--> Recruitment interview and social distancing : how to reconcile them?

Recruitment interview and social distancing : how to reconcile them?

Une peluche portant un masque

Due to the current health crisis, companies have shown a great ability to adapt. From business models to working methods, including recruitment processes, etc. New practices have multiplied in the professional world, such as the use of videoconference interviews or deferred video interviews. Despite their practicality, these solutions have certain limits. Recruiting a new member on your team without having ever met them is not easy!

So how can you reconcile a recruitment interview with distancing? In this article, we’ll give you our advice for conducting a physical recruitment interview while respecting health measures

Face-to-face recruitment interview : don’t take any risks!

It’s a real ceremony that we’ve been doing for several months now. Regular hand washing, systematic wearing of a mask, physical distancing between people … These habits, if they seem obvious today by their omnipresence, are not to be taken lightly in business.

Remember, for example, that wearing a mask must be systematic in all enclosed places open to the public. Only employees exercising a specific trade (factories and workshops) can derogate from this rule, provided that the workplace is sufficiently ventilated. People working in a closed office can also remove their masks, but this does not apply to a job interview!

In their guide entitled “Advice and good practices for employers”, the Ministry of Labor and Health Insurance also underline that each company has the duty “to inform employees, but also service providers and any third party involved in the company (temporary workers, customers, suppliers, visitors, etc.), preventive measures related to Covid-19 and what to do in the event of symptoms or contagion.

” The company must also establish “reception protocols and prevention plans for outside workers, and ensure that health instructions are accessible to all types of disabilities.”


In an ideal world where you have a choice, you should offer your time slots to applicants in a thoughtful way. Avoid rush hours, for example, particularly busy in transport. Obviously, we are talking about an ideal here, not an obligation.


Adapt your offices layouts for interviews

If you haven’t already, apply floor marking strips to aid social distancing within your premises. You can also add signs to indicate the direction of traffic to candidates. Also ensure that instructions are followed throughout the recruitment process within your company.

Once again, it is your responsibility, as an employer, to ensure that barrier gestures are respected, anywhere and at any time in your business. Also check that the premises are continuously equipped with soap, hydroalcoholic gel, disposable hand towels and specific bins.

This preventive approach will be particularly virtuous. Indeed, it will demonstrate your commitment to the safety of your teams and candidates, as well as your seriousness.

Define a clear protocol for social distancing

In 2021, conducting a face-to-face recruitment interview cannot be improvised. As a business, your responsibility is real. It is up to you to make your teams aware of the health issues raised by COVID-19.

Make sure, for example, that the candidate’s background within your company complies with health requirements. To do this, think carefully beforehand about the different stages of the interview, and what they will imply for the applicant. For example, avoid unnecessary points of contact between the candidate and your employees. Get in the habit, for example, of picking up candidates when they arrive. In this way, they will not have to wait at the reception, and potentially come across one or more of your employees. By the same logic, punctuality is also essential.

As a preventive measure, also consider welcoming your visitors by systematically offering them a new mask and hydroalcoholic gel.

A reflex which will reassure the most anxious candidates and which will convey a positive image. You are a company that takes care of its employees and visitors.


Video conference or face-to-face interview ?

As we know, carrying out a recruitment process entirely from a distance is not easy. In order to minimize risks, skim your list of candidates as much as possible before going to the physical interviews.

After the prequalification call, continue for example with a first videoconference interview. At the end of the latter, you can consider a second face-to-face interview, with your short-list. In this way, you will reduce the possibilities of contact between your employees and the candidates. However, limit the number of people participating in the meeting as much as possible.

Be transparent

Beyond simple health concerns, get in the habit of communicating clearly and transparently with your candidates.

Be honest about the current situation and its impact on your business. Are some recruitments frozen? What are your immediate needs? Has your recruitment process been reviewed, as well as the working conditions you offer? Does the viability of the post at stake depend on the evolution of the health crisis? Honesty and transparency are two essential components of a good candidate experience!

As a reminder, offering an irreproachable candidate experience is a real necessity. According to a Robert Walters study (2015), 78% of candidates would be willing to decline a job offer in the event of unsatisfactory candidate experience.

Some good reflexes to adopt:

  • Set up your premises in such a way as to welcome candidates in a safe, efficient and effective manner.
  • Send, before each interview, a summary of the sanitary process in place within your company.
  • Systematically offer a new mask to each candidate (as well as to any visitor), and provide them with a hydroalcoholic solution.
  • Meet the candidate as soon as he arrives, and make sure to minimize any contact with your collaborators.

Do you need to improve your recruiting process? In this article, we explain how to make your recruitment a real strategic asset.

And to go further, discover JobAffinity, our particularly intuitive recruitment management tool.

Designed by recruiters, our software is simple and enjoyable. It can be set up in less than 48 hours, and allows you to create a tailor-made recruitment process.

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