Most people probably don't even think about safety issues in relation to job interviews but sometimes negative things happen that could have been avoided with some forethought. Although this isn't a major issue for most interviews, it pays to consider personal safety issues briefly when preparing for an interview. Here are some suggestions.
Note: Use common sense. In most interviews, there is nothing to be afraid of and nothing untoward will happen. This information is aimed at keeping yourself safe in any situation.
- If you can, check out the information of the organsiation. Is there a company website? Is there a logo? Do you know the area? Is there a phone number that you can call? You can always call to confirm your interview if you want to check if the phone number is a correct one.
- Find out where the interview will be held. If it’s on the premises of an organization that’s ok, if you are asked to meet anywhere else you may want to consider questioning why. Avoid interviews in someone’s home, unless you know the person well this can be very risky. Avoid being interviewed somewhere remote unless you can go with people to support you. If you are being asked to travel long distance for an interview, check that your accommodation and return travel are paid for before you go. Ask for your interview to be a public or official place. It’s fine to be interviewed in a café or restaurant where there are other people, but be wary of private rooms.
- Take care with nighttime interviews. If the job you are applying for involves shift work, you may be asked to attend at night, though this would be unusual. If you do have a nighttime interview, it’s a good idea to go with someone else and have them wait in the car or perhaps nearby.
- Don’t let an interviewer drive you home. Have your own transportation arrangements sorted out.
- Always tell someone you are going to an interview, and the address of where it is. Even if you don’t want your current job to know you have an interview, it’s a good idea to tell a member of your family/friends where you are going and when you are likely to be back.
- Always have your phone to hand during an interview (but make sure that it’s on silent!)
- Don’t give your financial information (bank details, etc.). This won’t be needed at an interview.
- Speak up if someone behaves inappropriately in an interview. If someone behaves in a way that you find threatening or scary, immediately ask for the behavior to stop and terminate the interview. Inform the interviewer you are leaving and leave as quickly as you can. Follow up the matter by writing a letter to the organisation afterwards so they know what happened. If you are assaulted in any way, contact the police as soon as you can. If in doubt about a situation, get out!