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"Abusive to you during an interview?" title card

What Do I Do if Someone Is Abusive During an Interview?

What do you do if someone is being abusive to you during an interview? This has come up with me on phone interviews and also in person interviews. At the end of the day, you are not being paid to be abused. That being said, the nature of workplace investigations is that you'd better have a really thick skin anyway. A little bit of poking at you isn't what I'm talking about. If somebody is truly being abusive, they're maybe being threatening or verbally or physically, they're calling you names, they're talking about things about you personally, cracking jokes about your mom or talking about you sexually, those things are abusive, right? That crosses a line, and you are not being paid by your client to be abused. You end the call, you end the interview. You stop it, but you better be able to explain to your client why things were so abusive that you had to do that. Generally speaking, an employer's not going to want somebody like that in their workforce, but you were paid to have thick skin. It better be to the level that's beyond what even an exceptional person would have been able to tolerate before you pull that. I've had to do it. I've had to say, "This is abusive and I'm going to end the call, or this is abusive and I need to end this interview."