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Psychic candidates and other hidden interviewee talents

Topics: Comp Strategy
Tessara Smith, PayScale They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and some job seekers have really taken this adage to heart.

They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and some job seekers have really taken this adage to heart.

Last year, CareerBuilder published a survey listing the most memorable interviewee stunts. Some antics actually got employees hired; others ensured they were barred from the employer’s office for life.

Candidate fails

  • The Gymnast: Candidate entered the room by doing a back flip.
  • The Stalker: Candidate brought the interviewer a gift—from her online shopping wish list.
  • The Fruit Loop: Candidate sent a fruit basket to the interviewer’s home address, which had not been provided to him.
  • The Psychic: Candidate performed a tarot card reading for the hiring manager. (Did he or she predict the manager would be hiring the candidate? I’m curious.)
  • The Clown: Candidate arrived dressed in clown attire and was not interviewing for a clown position.
  • The Chef: Candidate prepared beef stew for the interviewer with a note that read “Eat hearty and hire me.”
  • The Fast Talker: Candidate placed a timer on interviewer’s desk and in less than three minutes recited the reasons he was the perfect candidate for the job.
  • The Gambler: Candidate mailed a lotto ticket to the hiring manager.

Candidate successes

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  • The Chocoholic: Candidate printed a resume on a chocolate bar.
  • The Eye Catcher: Candidate arrived dressed in a bright red shirt that read “Hire Me!”
  • The Singer: Candidate serenaded interviewer while playing the guitar.
  • The Romantic: Candidate sent a message in a bottle to the hiring manager.
  • The Linguist: Candidate insisted on being interviewed in Spanish.
  • The Helper: Candidate assisted in office activities during his interview.
  • The Advertiser: Candidate put his image on a billboard outside of the office.

If nothing else, the lists prove that not all hiring managers are alike or impressed with the same things. Message in a bottle? Okay.

Here at PayScale we’ve yet to have any interviewees do anything too audacious, but I guess there’s a first time for everything! What’s the boldest thing a candidate has done to secure a position with your company?

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