Is there such a thing as being too creative? Would you hire a candidate who brought his guitar to the interview and sang a song about why he was the best person for the job? (Umm, no. Not unless I was hiring a wedding singer, in which case I'd try to hire Adam Sandler.) Or someone who sent you a message in a bottle? (Again, no. Mind you, someone who could sing "Message in a Bottle" and do it justice? Well, maybe ...)
CareerBuilder recently asked over 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals nationwide to share some of the most memorable methods candidates have used to stand out from the crowd and whether their creativity helped get them hired. And, believe it or not, these guitar-playing and message-in-a-bottle-sending candidates actually got hired.
Other crazy stunts that made the list? Wearing a red T-shirt that says, "Hire me, I work hard" under a white suit. Contracting a billboard outside the employer's office. Climbing on a roof the employer was repairing and asking for a job.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but a job interview is about finding the right cultural fit. I don't really care if you can answer my questions using the STAR method; I just want to know if I'm going to be able work with you on a day-to-day basis. Printing your rÃ©sumÃ© on a chocolate bar or crafting your cover letter to sound like a wedding invitation isn't going to cut it (even though I love chocolate and weddings as much as anyone). The focus of the interview should be on how you're going to fit in with the team, not what you're willing to do to get noticed.
Now, some of the techniques that worked did give me pause. Like the person who volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw the interviewer's assistant getting frazzled. And the candidate who repaired a piece of company equipment during the first interview. Both demonstrate initiative and teamwork, qualities I would look for.
Then again, I'm not a hiring manager. I want to hear from you. What are some of the more creative or outrageous tactics you've seen potential employees use to get hired? Did these antics work for or against them? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EBNmagazine, on our Facebook page, or on LinkedIn.
Send letters, queries and story ideas to Managing Editor Andrea Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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