Interview Tips: When to Share Personal Information to Land a Job

Interview Tips: When to Share Personal Information to Land a Job

January 2, 2013 Interviewing 3

Interview Tips When to Share Personal Information to Land a JobIt’s NOT always inappropriate to discuss your personal life during a professional conversation — including during a formal interview, informational interview, or while networking.

However, so few interviewees or job seekers bring their personal experiences into the mix for fear of coming across as unprofessional — and as a result so many miss the ultimate opportunity to be memorable, seal the deal, and land a new job.

Watch to learn when it is perfectly appropriate to share your personal experiences as well as when it’s critical to enhancing your candidacy.

Hint: If you are switching careers then your motivation behind this switch is one instance when bringing in personal experiences makes sense and offers a much needed explanation for your switch.

FYI: Aside from strategically including personal information during an interview the same guidance in this video can be applied to your cover letter. Check out for a highly effective cover letter template!

About the author

Melissa Llarena: is the CEO and career coach behind Career Outcomes Matter. Her craft is coaching top executives on how to dissect and deliver the perfect job interview. Her client base includes US-based as well as international business leaders with 15-plus years of experience who are undeniably really good at what they do yet simply want a strategic partner who can quickly fully understand their tangible and intangible contributions to effectively scale up their interviewing skills for the toughest interviews. Click to gain instant access to her 20-page interview preparation kit to gain an edge then schedule a phone call to see how she’d leverage her most powerful insights based on your unique situation -- all in time for your next interview.


  1. Souzan

    October 19, 2016

    RE: Motivational Personal Info

    Hi Melissa,

    I hope all is well with you.

    I recently had an interview with the hiring manager who is also the person the position reports to.

    Information about the interview:
    Hiring Manager, is an Empathetic Family Man who cares about the community he is from and is also a Salesman.
    The 10 minute interview turned into 2 hours (asked about salary expecations too) - at that point I believed that the job was mine.
    He then awkwardly and with an automated tone of voice said 'Well, we will be interviewing till the end of this week, and will get back to you by next week should there be an offer'
    I naturally panicked, since in the back of my mind im thinking I got this! After some thought I responded with the following facts to show him that I have a huge motivation behind me " We had recently had an involuntary financial burden due to the death of my brother in law, we took on the financials of his 5 year old son AND our nanny has been diagnosed with 5th stage kidney disease and there fore we are taking care of her expenses. He was very empathetic and quite emotional about it too.

    SO in your opinion, taking into consideration that I have everything that he is looking for in a candidate. would that ending disqualify me as a candidate OR did it show that I would be very successful since I have a bigger purpose?

    • Melissa Llarena

      October 22, 2016

      Your personal motivation is valid however an alternative strategy is to validate precisely the qualities that the hiring manager was seeking in a candidate that you have exhibited. I would only advise sharing these personal stories if they are relevant to the core job - for example if you went in to a center where they administer chemo therapy then you can say how cancer has touched your life personally otherwise it could be seen as irrelevant. Your next step is to write a thank you note that sells your qualifications solely for the job. Good luck.

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