Do job applicants have the right to see notes made on them at interview?
Yes, job applicants have the right to see interview notes if the notes are either transferred to computer or form part of a "relevant filing system". The General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU) (GDPR) gives job applicants and other data subjects the right to request copies of personal data that an employer holds about them. The GDPR covers personal data put on paper and held in a structured filing system, as well as computerised personal data. For a manual system to be covered, the data must be accessible according to specific criteria. There must be some sort of system to guide a searcher to where specific information about a named job applicant can be readily found. For example, a set of interview notes filed by name in alphabetical order, or chronologically, is likely to be covered by the GDPR.
Employers should therefore decide how interview notes will be stored. If they will be held on computer or form part of a relevant filing system, interviewers should be made aware that interviewees will have a right to request access to their interview notes.
Keeping interview notes can help a business to protect itself from potential claims, such as for discrimination, but they should be destroyed when they are no longer needed.
The GDPR is in force from 25 May 2018.