"Damn" in a job interview: dealbreaker?

We just interviewed a candidate today who was describing something and used “damn” as an adjective talking about data or a system or something. I’m someone who is pretty sensitive about this kind of thing so I was a little shocked.

Overall he was a good candidate and we’re pretty desperate so I am assuming he will get hired, but if I had the luxury to be choosy that would be a big strike against him.


You’re pretty damn uptight.

(Not that I would say “damn,” in a job interview, but jeez.)

The team I used to work for had strong personalities. It would be a plus, not a strike - depending on appropriateness and context. We wouldn’t want someone who’d run off to HR the first time someone swore in a meeting.

I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.

Cursing hurts my ears and I tend to lose respect for people that have to resort to cursing to make their points.

But “damn” isn’t a curse, it’s an intensifier. So context matters.

  1. That’s the best damn receptionist I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

  2. That damn courier is late again!

#1 shows a bit too much exuberance, but it’s not something that would bother me. #2 shows the person could be a hot head and fly off the handle over little things. One is positive, the other negative. The “damn” just makes them more so.

Could go either way depending on the circumstances and context. I don’t find it particularly offensive, but I can see where it might be in an interview. First impressions and all.
If you’re going to hire the guy, it might be worth mentioning that it almost cost him the position, just so he knows that a certain amount of discretion is expected.

I said “load of shit” in an interview once, and got the job.

I do not work in the porn industry, either.

Political speechwriter?

I interview a good number of people these days. That would not rank in the top 1001 things I would care about. I have worked in very white collar places where people make half a million dollars a year didn’t hesitate to drop the F-bomb so it doesn’t seem so shocking to me. We have trouble finding people that are within a fucking mile of what the job requirements are so I don’t quibble about the details.

Most engineers that I know are pretty foul mouthed. Saying damn in an interview wouldn’t even be noticed at any of the places that I’ve ever worked. Of course “fuck” is very commonly used in the workplace around here from the techs to the General Manager. We are also literally regarded at one of the best if not the best at what we do in the world.

The last time I worked for an employer who would’ve objected to “damn”, I think it was babysitting for 75¢/hour.


What if he had said, “Jeebus forking cripes!” Would he get good points for euphemism?

It wouldn’t bother me in the sense of bad manners, but it would be a bit of a red flag if it seemed like someone was getting overly aggitated and angry over something trivial. I’d rather have a relaxed interview than everyone on their best, artificial behavior.

I’m looking for a job. What’s the gig and where are you?

What if he DAMN had Tourette’s? WANKER eh? Profanity COCK is not something BIGNOSE people with that CUNT are able to control BELL END.

Same difference. :wink:

I don’t see why it should. I, like jjimm, dropped the shit-bomb in my interview, and I got hired.

Then again, I was interviewing for a university position, so who knows.

Are you serious?

True, it’s all true. It’s not really what you say in the interview - so long as you can talk the basic talk - it’s what you do. Mirror body language. Don’t blink so much. Talk slower. Don’t lean over slightly to the left, cut a rich one and then sniff the air proudly: ‘Did anyone order a slice of cheese? It is an old cheese. And full of bengeance’. And obviously, turn off all Blsckberries, PDAs, phones and pagers.

Is “Godfrey Daniel!!!” OK?