Should you let the f-bomb and others fly during an interview?

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Oct 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In Interview Tips

Your interview is going great and you're well beyond qualified for the job, but you find yourself in a situation where you want to use a curse word to emphasize a point. Do you take the chance and assume this interview is super casual or do you play it on the safe side and leave it out?

A casual interview can seem like a conversation among friends, but it should be treated as a professional interaction. If the office environment seems laid back and loose, don't translate this to how you should act in an interview. Behaving after you get the job is an entirely different story from how you behave in the interview process. Not to say you should fool an interviewer into hiring you, but save the swears for future happy hours. 

The use of cursing is often viewed as an inability to express oneself. If you curse in an interview, the interviewer could assume that you have a very narrow vocabulary. They could also see it as a lack of restraint or your reaction to a stressful environment. Any way you slice it, it doesn't look good for you. In fact, many employers have changed their minds about an offer after hearing a candidate curse in a final meeting. 

Let's weigh this one out. If you don't curse, there's an almost certainty that the interviewer will not think of it as a negative. It won't even be missed in the conversation. However, if you do swear, there's a great chance that the interviewer will see it as unprofessional and an indication of your dealings with clients. The answer is clear when you weigh the pros and cons. Don't swear during an interview, even if your interviewer swears.

If you're reading this and you still feel like you may let one slip, let's cover how to deal with it before it happens. First of all, don't pretend it didn't happen and move on. It's best to apologize for the curse right after it's said. By not apologizing, you're showing the interviewer that you have a lack of judgment. After apologizing, go back to answering the question and finish strong. Recovering from something like that can show a lot about a person's nature. Mistakes happen so don't sweat too hard if it slips out. 

ICS has seen plenty of successful interviews and can prep you for your future interview after you've applied to one of our jobs. Check out which ones fit your current career path and contact us to get the ball rolling. Your next interview could be your last interview for a while. 

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