HR Strange But True!
November 13, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has some job openings, but if you are interested, be prepared to give his hiring team virtually everything you have ever written (publicly, on the Internet, in instant messages, in a résumé, on job applications, even in diaries), because he wants to know about all about you and your past.

The New York Times obtained a questionnaire that the Obama team is giving to anyone interested in a high-ranking job with the president-elect's administration.

If you read the questionnaire, you can see that Obama wants to know some detailed information. One portion, for example, tells prospective members of the administration:

If you keep or have ever kept a diary that contains anything that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the president-elect, please describe.

We are pretty sure everyone's diary contains some embarrassing information. Imagine telling president-elect Obama about how you claimed to your 5th grade class that you were dating Punky Brewster (aka Soleil Moon Frye) or the time no girl would dance with you at the 8th grade semiformal because your clothes smelled of the fish you ate for dinner. Maybe that was just our journal/diary.

In another section, the questionnaire asks applicants to provide information, including information about family members, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a source of embarrassment to the applicant, his or her family, or the President-elect. Shouldn't the question be: Who doesn't have someone in their lives who is the source of great embarrassment?

If you ever had an employee under your supervision who was accused of harassment or other workplace misconduct, you'll have to disclose that too--along with a description of how it was resolved.

Obama wants to know about any potential source of embarrassment related to blog comments (under real or fake names), e-mail, and instant messaging, too. We think that could sink a lot of candidacies (those chain letters may come back to haunt a few folks). In addition, be sure to list the URL for your Facebook and MySpace pages. Obama would like to see them too. Make sure you clean up your profile before you apply, though.

TGIF - It's HR
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