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Conducting Safe Onsite Interviews Amid COVID-19

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Following virtual interviews, it may be necessary to invite candidates to an on-site interview. It is essential that you consider how these interviews can be conducted safely whilst adhering to social-distancing measures as outlined by the WHO and Government.

Health screening prior to the interview

2 hours prior to the interview please ask all parties involved in the interview process if:

  1. Are they or any member of their household currently self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms?

  2. Have any of the parties involved recently travelled to an area with known local spread of Covid-19?

  3. Have any parties involved come into close contact (within 2 meters) with someone who has a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days?

  4. Are any of the parties involved experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms identified by the NHS?

If they answer yes to any of the above, then the interview should be postponed.

Set Clear Instructions

Having a clear plan as to how the interview will be conducted and what the candidate needs to know is important. These instructions need to be issued to the candidates and hiring manager prior to the interview so that all parties are fully prepared:

  1. Where to enter the building, the signing in process and directions to the facilities. Hand sanitiser must be kept on reception desks and candidates asked to use it upon entry to the building, prior to signing in. Once this has been completed, candidates must be directed to the facilities to wash their hands.

  2. If there is security on-site, or restrictions on entering the building, make candidates aware of these and what processes they must follow.

  3. All companies should have a Covid-19 safety policy for visitors. This needs to be issued to candidates in advance and hiring managers must be reminded that it is to be strictly adhered to.

  4. Inform candidates of any equipment that will be required for the interview such as paper, pen, computer, tablet etc

  5. Instructions on who to call to reschedule in the event that the candidate is feeling unwell.

Maintain Social Distancing 

Follow all social distancing guidelines as outlined by the WHO and government.

  1. Handshakes are no longer advised.

  2. You will need to consider this in terms of where you are going to hold your interviews. Using a room that does not require walking through offices or where other people are working is desirable.

  3. Select a room that can be well ventilated if possible.

  4. Avoid close contact. Ensure that you have an interview space where you can maintain at least 2 meters of separation between each person.

  5. Have hand sanitiser and tissues available in the room.

  6. Advise candidates that they must bring their own writing materials as this cannot be supplied.

  7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, etc.

  8. Have bottles of water available for refreshments that have been sanitised and ask the candidate to select their own bottle.

  9. Any documents that are needed for the meeting must not be handed out in paper format. Use visual aids such as projectors, TV screens and computer equipment for viewing purposes.

Postpone When Sick  

You will need to postpone the interview if any parties (or the people that they are living with) are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.  Both candidates and clients need to consider that the limitations imposed by self-isolating/self-quarantine could elongate the interview process. Leaving as much time as possible for the recruiting process is preferable.

If you need help or advice about safe recruiting or would like to speak to our team of consultants, please contact us on +44 (0)203 814 3600 or email

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