Interview Tip: Don’t forget hygiene (Contest winners announced in post!)

by Rich DeMatteo on October 22, 2009 · 37 comments

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BodyOdor1(Towards the bottom of this post you’ll find details for a contest, prizes included)

Winners Announced at the bottom!

Basic hygiene means taking showers daily, coating our underarms with deodorant, and spraying nice smelling cologne or perfume on our body (even if you are still using Cool Water).  Keeping oneself well groomed, with freshly brushed teeth and neat finger nails are other obvious learned duty’s.  Our entire lives we make it a habit to take care of basic hygiene, and I’d like to thank (most of) humanity for doing a pretty damn good job, however, through my career adventures I’ve been forced into conversations with those who needed a quick hygiene reminder.  Awkward?  Just call me Larry David.

I’m going to have to ask you to take a shower”

I know I’m not alone, plenty of others in the recruiting industry have started off a conversation with similar words.  For me, these talks came mostly when I was working in a staffing agency, supplying out IT contractors to my clients.  Client managers would send messages like:

“Jim works hard, has strong technical knowledge, and works well with customers, but people here have complained about the way he smells.”

I’d also receive similar comments after certain candidates completed an interview.  “You have the job, but you need to shower more often.”  There’s no way to beat around the bush when completing a “hygiene prep-talk”.  You need to nip it straight in the bud, and hope the other person accepts the truth.  Luckily, the last couple years I have been free of communicating any sort of hygiene reminder.

The point of this is just to serve as a reminder to everyone to watch your hygiene.  It’s just as important as the way you dress for an interview and can cost you the job.

Contest Time

Welcome to the first contest on CornOnTheJob!  Rules for participation:

  • Send in a comment below regarding a work related hygiene issue.
  • Don’t mention the name of your target.  No need to be specific.  Your target might even be YOU, if that’s the case just make up a name.
  • The contest will run until Tuesday, October 26th at 12 PM.  At that time I will put all of the names in a hat and pick our winner!


  • First Place – A brand new stick of Axe deodorant, and 2 CornOnTheJob magnets!!  Bling Bling!
  • Runner-up – 2 CornOnTheJob magnets!

* Please note that I will pay for shipping.  This is serious people.  Very, very serious.


  • Runner Up – Sabera
  • 1st Place and Champion – Andrew

Thanks to everyone that participated.  Your comments were hilarious, disgusting, and brilliant.  Please keep an eye out for future contests, and your chance to win more incredible prizes!

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