette” before leading the conversation to your strong attributes.

There are many other scenarios in which the interviewer may try to gain information relating to your background that they cannot directly ask about; our advice would be to ensure that each of your social channels is set to private so that only people you know can view your private data.

Current studies show that more and more recruiters are researching candidates via social media, so don’t let a frivolous online comment made to a friend hamper your chances of securing your dream job.

About the Author: Alastair Dawson has committed himself to his interest in pursuing the law and aiding others with legal difficulties. When Alastair isn’t working at Access2Barristers Direct he can often be found honing his skills in a number of different areas; although it’s believed that employment law is his favoured subject.