Understanding Mask Etiquette in Interviews Employment

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, laws and rules have continually shifted in response to greater understanding of Coronavirus. This has meant that understanding the etiquette surrounding the use of masks to be difficult, especially in regards to the employment space.

In order to shed some light on this subject, Building Better Opportunities have put together this article. Building Better Opportunities is a Staffordshire-based charity. We specialise in providing welfare and employment advice to people in our local community on the edge of England and Wales. We offer free services, designed to help people either return to work or stay in employment.

Scroll below to learn more about mask etiquette and make interviews much easier. This article is valid as of 20th December 2021. Government guidance may change.


Currently, because of the risk of Omicron Variant, face masks are now compulsory in most indoor venues, including: shops, museums, places of worship, cinemas, theatres and indoor sporting arenas. This means that failure to wear a mask in these venues is a failure to uphold the law. As a result, wearing a mask in these circumstances should be considered legally mandatory.

In terms of the interview itself, the rules are a little more vague.

Currently, there are no set rules in regards to masks in regards to office buildings. However, each individual business’s rules may be different. If you’re interviewing at a shop, for example, your employer may want you to wear a mask. If you are interviewing at an office, you may find that masks aren’t mandatory.

The best piece of advice in this regard is to speak to the HR person or hiring manager ahead of time and find out their mask requirements. It may feel daunting to call and ask the question ahead of time, but it is far better to ask the question ahead of time rather than arrive without a mask if they need one.

You can and should definitely wear a mask when you first enter your potential workplace, so it’s definitely a good idea to take one to the interview. But you definitely should find out their requirements for the interview itself ahead of time.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re uncomfortable – for example if you’re immunocompromised and they request a no masks policy – you can always request a video interview across the web or ask about possibly asking them to wear a mask for this interview. Remember: your health and comfort is of the utmost importance. An awkward phone call or email is much, much better than the alternative. 


Currently, there are no restrictions when it comes to wearing masks outdoors. This is because Coronavirus is not an airborne virus in the same way that Rhinovirus or Influenza is.

However, with that said, if you find yourself in a situation where you are outside but find yourself in a large mass of people – for example, at a market or an outdoor train station – you may still want to wear a mask. This is because, while the Coronavirus isn’t airborne, having that many people in such a small space does raise the potential chance of infection.

Contact Building Better Opportunities Today

For more information about Welfare Support or Employment Advice in Staffordshire, get in touch with Building Better Opportunities today. Based in Staffordshire, we offer advice and support to get you back in and staying in work.

If you have any questions about getting back into work, get in contact with us today. Alternatively, you can search our Knowledge Hub, and see if your questions has already been answered.