I am sharing my odour story for the ‘My Nose Knows’ contest as a part of the #SniffSniff activity at BlogAdda.

Being an HR in an MNC is a tough job. You have to screen candidates from their resume and find the best fit. And then you call them for interview while keeping your fingers crossed that they are not just ordinary, but beyond that. And few candidates are exceptional. But just getting a honours degree from a reputed university isn’t enough, You have to clear the interview. You have to earn the job. You have to be good in all terms, and you have to smell good.

Raghav Ranjan. Degree from a big University. Well experienced with a big MNC. On papers he looked the ideal candidate for this job. Or any job for that matter. He was punctual, courteous, and friendly. But the one things that was a turn off – his smell.

African American man grossed out, horizontal

This guy smoked right before he entered our office premises. Being a non-smoker I could guess it instantly. Also, his armpits were wet and smelly and the big wet round area was a big distraction. The profound smell of sweat and smoke killed all my urge to hire an otherwise perfect candidate for the job. I wanted the interview to end at the earliest. I wanted to run off from the interview cabin and puff out an entire bottle of deo right away.

Honestly speaking, I wanted to kill him at that moment.


A bad odour stopped me from hiring a near perfect person because I did not want the staff complaining later. Maybe I was wrong but it dawned on me how a simple problem can often stop job advancement… personal relationships, etc. Well, Who likes to work with others with bad breath? Get close and you want to turn away and you often stop thinking about the task at hand and/or never want to work with them again.

Also, what is difficult is to let them know. How can you tell them to get their teeth cleaned/ maintain good oral hygiene without insulting them and/or crossing some legal issue and I get sued for being “offensive hurting their feeling” when in fact bad breath does not incumber their job description.

This is one of the toughest situations to handle. There is no easy way to tell someone something like this without embarrassment on both sides.

Although it takes courage to confront the person, it’s more caring in the long run. Here is a suggestion. In a private moment (in the rest room, cafeteria, etc.) approach them in a matter-of-fact but confidential way, “I noticed that your deodorant is letting you down. Sometimes that happens to me, too. I thought you’d want to know. If it happens to me, I hope you would let me know, too”

Well that was end of an intriguing job interview, a torcher for an hour. I disqualified him on the basis of his neatness, but told over-qualified as the reason.

Life of an HR is tough.

Life is tough.

Lets smell good and keep others happy.