How Much Information Is Too Much? – the Issue of Oversharing

We have all been in a situation when we asked ourselves how much information is too much? Being a recruiter, I talk to candidates on a daily basis and share/exchange lots of information. How much information is too much? When is sharing our personal lives crossing the line and interfering with our professional lives?

As a candidate, when you are engaged in the pursuit of your dream job, you want to come across as being truthful and trustworthy, so you eagerly share every minute detail of your work experience, results accomplished and relationship formed.

You may think that every bit of information is crucial: but too much of the wrong information may be a deal breaker. For example, you may drop a few names here and there or pepper the conversation with some juicy details without even realizing it, so ask yourself a question; does the recruiter need to know all the stories that have happened to you, all the people that have ever crossed your path in life?

So, how much information is too much? Let me give you some real life examples from the phone conversations I have had with candidates:

  • Saying how a previous colleague was a terrible person? – no, no, no
  • Talking about your babysitter’s partner being prosecuted and sentenced?– A BIG NAH
  • Or sharing one’s affection towards another co-worker? – don’t even try

During the phone interviews I have conducted, I have experienced several situations of receiving too much information including emotional meltdowns and pure outrage. Is this type of information and behavior acceptable? We need to decide what information is relevant and what is too much. In my opinion, mentioning private life buy doxycycline cheap events that have changed your career path, influenced your choices (i.e. baby’s arrival or loss of a family member) is perfectly justified and accepted. In this specific example sharing fair and sensible thoughts is understandable.

What about some other scenarios? It is very important to set some boundaries of what and how much you disclose. Trust me, you don’t want to be long-winded.

Here are some of the top hot button issues we should all avoid during a job interview:

  • Politics and Religion – Let’s face it. Neither are a good ice breaker. You want to begin the conversation with a recruiter on neutral ground.
  • Relationships, Personal Lifestyle Choices and Family Matters – You may think that handling a childcare crisis, getting through a divorce or nasty break-up can develop a bond with the recruiter. Unfortunately, in the most cases, it will cause the opposite effect.
  • Medical Problems – Your health is your private matter. You don’t need to share any information about your personal health. If your condition isn’t affecting your performance and the prospective role does not involve any hazards to your health and your well-being – best keep it to yourself.

To share or not to share? My simple advice would be to ask yourself why you are sharing your personal information with another person. Would you want to profit from it, gain sympathy or justify your actions? During a job interview try to remember about the golden rule. Focus on the role, your professional background, skills and abilities – keep it professional!

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By |2018-08-24T13:05:44+00:00February 15th, 2017|Categories: During the Interview, Opinion|0 Comments

About the Author:

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Paulina is a Junior Delivery Specialist looking for top talent for a US-based financial institution. She has been with PeopleScout for over a year working in Krakow office, Poland. Paulina is a dedicated and easy going team player. A massive rugby fan. She loves playing ukulele and writing poetry in her spare time.

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