Conducting Safe On-Site Interviews

This guidance, developed in partnership with University Health and Safety, recommends that most pre-screening activities be conducted remotely, as feasible, limiting in-person interactions to a more focused group of qualified, vetted candidates. Please note, unless the candidate is required to work on-site, departments should consider providing virtual options for all candidates. Additional information is available in the Remote Hiring Toolkit.

Recommendations for in-person interviews:

  • Remember mask requirements. Follow established protocols regarding mask-wearing and gathering/meeting spaces for the specific location at the University of Minnesota.  See the Safe Campus site for current information. 
  • Set expectations. Request that the candidate monitor their own health and let them know it is acceptable to reschedule their in-person interview if they are not feeling well.  You can check MDH’s Health Screening Checklist for current guidance. 
  • Postpone When Sick. Ensure that the candidate and interviewers know who to call if they are not feeling well.  Recognize the need to postpone the interview if the candidate or any essential interviewers are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.  It is recommended that you connect with the candidate(s) 24 hours before the interview.
  • Look at where to meet. Consider outdoor venues, opening doors and/or windows where feasible.
  • Design for flexibility. Explore the possibility of a hybrid approach where participants of the interview process may join in-person or virtually.
  • Consider space within the room.
    • Allow physical distancing in the interview location. Set furniture up to provide both the candidates and interviewees plenty of space.  Consider limiting interview time to 60 minutes or less.
    • In cases where public forums are being held, allow for physical distancing. Based on size of room, limit the number of attendees. When possible, consider having those meetings virtual.
  • Remember good health habits.
    • Refrain from shaking hands to maintain physical distancing.
    • Wash your hands properly and have hand sanitizer available
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, desks, phones, keyboards, etc.
  • Design the meeting with flexibility in mind.
    • Provide breaks in the schedule, preferably in the same room where the interviews are held, to allow the candidate time to take care of any personal business.
    • When an interview includes a meal, make dining with others optional.