Is it really necessary to give compliments to the HR during a job interview?

You've got to understand that offering compliment to HR doesn't qualify you for the job.

Don't think offering a compliment to an HR is enough to get you the job. (Shutterstock)

You’re not the only one who thinks making a polite comment of praise or admiration to the HR is right. Many job applicants believe doing this increases their chances of getting the job and they don't see anything wrong about it.

While many job seekers still run with this belief, it’s important for you to realize that offering compliments - to interviewers - could come off as inappropriate and could kill your chances of getting the job.

A tweet by Taiwo Yinusa, the co-founder of Twinex, a business established by twin sisters and based in Canada showed how giving compliment to a hiring manager could be a big deal.


In her tweet which was later deleted, Taiwo narrated how she interviewed a guy for a job; and when he was leaving he said “you smell nice.” Taiwo considered the remark as something only rude and mannerless guys would say.

In this case, the interviewee probably wanted to impress the hiring manager (Taiwo) and ended the conversation on a good note, but he ended up ruining the job interview with his “nice” comment about the hiring manager’s appearance.

While many people on Twitter think Taiwo was harsh in correcting the interviewee, job seekers have a lot to learn from this issue.


First, giving a compliment to a hiring manager during a job interview might have been taught to be ideal for job applicants, but it’s not enough to qualify you for the job - candidates have to understand this.

If your performance in the interview is below the HR’s expectation, no amount of praise or admiration would change her impression about you.

Again, If you impress the hiring manager and fail to give a compliment - to complement your interview performance - it won’t hinder you from getting the job if the HR thinks you’re the best candidate.

Do you now see that offering compliment isn’t so necessary. Just have your interview and get out to have a nice day.

However, if you seriously believe in offering a compliment as a way to impress the hiring manager, you’ve got to watch what you say.


In this era of political correctness, anything can be misinterpreted and taken out of context regardless of the intention behind it. This is probably the case between Taiwo and her interviewee because many people believe the guy’s compliment was harmless.

According to Lola Esan, Director, People and Organisation at EY West Africa, the interviewee’s compliment was sincere because he waited till the end of the interview to make the remark.

She said, ‘ ’Why was the compliment harmless? He waited till the end of the interview which shows he was being professional, probably sincere but did not understand it could be taken out of context. Rule of thumb for interviewers…no one should sit before you and leave feeling less than when they came in’’.

While the HR that’ll interview you might not react the same way Taiwo did to her interviewee, it’s also important for job seekers to realize that saying ‘you look or smell good’ to impress a hiring manager might be considered offensive and might cost you the job.


To be on a safe side, just focus on your interview preparation and forget about saying something nice to impress the hiring manager, because to the best of my knowledge, offering compliment is not really necessary.


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