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So a Guy in a Bunny Suit Walks into an Interview

June 16, 2009

Below are some of the strange-but-true stories of ways candidates have tried to get in front of hiring managers: 

  • Candidate sent a shoe with a resume to “get my foot in the door.”
  • Candidate staged a sit-in in the lobby to get a meeting with a director.
  • Candidate washed cars in the parking lot.
  • Candidate sent a resume wrapped as a present and said his skills were a “gift to the company.”
  • Candidate handed out resumes at stoplights.
  • Candidate sent a cake designed as a business card with the candidate’s picture.
  • Candidate went to the same barber as the Chairman of the Board and had the barber speak on his behalf.
  • Candidate handed out personalized coffee cups.
  • Candidate came dressed in a bunny suit because it was near Easter.
  • Candidate told the receptionist he had an interview with the manager. When he met the manager, he confessed that he was driving by and decided to stop in on a chance.

According to the release, 18 percent of the roughly 2,500 hiring managers surveyed reported seeing more job seekers try unusual tactics to capture their attention in 2009 compared to last year  – up from 12 percent who said the same in 2008.  This increase can probably be attributed to the increasingly small and competitive job search, says Jason Ferrara, senior career adviser at CareerBuilder, leading many candidates to turn to “extreme” tactics. 

But just as with the recent bracelet debate, where some employers might see “silly,” others see “innovative”…And the survey doesn’t say whether any of these tactics actually worked in the candidates favor. (I, for one, know quite a few people – myself included – who would give someone who baked them a cake a second look.)

So, please share…Have you witnessed any “extreme” candidate behavior that actually worked in that candidate’s favor?