‘You Smell Nice” My Interviewee Said To Me — Calmly, I Showed Him The Exit Door!

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    Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

    I’ve come a long way in my life. The soul of my heels stepped on many barb wires that nearly rip my ankle as I climb the success ladder within the sales and marketing battlefield. You may say the scares are still visible because I still remember running around bosses who put an invisible leash around my neck dragging me around their world; however it pleased them.

    I finally shed tears of triumph in my career journey when I snagged a decent paying job as a recruitment manager for a giant Marketing firm in the city of London. A drama free six months had passed since I bagged my new role and can proudly say, I rock my department.

    Despite all odds, I persevere in treating people right and fair. Respect is reciprocal be it man or woman, white or black.

    As a recruitment officer, you get exposed to all kind of people who want to work for your company or the company you represent. With observant eyes, you’re expected to be a physiologist, a visionary and a magician when it comes to picking the right candidates.

    In this position, you will meet the overqualified applicants who want the job by all means. The clueless applicants sent by colleagues and the decent applicants who you can tell have no passion for the job but are only interested in the paycheck that comes with the career, and the list goes on.

    So on this fateful day, I interview a young male applicant, who was moving up the escalator of success with a considerable amount of work experience. He looked handsome, something I noticed as a young single lady the minutes he walked into the interview room. Right off, he unleashed his winning smile, so did I — in my professional lady in suit manner. We shook hands, followed by the necessary introduction before sitting to face each other in a question and answer mood.

    During the interview, this young man appeared to be knowledgeable about the in’s and out of the position at stake. The interview with him was comfortable. I nodded at questions he answered correctly, disagreed with some and we both laughed at other answers. He was a great listener with a creative mind that can elevate the industry no doubt. He appeared to be a smooth talker too, a professional salesman by nature. He is deserving of the position, I thought to myself.

    After about thirty minutes of conversing, going through his file and finding out everything necessary for the role as I began to write down my last observation of his culture fit, based on his experiences, demeanour and intellectual poise.

    He felt the need to lean closer to me, — “Did I mention you smell nice?

    My brain froze, so did my writing. I looked up at the man with a straight face. He had the biggest smirk, something I felt like slapping off him, but I composed myself. His feet barely at the door and he is flirting with his recruiter already? What happens when he finally gets the job?

    Immediately my visionary self began to see him in another light. A middle-class handsome young man, a player who is very sure of himself knowing the world is below his feet. He’d straddled into my space with entitlement written all over him. His type gets the job, becomes the man of the hour and possibly a director in years to come, using anyone and everyone as a stepping stone, as I mentioned earlier, ‘Like a dog on a leash’ around their world. He has no doubts in life and probably will have no regrets.

    I have interviewed other applicants for this position whom I can see desperately wants the job so bad, but are missing some certain qualities. I am about to choose this man, not because of his good looks and ladies man nature, however because of his knowledge in the game.

    Now he is forcing me to look at him in a different light. I took a second, composing myself yet again, calmingly I told him our interview has come to an end with a straight face and showed him the exit door. He nodded and got up stylishly as if the job is already sitting on the palms of his hands.

    Beaming from ear to ear, he extends his hand for a thank you handshake. I almost did not accept, but I have to as a professional, I shock his firm hands with a starn and patiently waited for him to leave, his word a blur to my ears.

    “Thank you. See you around — soon”. My interviewee said before walking out the door.

    See you around — Not!” I replied in my mind but nodded in reply to him. Maybe he didn’t get the memo. He didn’t know why I send him out so quickly.

    Should have I made it more evident to him that what he said to me was wrong? Would it have made any difference? He looked so confident like this was his style, something he often gets away with at work.

    But then again, from my point of view as an interviewer, should I allow myself to be easily offended? Am I stock up in my job that I can’t take a compliment? Was it the right compliment?


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