I applied for a tutoring position, and I am currently going through the process of getting this position. The first step of the process of getting hired for the position is to take the test to see if you are qualified. I took the test, however, during my tests I saw that two of my managers were not wearing masks and I was.

I live with a family member who is pregnant, and I am very careful during this pandemic because I do not want anything to happen to my family member or her baby.

After passing the test, I will have an interview with the manager. I am concerned that they are not going to wear masks. I have told them I can do the interview, but I am concerned because of the risk.

How should I approach the issue with the hiring company?

  • 6
    Why not just contact the company and explain the need of mask or otherwise you cannot attend but can do it via skype call instead?
    – Aida Paul
    Jul 26, 2020 at 21:36
  • 3
    What are the rules on wearing masks at work where you’re living/applying?
    – AsheraH
    Jul 27, 2020 at 9:00
  • 2
    Tutoring company, eh? What's their policy on in-person sessions? I'd be very wary of tutoring students who don't wear masks knowing I have no backup from my employer to enforce it. Nov 20, 2020 at 13:29

4 Answers 4


If you refuse to attend the interview, that amounts to withdrawing your application. If that is what you want to do, it'd be a good idea to contact them ahead of time instead of simply not showing up as you'll burn bridges otherwise.

An interview is just as much for you to judge the employer as for them to judge you, and they have made their cavalier attitude towards masks clear. It won't just be the interview- you can expect to work around maskless mouthbreathers if you do get the job there.

Because of this, I'd recommend against getting them to mask up specifically for the interview, or arranging a video/phone interview instead. If their mask policy is a dealbreaker for you- and this is an admirable quality- don't give them any more of your time.


Simply not showing up is not a good idea. Other replies have said you should contact the company beforehand to establish if they will do a video call or will agree to wear masks which is a good idea.

However, if you go in, I think it's also a good idea to bring spare masks with you, preferably ones that are in a sealed package to make it obvious they have not been used previously. Grocery stores where I live have packs of 10 disposable masks for a reasonable price.

If your interviewers aren't wearing masks you can ask them to put on the ones you brought due to your contact with vulnerable people and if they refuse you can walk out.


This really depends on how much you want the job. There are really 3 or 4 ways you can go about this, ranking from most likely to still keep you in consideration for the job to least likely. Note that I don't agree with all of these suggestions I'm going to give, I'm just listing your options and providing some context for each one:

  • Ignore it. Maybe they wear masks and do social distancing outside the office but not in the office. Maybe they don't have symptoms and think that's ok (there seems to be research on both sides of this; showing that asymptomatic transmission is possible but rare). Maybe during that test or whatever they were 6 feet away from you and so didn't see it necessary to wear a mask if they were already social distancing from you. And so on. If you don't raise a fuss, you won't be labeled a shit-disturber or what have you.

  • Mention the issue to your HR contact, as you did here: "When I went for the test, Bob and Joe weren't wearing masks. As someone who lives with a pregnant family member, I'd like to protect my family member and I would appreciate if Bob and Joe would wear masks in the interview. Furthermore, I'd like to know more about your mask policy in the office". Don't make it political, don't make it angry, don't make it something it's not, keep it professional and keep it about personal safety, that's it.

  • Withdraw your application by emailing the HR representative. Mention to them that you consider this behaviour grossly unprofessional and that it endangers the health of your pregnant family member, and that you can't work in an environment where there is such a lack of health-consciousness. Note that this will disqualify you from the position and you'll have to find other avenues for getting a paycheque.

  • Ghost them. Don't actually do this; you gain nothing over the above situation where you withdraw your application in a professional way, except you burn your bridge with this company for the future.

For me, I'd go with option 2. Explain the problem, explain what happened, explain your reading of the situation. Perhaps they'll come back to you and say something like "normally we all work from home, Joe and Bob came to the office specially for you, but they forgot their masks at home and we didn't have any in office supplies because normally nobody uses them, sorry for the inconvenience we'll be more careful next time". Also perhaps they'll say "we don't have a mask policy" in which case you also know where you stand.


Its great you are thinking of your and your family's health / safety during this crisis time period. Interviewing is a two way street and you need to decide what is important to you. I would suggest asking your contact if they require masks or at least encourage all employees to wear one for other's protection. If not, its not unreasonable to state that due to you family having health concerns of contracting COVID 19, you strongly prefer attending via technology such as Zoom , Skype. TLDR: Ask for more information to clarify, and seek to provide solutions.

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