1 in 3 Job Candidates Uncomfortable Talking About Their Personal Life

Personal Life Interview Questions

Interviewing candidates for a job is never an easy task. Businesses not only have to make the candidates comfortable but also keep questions and the conversation appropriate. However, that is not happening as it should be.

According to a recent survey from JDP, one in three respondents accepted to have been asked about their personal relationships, making them uncomfortable.

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As a small business owner, you must have been hiring people to scale up your business operations. And being aware of things that can make the train of questions off track can help a lot in keeping conversations appropriate.

Data on How Interviewees Feel

The interview process is one of the most exacting elements of a job hunt, regardless of the age, experience or gender of candidates. And asking questions is the most effective tool for hiring managers to asses the expertise of candidates.

However, many a time, job applicants have to answer uncomfortable questions that are not related to the actual job function. For example, questions on personal life often make many candidates (1 in 3) uncomfortable.

36% of candidates, as found in the survey, have been asked about relationship status.

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As candidates are not comfortable talking about their personal lives, they lie during the interview process when the conversation gets focused on personal matters.

In fact, 1 in 3 candidates has lied about their personal lives during interviews.

Also, job candidates worry about their appearance. They think that appearance can influence interviewers’ perception of their competence and skills.

54% of candidates worry that they could lose a job owing to some aspect of their appearance. Respondents said that they spend over an hour in thinking about, shopping for, or choosing an interview outfit.

PC: JDP Hiring Survey

Male candidates worry more about clothing, while weight is the cause of concern for more female candidates.

PC: JDP Hiring Survey

Why You Should Make Job Candidates Feel Comfortable

In recent years, the employment market has improved. As a result, candidates have more options. This has made it difficult to hire the right person for the job.

Yes, my friend, gone are the days when only businesses used to have the luxury of picking from a large pool of shortlisted talented candidates.

Now, candidates also keep multiple offers in hands, often keeping hiring managers in limbo.

In fact, 56% of small businesses have found it somewhat difficult or very difficult to find the right employee for their businesses.

As a small business owner, who wants to hire the top talents, you should leave no stone unturned to make job applicants at ease.

Making job candidates feel comfortable during the interview process not only creates a positive impression of your business in candidates’ minds but also helps you better assess them for the job.

Here are some proven ways that you can follow to put job candidates at ease:

  • Start with common, easy questions and save tricky questions for the end when the candidates are synced with the interview environment
  • Never ask personal questions to candidates unless the answers of these questions can have an impact on job-performance
  • Let the candidates know what to expect from you
  • Be specific on what you are looking for
  • Limit distractions and give candidates time to respond

As an interviewer, you should also try to relax. The more relaxed you’re are, the more collected your candidates will be, and the better you will assess them for the job.

About the Survey

JDP included 1,997 people aged from 18-70. There was an even split of men and women in the survey. The objective of the survey was to learn about candidates’experience in job interviews in 2020. Click here to know more about the JDP survey.

Image: Depositphotos.com


Sandeep Babu Sandeep Babu is a cybersecurity writer. He writes about malware, data security, privacy, and other cybersecurity topics for SBT and other reputed platforms.

4 Reactions
  1. Asking about relationship status is an obvious no-no. I’m surprised so many candidates were asked about it.

    However, I can understand why a candidate would be anxious talking about their personal life. For the most part it’s irrelevant to the job and performance but the interviewer could be potentially excluding them from consideration based on those responses. It’s a no-win situation for the candidate.

  2. This is because some people prefer to reveal parts of themselves to people who are closest to them and not just reveal it to anyone.