By Tamsin Brown • 10 January 2022 • 12:19
Women are often asked at an interview if they plan on having a child. Credit: Career Addict.
An unsuccessful job applicant was shocked to receive an email explaining that the reason she had not been given the job after the interview was that she had “smiled too much”, which was “unprofessional”.
A smile is normally welcome at any sort of pleasant moment, no matter what the situation is, as it is a universal behavioural signal used to adapt to our surroundings, connect with others, transmit contentment and so on.
However, it appears that it can also be a direct reason for being rejected at a job interview. An Argentinian woman recently shared a post on her LinkedIn profile titled: “Professionals don’t smile”. The post shows a screenshot of the email she received with the reasons why she had been withdrawn from the selection process.
The reasons given by the company are both clear and surprising: “You smiled too much, you laughed, you were very nice and we didn’t think this was professional”. They went on to add that “sometimes, being extroverted implies a lack of commitment and seriousness”.
There is no scientific evidence that people who smile more or are more extroverted do not do their jobs as well; in fact, a smile and openness may perhaps be a significant advantage for greater professional success in many sectors.
Many have called the incident discriminatory, cruel and unfair, as the employers judged the applicant’s employability based on a personality characteristic. As certain aspects of our personalities are strongly influenced by genetics and are not easily changed, some people have found this to be a form of discrimination.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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