A Profane Annoyance in the Interview

Many people have encountered interviews that have made them squirm or uncomfortable, whether it’s an anxious candidate repeatedly tapping their pen throughout the duration of their responses or an interviewer who doesn’t look you in the eye or sits a little too close.

But, how do you feel when a few not so innocent words slip into the conversation?  Maybe you’ve never experienced it, but many have been privy to hearing someone drop the f-bomb or other lesser offenses in the interview, from both the candidate and the interviewer.

While the interview doesn’t seem the appropriate place on either side for such language, it would seem that a bit of light profanity is becoming more socially acceptable in the workplace and there are various studies out showing that it could be a good thing. (Check out this article from CareerBuilder on the positive affects it can have in the workplace or this one from Business Insider on how it can earn you more respect.

But there are also a lot of false data points floating around.  Many people have seen a quote surfacing around on the internet stating that people who swear are more honest and trustworthy—but this an unsubstantiated fact and can only be labeled as another urban internet myth for now.

While you may learn to tolerate it or get comfortable with it in the workplace, the job interview is another beast.  What’s your take on the use of light profanity in the interview by a candidate or an interviewer?  Would it affect how you view the person or the company?

Voice your vote in our weekly birdfeud!

Have an example of this happening to you and how you felt?  Share in our comments below.

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About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog,, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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