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The Most Bizarre Job Seeker Stunts

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What would you do to get your dream job? Bribe the employer with food or gifts? Hit on the hiring manager? Become a stalker?

Job seekers will do almost anything to stand out among the competition. There is no length a candidate won’t go to and no line someone won’t cross in order to get a job. Hiring managers nationwide see it all and have shared the most unconventional methods job seekers have used to grab the employers attention in one of CareerBuilder.com’s “How to Get in the Front Door” survey.

While some candidates efforts were effective and impressive – like giving a PowerPoint presentation, distributing a portfolio of their work on a CD, and offering to work for a day to demonstrate their talents – others’ completely missed the mark and were complete turn-offs.

Here are a few of these examples:

One candidate called incessantly for weeks before and after the position was filled. Another clueless candidate asked for another interview after being told that the job was filled. One job seeker brought coffee for the entire office, while another asked the interviewer out to dinner.

If you think these examples are weird, here are some of the most bizarre things job seekers did to try and get noticed/hired:

  • Wore a tuxedo.
  • Used a celebrity official fan site as one of their portfolio accomplishments.
  • Brought a baby gift to the interviewer who was pregnant.
  • Sat next to the hiring manager in a church pew.
  • Left Yankee tickets for the interviewer.
  • Sent a nude photo of himself to the hiring manager.
  • Tried to do a stand-up comedy routine.
  • Waited for the hiring manager at his car.
  • Came dressed as a cat.
  • Said they “smiled on command.”
  • Applicant’s very first question to me was “Do you discriminate against someone who has been convicted of attempted murder?”
  • A job application was sent in completely ripped to shreds and taped back together. Stained brown. I hope it was coffee.
  • Applicant asked if she could fill out her own written reference for herself.
  • Applicant sent about 45 pages of personal documentation (military records, letters of recommendation, good citizenship awards) along with the application.
  • A guy pulled out a guitar and started singing to the interviewer during the interview.
  • Following the interview, one candidate sent a heart-shaped balloon and box. When the interviewer open the box the note said “If you’re looking for a candidate that rises above the rest that you’ll love, remember me.”
  • Candidate asked for a cigarette during the interview.
  • A mother brought her two young children to the interview (ages 2 and 4).
  • A lady apologized for being a few minutes late the interview and explained that she was at her husband’s funeral.
  • One candidate when asked “Why did you leave your last job?” answered “Because the HR guy was a f***ing idiot”.
  • An employer was interviewing a young lady when her cell phone rang. She took the call, and the conversation went like this: “Hey, what’s up?…I’m interviewing for a job…I don’t know what the name of the company is……No, I don’t know what they do…..the job I’m trying for is Information Specialist..no sh*t, it really is.”
  • One employer asked for e-mails on their job applications and saw the following e-mail addresses on two of them: “partyallnight@yahoo.com” and “pimp4life@hotmail.com”
  • An applicant who wouldn’t take a typing test because the keyboard was black.
  • In hoping to help diversify the company, one man came to the interview as a drag queen.

Multiple people are vying for the same open positions in most situations. Trying something out of the ordinary to market your skills and accomplishments can give you an edge over other applicants. The key to executing effectively and making yourself memorable for the right reasons is coupling creativity with professionalism and persistence.


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