01993 220 590 jobs@marsrecruitment.com

As Coronavirus continues to spread across the world at increasing speed, with the current death toll recorded at more than 3,2000 worldwide, fears have started to impact companies from all industries in a big way. As public concern around Coronavirus grows, we are also seeing an increase in queries from employers asking for advice on how they should deal with the various recruitment issues they are increasingly faced with…

How to handle questions about overseas travel?

Should we cancel interview?

Best to avoid the handshake?

An employer has a number of both common law and statutory duties to take reasonable care of employees’ and indeed prospective employee’s health, safety and welfare, including providing a safe place and system of work. With this in mind, businesses should start planning now so that they are prepared and can minimise the disruption as far as possible.

Candidate checklist: 

Where has the candidate travelled?  Ask all job candidates to disclose whether they’ve travelled to mainland China or any other country within the last 14 days.

How is the candidate’s general health? Any report of recent illness or symptoms of the virus should ring alarm bells. Typical symptoms of Coronavirus include: a dry cough, a temperature, aches and pains, tiredness and shortness of breath.

Face to face interview – what to consider

  • Will the candidate be travelling by car or public transport? Consider heightened risks and impact of public travel and where this can be avoided.
  • Handshake? No thanks. Upon the candidate’s arrival, instead of a handshake, offer a warm welcome with a verbal greeting and eye contact or try an elbow pump to break the ice!
  • Insist the candidate to go to the bathroom to wash their hands, ensuring there is a clean place to wash hands with soap and water.
  • Provide hand sanitiser and tissues on the table in your meeting room, and encourage these to be used.



Virtual interviewing?  If you have decided to scrap the in-person interview, asking the candidate to attend a virtual meeting via video link is still an effective, cost effective and often convenient way to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role.

Prepare for a Video Interview with our top tips for Hiring Managers here!

Panic isn’t helpful, but considered preparation is! If you would like any further interview or recruitment advice, please get in touch at jobs@marsrecruitment.com or you can speak to one of our friendly consultants on 01993 220 590.

* Coronavirus impacts persons of all ethnicities; singling out employees because of their ethnicity for testing, leave, or other virus-related actions could lead to discrimination charges. All policies should be enforced in a uniform and consistent way.