FAQ: How long should I keep interview notes?

(This pertains to County and Municipal Government employees, not to State Government employees.)

The Local Records Unit receives lots of questions concerning personnel records. Since an employee personnel file can often become a place for all kinds of records relating to that particular employee’s tenure with an agency, files often grown bulky and complicated. As Tom Vincent explained in this post about time sheets, records used to verify employee benefits must be kept for 30 years after the date the employee leaves or is otherwise separated from the agency. This long retention does not apply to all the records that could potentially reside in a personnel file.

For example, do you take notes during an interview for a potential hire? I have been in situations where the interviewers have worksheets with their questions pre-written and space for notes. How long should you hold on to these records? According to the Municipal Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, these notes are part of Employment Selection Records and should be kept for 2 years after a decision is made.

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It is a good idea to keep these notes during this 2-year retention period because you may need to refer to them in the case of a grievance or Equal Employment Opportunity discrimination complaint. Whenever you make a decision that could have legal ramifications, it’s best to understand the statute of limitations and hold on to the relevant records during that time period.

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As always, if you have any questions, just call or email me (Carie, carolyn.chesarino@ncdcr.gov, 919.807.7357) or Emily Hanna (emily.hanna@ncdcr.gov, 919.807.7360).

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