I am a municipal planning division manager who periodically gets asked to sit on selection panels for new hires. If I know a person professionally, but have no social relationship am I considered biased and required to recuse myself from the interview?
There is no hard and fast rule here that I have ever heard of. Different organizations will have their own policies and it is best to ask the staff member briefing the oral interview panel. The most common approach I have encountered is to recuse oneself if there is a relationship other than professional, or if there is any other potential area of bias or conflict. If you know someone only in a professional capacity, it is unlikely there is any problem however it is advisable to acknowledge that to fellow panelists at the outset of the interview and ask the candidate if he or she would feel more comfortable if you recused yourself.