So this particular life tutorial requires the creation of a hypothetical situation. Let’s do this together, shall we?
Off the top of my head and not at all inspired by events that may or may not have happened, let’s pretend that you’re a female human resource person interviewing candidates for a position within the company you work at. A male job hopeful walks in and the interview commences. When it’s over and he’s leaving, he turns around and says, “You smell nice.“
Is it a hella weird compliment? Yes. And not just because it sounds like what a cannibal would say to a victim before eating them. But because it’s a compliment whose innocence has been tainted by its inclusion in the official list of cliché men’s pickup lines.
Here are 5 different ways to respond in a situation like this:
This is you responding to this compliment without assuming the intent behind it. It doesn’t even have to come with a smile if you don’t feel like it. Just a quick, straight-faced “thanks,” not unlike a robot would if you complimented it.
2. Do nothing
If he’s able to read the room, your silence would let him know that that was a kinda weird thing to do. In this scenario, whether or not he learns from the experience is not your concern.
3. “It must be all those perfume shots I did at the bar last night.”
In this scenario, you are weirded out by the compliment and proceed to distract from the awkwardness of it all with a little humour. This will most likely end with a hearty laugh from him and an uncomfortable cackle from you.
4. “Thank you. But FYI, I advise that you refrain from giving compliments like this at interviews, even if you’re only doing it to earn points and leave a lasting impression like you just did with me. It might come off as unprofessional or inappropriate, leading to you losing any chance you had at getting the job.”
In this scenario, you thank him for the compliment but also let him know to not give such personal compliments in settings like this so as to avoid being misunderstood.
Make a teachable moment out of it.