With a very competitive job market, you have to get creative about the way you work to capture the attention of prospective employers. Do you have a mutual friend you can name drop in an introductory email? Should you consider an unconventional design for your resume to stand out in that tall stack of papers? Will it help to interact with the company on social media?
While there are plenty of questions about ways to break through the clutter of hundreds of applications, what about the interview process? According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 HR managers conducted by CareerBuilder, it seems that some job candidates are taking creativity to new — and awkward — levels in the interview room. Here’s a look at five real tactics job seekers have used to try to leave lasting impressions.
1) Figured out where the hiring manager was having dinner and went to pick up the tab.
Overly courteous or completely stalker-ish? Either way, I imagine the hiring manager felt a bit awkward when the waiter said, “See that guy over there? He’s been watching you eat this entire time, and now that you’re nearly done, he wants you to know that he is going to pay the bill.”
2) Lit a corner of their resume on fire to show their “burning desire” for the job.
Imagine the conclusion of this interview.
“Ok, well, I’ll just leave my resume, or, well, the ashes of my resume with you so you can take some extra time reviewing my credentials.”
3) Answered a call during the interview and claimed another company wanted to discuss a job offer.
The only person who won in this scheme was the the candidate’s friend who he paid $20 to call him at exactly 11:05 AM to interrupt the interview.
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4) Asked the hiring manager to take a picture of him with the company mascot.
Well, let’s look on the bright side: at least he didn’t bring a selfie stick to capture the magic moment.
5) Sent the hiring manager a coupon for a free meal.
Who needs a follow-up email with a thoughtful message when you can send a Groupon for a buy one-get one entree offer at that great steakhouse?
Job candidates aren’t the only ones exhibiting unusual behavior. Check out “10 Insane Boss Requests.”