is it nonetheless OK to put on a masks to a job interview? — Ask a Supervisor

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A reader writes:

I’m a brand new grad from an MLIS diploma and I’m additionally high-risk for Covid. I’m now beginning the job looking course of, and I simply obtained an e mail asking me to return for an interview. I’m nonetheless masking all over the place in my life, which is non-negotiable for me, however I’m fearful in regards to the optics of sporting a masks on the interview when the overwhelming majority of individuals the place I stay aren’t sporting masks wherever now.

I’m hoping for some recommendation about how one can deal with this or if I even ought to. Ought to I point out it by way of e mail that I’ll be masked, as a heads up, or ought to I simply put on it with out point out? I’m snug simply saying I’m high-risk within the interview if it comes up, however is there a greater means of dealing with that? I additionally don’t need them to fret about my excessive danger standing re: my capability to work. I’m fearful it could harm my probabilities, but in addition I might be sporting it whereas working anyway so I do know there’s a component of screening them out in the event that they trigger a fuss. I simply don’t actually know how one can deal with this professionally!

First, I’m glad you’re not asking if it’s okay to put on the masks — as a result of I’m getting these letters too. It is okay to put on a masks to a job interview! We’re in a pandemic. And whereas many individuals have determined to decrease their private danger assessments, many individuals haven’t. It’s completely wonderful to put on a masks to a job interview — whether or not it’s since you’re excessive danger, or stay with people who find themselves high-risk, or need to defend different folks round you, or just don’t need to danger getting Covid or lengthy Covid.

It’s not one thing you must give an employer an advance heads-up about. You possibly can simply present up sporting a masks. If nobody else is sporting one, then at first of the interview, you may say, “I hope you don’t thoughts that I’m conserving my masks on — I’m greater danger and being cautious.” (Or “I stay with somebody high-risk” or “my mother is high-risk” or “I’m nonetheless being cautious.”)

In the event you go along with “I’m nonetheless being cautious,” there are some individuals who will decide that. They aren’t the bulk and so they aren’t affordable however, as everyone knows, they’re on the market. If an employer goes to guage you for not eager to get a virus throughout a public well being emergency, I’d argue that you just’re much better off discovering that out now than after you’re working for them.

As a result of the factor is, that is very a lot a screening software for you. First, you’re planning to put on a masks daily on the job, so it is smart to seek out out now if that’s going to be a difficulty. Second, an employer who doesn’t rent you since you’re sporting a masks is an employer who you don’t want to work for. All through 2020 and 2021, my inbox was filled with panicked letters from folks whose employers weren’t taking security precautions significantly and who felt compelled to danger probably dying or killing their family members with the intention to pay their hire. The pandemic is in a unique place now, however that sort of callous disregard from an employer carries over to all kinds of issues that have an effect on what it is going to be prefer to work there. So if the masks does display out a small variety of employers, that’s a superb factor. Make it a part of your individual evaluation of them.

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