How to Ensure Your Personal Safety when Attending an Interview

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 article is aimed at those rare situations where things do go wrong and a vulnerable interviewee is put into a potentially difficult or dangerous situation.


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    Find out where the interview is to be held. If it is on the premises of the organization, this is usually fine and is expected practice. If you are asked to meet somewhere else, however, you may wish to question the request and, in some cases, refuse to comply.
    • Avoid having interviews in a private residence. Unless you know the person well, this is too risky.
    • Avoid being interviewed somewhere remote unless you can be with support people. Be sure that your return travel (plane, etc.) is booked and paid for. 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.
    • Ask for your interview to be in a public or official place. It's fine to be interviewed in a restaurant provided other people are around, but be wary of a private room.
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    Dress appropriately. Do not wear clothing that could be viewed as provocative, whatever your gender. It's neither appropriate for an interview and it's a safety measure that makes plain common sense.
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    Take care with nighttime interviews. If your job involves shift-work, you might be asked to attend at night although this would be unusual. If you do have a nighttime interview, it can be a good idea to go with someone else and have them wait for you in the car or somewhere near such as a cafe.
    • Don't let an interviewer drive you home. Have your transportation arrangements sorted and readily accessible.
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    Tell someone that you're going to an interview. Even if you don't want your current work to know you're going for a new job, it's always a good idea to let someone such as your spouse, date, parents, etc., knows where you're going and when you're expecting to return. This isn't just about possible interview problems but also relates to having an accident, or getting lost, etc.
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    Speak up if the interviewer behaves wrongly. If the interviewer starts making lewd suggestions, exposes themselves, yells or throws things at you, or harasses 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 and go as quickly as you can.
    • 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.
    • It is best not to hang around making threats of legal action, etc. This could endanger you. Quickly note what has happened, make your exit and go home and record everything so that you can take this up with the firm the next day. If you are assaulted, go to the police station as soon as you can.


  • Always have your cell phone with you during an interview. Keep it turned off naturally but you know you have it if you need it.
  • Some industries are more prone to interview problems than others, especially where professionalism is not heavily enforced. In some situations an interviewer may try to abuse his or her position of power over a less knowledgeable interviewee. Trust your common sense and leave if the situation feels wrong or strange.


  • Sexual harassment, assault, hate speech, etc., are illegal actions. Seek advice and help immediately.
  • If your interviewer appears to be drunk or under the influence of drugs, excuse yourself if you're afraid. An interview under such circumstances is likely to be bizarre and won't reflect the workplace's preferred work culture. End the interview and ask to speak to someone in charge about your experience.

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Categories: Interview Skills