The return of the face to face interview

Written by Andrea Frith

Hopefully, it will not be long before more and more people are able to return to work in the office and this should then allow interviews to return to face to face.  This will be encouraged by some and others will find the transition difficult. There will likely be some changes to the interview etiquette.

  • Will social distancing will be implemented?
  • Will it be expected that face masks are worn?
  • Will hand-shakes return?
  • When will it be acceptable to ask candidates to travel to locations?


Etiquettes of interviews may change for a long time but in the meanwhile how will the transition work? It has been proven that recruitment campaigns can be managed remotely and onboarding has been successful. There will be a number of people who have started new jobs and not seen the office or met the people they are working with face to face. This on the surface does seem to have been successful, but it is still early day to predict how retention will look once everyone settles back into the office environment.

Some potential applicants may prefer to interview in the office and meet their Manager directly. It has always been really important that interviews are seen as a 2-way process allowing the Candidate to be assessed but also that they are sold the opportunity. Every Hiring Manager/Recruiter wants an offer to be accepted and sometimes this can be a challenge. Allowing the candidate the opportunity to feel the company culture and meet colleague can transform a job from a function to an exciting career.

As face to face interview`s start to happen again it will be very important to communicate to the candidates what to expect and to have everyone briefed beforehand. It will be very uncomfortable for both parties if one tries to shake the other hand. Make it clear beforehand that this is still not necessary and advise if masks need to be worn in the office on arrival. It may be that temperate checks are carried out on arrival and in the near future, there is a possibility of people being required to show evidence of negative tests.

The transition of getting back out into offices is unknown at the moment and it is obvious that a large percentage may not return 100% of the time.  The benefits however of working in teams and spending a least some time together will be felt again soon.

Pertemps have a variety of options that can support the transition of the return to the office.  Please contact me at for further information.

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