General Question

cyn's avatar

Should I mention my relationship status in my interview thank-you letter?

Asked by cyn (6913points) March 30th, 2016
16 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I just had an interview for Part-time Administrative Assistant potentially evolving into a full-time position with the VP of Operations and the boss of a worldwide company. This is my second-round of the interview process. While my work history is in good standing, I felt that my personal relationship status did not sit well with the boss. I was asked where I lived and if I was renting a place. I told him I am living with my boyfriend’s family. This raised concern. (1.) On paper it seems like I’ve only been with my boyfriend for 1 year which doesn’t look too stable, but I’ve known him for 6 years and been in a relationship with him for 3 years, so we’re pretty stable. I made sure I emphasized, “We’re stable.” (2.) I’ve only been living in the area for a year, which also doesn’t look too stable.

I still feel uneasy with how the interview went after he asked me about my personal relationship. They’re looking to hire someone committed and willing to grow within the company. How can I assure them without demeaning the boss and the VP of Op. that I am stable in my relationship and my location? Should I even mention it all in thank-you interview letter?

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janbb's avatar

He has no right to ask you anything about personal relationships, marital/pregnancy plans, age, etc. I would not bring up anything about it again.

cyn's avatar

Thanks Jan. I decided to just leave it and just say that I can only assure him that I am a dedicated individual willing to grow within the company.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Leave it, that was a question that was illegal to even ask but it sounds like it was an honest mistake.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Your personal relationships should not even be a factor in the hiring process. I would not include any such information. Its your own private business.

Cupcake's avatar

Why did he ask where you live? Are you required to reside within a certain distance from work?

Don’t bring it up in the letter and next time don’t bring it up in the interview either. Say something like, “I’m currently renting a room within 15 minutes from here and plan on looking into buying property once I am employed full-time.” or whatever.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@cyn …I decided to just leave it and just say that I can only assure him that I am a dedicated individual willing to grow within the company.” You’re going to be awesome!

CWOTUS's avatar

Did he explicitly ask you about your personal relationship out of the blue, or was that a follow-on question after you let on that you’re living with your boyfriend’s parents?

It’s an important distinction, I think. The question about your living arrangement, whether you own or rent a house, is not immaterial (credit reports tell the same information, and pulling a pre-employment credit report on someone who will be in a position of trust is not at all uncommon). So his question along those lines could be a measure of how quickly and how well you verify information that he can easily obtain elsewhere.

When you volunteered the information that you “live with [your] boyfriend’s parents”, then it seems to me that you opened the line of follow-on questioning as to your commitment to whatever community that you’re living in. After all, if you’re living so meanly (by which I mean “so cheaply that you can’t afford a place of your own”), then you could pretty easily and quickly blow out of town when your boyfriend finally gets a paying job that takes him – and you – out of town.

Let the story lay where it is, and don’t address it any further. Let this be a warning to you to not over-volunteer personal information that is none of anyone else’s business.

jca's avatar

I would have been really vague with the home situation, something like “I love my house! I’m a renter.” The boyfriend situation I would not ever bring up.

jca (36054points)“Great Answer” (2points)
BosM's avatar

Your personal relationship status is just that – personal and in no way should be discussed in an interview – whether you offered information or not – and the “VP of Operations” of a global company should know that. The line of questioning is borderline discriminatory hiring practices and I’m sure the EEOC would cringe at those types of questions. Think twice before working for a person like this. Good luck.

DoctorX's avatar

Only if you thought the interviewer was cute.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m a bit shocked an interviewer would ask about your personal relationships. What sort of organisation is this? Why should your personal relationship influence your work? Do you work for a church or some sort of religious organisation?

Unless there is some real reason why your relationship might affect your ability to do your job, I would not mention it at all. If it is brought up again by the organisation, I would ask them why it is relevant to them. Get them to explain why your personal relationship has some bearing on this job and your ability to perform it. Frankly, it would set alarm bells off for me. I wouldn’t want to work for an org that was overly interested in my personal life.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If you live in the US, the question could be construed as discriminatory under EEOC rules. Should you not be offered the job, you could file a lawsuit. In this case, the burden of proof falls on the shoulders of the employer to prove that you are not the most qualified candidate.

Since it would cost money to do so, and it wouldn’t be comfortable working in an environment where the plaintiff (you, in this case) gets the job on this foundation, most people don’t pursue it.

Like others, I wouldn’t mention it in a thank-you note. Should the job not be offered, please inquire as to why. The information offered will be helpful for future interviews.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

The same would be true here @Pied_Pfeffer. I wasn’t sure if that was true in the US so I didn’t mention it.

janbb's avatar

That’s what I was saying in my post although I didn’t mention that it is against employment law.

Inspired_2write's avatar

No do not mention your relationship status.
I read over your description in your question and two things came up.
Part time and Worldwide..two things that an employer of this company would require are:
That you have stable home to return too .
Second that you can function and live on Part time employment and have a support system in place.
The above criteria would ensure that you would survive part time working with this company.
I think that they had your interests in mind as well as theirs too.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree they were probably making sure you’d stay. I’ve seen many people take the pt job & quit as soon as a ft job came. It stinks having to re~train people over & over.

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