13 Bizarre Things Candidates Have Done In Job Interviews

Ladan Nikravan

For many job candidates, interviews are one of the most nerve-wracking experiences they will face. It’s not surprising, since there is often a lot on the line: the job of their dreams, the ability to make their next mortgage/rent payment, or regaining a lost sense of self-esteem. With so much at stake, some candidates are doing some creative and crazy things to make sure they’re not forgotten.

CareerBuilder just released its annual survey of the most outrageous interview mistakes candidates have made, according to more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals nationwide.

These are some of the most unusual tactics job seekers used to stand out – but not always for the right reasons:

  1. Candidate had a priest contact the hiring manager and ask for the candidate to be hired.
  2. Candidate bought a first class upgrade to sit next to the hiring manager on a transatlantic flight.
  3. During the month of October, a candidate came dressed in a costume for Halloween.
  4. Candidate’s wife made homemade lavender soap bars for the hiring manager as a thank you for taking the time to interview the candidate.
  5. Candidate asked the hiring manager to share an ice cream cone.
  6. Candidate sent a pair of embroidered socks with a note saying he would “knock the company’s socks off” if hired.
  7. Candidate showed up in his camp counselor attire with some of the children from the camp he worked for to show his leadership capabilities.
  8. Candidate sent a shoe with a flower in it as a thank you after the interview. The note said: “Trying to get my foot in the door.”
  9. Candidate mailed the hiring manager money in an envelope.
  10. Candidate arrived to the interview in a white limo, an hour early, dressed in a three-piece suit. The position was middle-wage and had a required dress code of khakis, company button-down and black shoes.
  11. Candidate kissed the hiring manager.
  12. Candidate gave the hiring manager a book on a subject he knew she enjoyed.
  13. Candidate wore a tie that had the name of the company he was interviewing with on it.


Maybe these candidates are nervous or think hiring managers would appreciate honesty — or maybe they just have no boundaries. Whatever the reason, their tactics aren’t recommended.


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