TL;DR: When hiring, a company is asking for very personal information before they can even tell me the offered salary (even though I passed their interviews).

Recently, there has been a very unusual hiring occasion which I've never seen before. So there is this large IT company where I've been interviewed several times already during the previous years. Most of the time I was rejected and only a year ago for the first time I reached the actual offer. I politely refused it because the offered salary was ludicrously low.

Recently they reached out to me again, with several positions available. I went through the full circle of interviews again and ended up with one offer. But that wasn't the official offer yet, it was just that the team said they were OK with me.

I need to emphasise that during all the interviews at no point in time they said anything about the salary. In the end, they asked me to fill out an "applicant form" to do a background check on me, and make sure there are no "conflicts of interest", as they said. Most of the questions were OK, such as your full name, date & city of birth, your education, speciality, university name, diploma number (ID), last company, position, and why you left it.

However, there were also a couple of deeply unsettling questions: your registration address (according to your passport), your actual living address, they also ask whether I've ever been under trial or whether I've been prosecuted in court.

During another call with HR I said that I was confused and that given the nature of the questions in the form, I'd like to know the salary first. But the HR argued that their hiring protocol doesn't allow them to tell me that until I fill out the form. That's something new in their processes, it's never been like that before, even half a year ago.

Given the previous offer, and given the fact that this company is widely known to pay below the market average, I expect the offer to be unsatisfying again. Asking for the address sounds like an outrageous privacy violation, especially at this point, when I'm likely to turn them down once I know the salary. Or am I overreacting? What's the best course of actions in such a situation?


2 Answers 2


The questions you have been asked are just proof of address and criminal background checks. This is to show that you don't have any criminal history and that you actually live in the country you are being interviewed in. This is so the company doesn't get any backlash on not going through the appropriate process on hiring someone who lives in another country etc...

I feel the questions asked are rather reasonable and not necessarily strange, in any part of the world I would assume this is normal precaution that employers take.

Regardless, Your goal is to get a salary figure. Theirs is to get the information requested. That means you decide if everyone gets what they want or not. I feel like you're overreacting especially when the company in question is a Large company. If people had been negatively affected by this information I'm overly sure that you'd have heard about it if you look up the company.

If you pass these checks then they will talk about salary in which you can refuse, negotiate or accept.

  • 1
    yes, used to be the norm in the Netherlands until the government started offering a semi-anonymous service for this, where the company requests the check on your behalf, you authorise the check using your citizen ID, and the result is mailed to you so you can hand it to the company. They now only need your name and citizen ID pretty much, and an email address.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 11:15

These are common if companies work with sensitive data or have for instance government projects.

It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to give this information.

Of course, if you have had trouble with the law or courts you might fail, depending on the nature of your "trouble".

Your address is not "that much" of a privacy concern, unless you're in the public eye.

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