Some of you won’t even think about safety issues when attending a job interviews but, on very rare occasions, things can happen that could have been avoided with some forethought.
As we said this is not a major issue for most of the interviews you will attend, however, here are a few personal safety issues to consider when preparing for an interview.
Find out where the interview is to be held
- Tell someone you know where you are going and who you are meeting - including their contact details.
- Interviews on the premises of the organisation are usually fine and are the expected practice. If you are asked to meet somewhere else, use your common sense!
- You may wish to question the request or suggest a different time when you can meet at their company offices.
- Alternatively, you can suggest somewhere that is public; such as restaurants, hotels, lobbies, or coffee shops. These are used regularly for interviews.
- Avoid having interviews in a private residence. Unless you know the person well.
- Avoid being interviewed somewhere remote unless you can take someone with you to wait for you.
- Be sure that if they have paid for your travel you have return travel.
- If you're going overseas for an interview, do your research in advance to check that you're going to a safe place with trustworthy people. Share your contact details with friends / family and have regular “check in” texts / phone calls. Set up a “safety word” and check in before the interview and after using the safety word
- Ensure your clothing could not be viewed as provocative – both males and females.
- It isn’t appropriate for an interview
- It's a safety measure
- It makes plain common sense.
Night time interviews.
- Interviews for shift-work may take place at night, although this is not a common practice.
- Try to avoid being interviewed at night unless you can take someone with you to wait for you either in the car or somewhere near such as a café /bar etc.
- Don't let an interviewer drive you home. Have your transportation arrangements sorted and readily accessible.
You have rights in an interview, so speak up if the interviewer behaves in the wrong.
- If the interviewer is making lewd suggestions, exposing themselves on purpose, yelling or acting violently towards you or just harassing you in any way, immediately ask for the behavior and line of questioning to stop and terminate the interview.
- Inform the interviewer that you are leaving, that you have someone waiting for you and go as quickly as you can.
- Once you are away from the interview, follow up the matter as soon as you can with the firm (and police where necessary). The firm deserves to know it has a rogue interviewer at large.
- Do not hang around making threats of legal action, etc. This could make the situation worse, leave and go home and record everything so that you can take this up with the firm / police. If you are assaulted, go to the police station as soon as you can.
Other points to consider
- Keep your mobile phone with you during an interview. Keep it turned off naturally, but it’s there if you need it.
- Sexual harassment, assault, hate speech, etc. are all illegal actions, even if you don’t work for the company yet. Seek advice and help immediately.
- If your interviewer appears to be under the influence of drink or drugs, excuse yourself if you feel uncomfortable or afraid. Any interview under such circumstances is going to be viewed in poor taste by any decent company and won't reflect the workplaces’ preferred work culture. It’s better to leave and contact the company / someone in charge about your experience.