When a candidate doesn't wash their hands. . .

If you are interviewing with a company, think of yourself as a restaurant worker after you use the bathroom.  Simply put: Wash your hands.  Your mother told you this every day growing up so that when you got into public, it would be a natural habit.  Good habits pay big rewards.

Picture this:  I go to use our restrooms and run into someone I don’t know coming out of the stall where “Number 2” business was just taken care of.  I say “hello”, he says “hello”.   It’s just a cordial simple acknowledgement.  Introductions for two strangers who just met in the restroom is just, well, “Creepy”.   I go about my business but can’t help but notice that he walked out of the restroom WITHOUT washing your hands.  We weren’t in the Creepy zone, but we just went into the “iccckk” zone.

I don’t think too much about it, but I do take a mental note.  There is a ding on the “Subconscious Score”, but what do I care?  I will probably never see the guy again.

10 minutes later, I see "him" in the lobby and realize that he is probably a Johnny Candidate waiting for an interview.  "Him" being the guy I just ran saw in the restroom.  I also realize I have an interview at the top of the hour.

The scene from Pulp Fiction suddenly comes to mind.  Uma Therman just OD’d on John Travolta’s smack and is on her back foaming at the mouth with eyes glazed over.  All he can think of is Ving Rhames (Uma’s boyfriend) ripping him apart limb by limb as he was personally left in charge of Uma.  John Travolta is pacing back and forth and screaming "Ohh Nooooooo!!!!!" (Or something similar not suitable for print)

How important is a firm handshake?  How many articles are posted on the web about a firm handshake during an interview?  How many interview classes actually PRACTICE the interview handshake to make sure it is done correctly.

I hope to god that Johnny Candidate isn’t the candidate that I am scheduled to talk with.  Hopefully, the candidate I am scheduled with is the cute one with the cool glasses, dark fitted business suit, and great Manolo heels.   Puhhlleasseee let it be her.  Pleeeasssseee.

I check the schedule and CRAP!  I got Johnny “I didn’t wash my hands after number 2” Candidate.

At this point in time, I am in quickly moving into "lets make a deal" mode with the rest of the HR team.

  • “Hey, uhhh, I got double booked, can you do me a favor and take this interview?  Easy peasy, entry level position, no problem”.
  • “Oh wow. . . I am really sorry, I got slammed with this employee issue from Accounting.  I will buy you lunch tomorrow if you take this interview for me”.
  • Hey there, wow, love your dress.  Looks great on you.  Uhh, I just got called up to see the big boss upstairs, I need you to take an interview for me”.
  • “Hey there, I have two tickets to see Jay Z and Kanye on the floor.  I can’t use them, but I just need you to take an interview for me”.
  • “Hey there, wow, you are looking great today.  Did you color your hair?  The color is great on you!  Do me a favor, Johnny Candidate is out there in the waiting room expecting an interview.  Can you go out there and tell him that I got suddenly sick and had to go home unexpectedly?  We will have to reschedule the interview.  Just apologize and send him home”.

Just because the interview didn’t start, trust me, as soon as you hit the parking lot, it started. Watch your P’s and Q’s, cross your T’s and wash your hands.

Good Luck,



Nasty:  not washing your hands after taking care of Number 2.  an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone that is good at something.  “He has a nasty forkball"

Views: 811

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 18, 2012 at 2:19pm

and THAT is why recruiters always have hand sanitizer on their desks... :)

Comment by Bill Schultz on April 18, 2012 at 2:55pm

That post script is troublesome.  

Comment by HRNasty on April 18, 2012 at 8:18pm

Thanks for stopping by guys.  Really appreciate the support!  Sanitizer and mints.  Recruiters best friend.  In regards to the post script, just thought I should clarify the moniker so folks don't get the wrong idea.  Again, appreciate the support!

Comment by Dan Ogden on April 19, 2012 at 8:40am

Surprised this is only limited to #2.  How would you feel if your waiter was standing next to you at the #1 area and left without using any soap and water?  I've mentioned this to a couple of restaurant managers in the past.

Germophobia notwithstanding, if you're using the bathroom for any of its intended purposes other than actually bathing, doesn't it make sense to wash up afterwards?

Comment by Fred Stang on April 19, 2012 at 10:30am

Wow.  I'll be sure to add that to my list of '"must do's" for interview prep.  Is that the best we can do for advice as SME's in search?

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 19, 2012 at 1:45pm

@Fred - no doubt there is so much more prep advice we could offer... but for the purpose of a brief & witty blog contribution HR Nasty hit it out of the park. One could also suggest candidates not flip off the guy who stole their spot in the employer's parking lot... could be the hiring manager you gave the bird to (yes that really happened).

Comment by Jerry Albright on April 19, 2012 at 2:24pm

What if the guy was simply hanging out in the stall tucking his shirt in and getting focused? 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on April 20, 2012 at 2:40pm

lol Jerry you're such an optimist.

Comment by Bobby Davis on April 22, 2012 at 5:38pm

Apparently, you haven't seen the ladies room or you wouldn't have been so eager to change to the cute little gal with all that going on.  I'm not slamming the gals because I am one, but some have just as bad bathroom habits as your Johnny.  Have a great solution for you . . . work from home and conduct all your interviews by phone.  Works every time!  :)  Or buy stock in the hand santizer company and keep it handy.  Love your article . . . it was a jewel!

Comment by HRNasty on April 23, 2012 at 2:01am


Just as bad bathroom habits as Johnny Candidate?  Say it ain't so.  I am trying to live the dream. Thanks for the support, very much appreciated!   


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service