Sometimes, when we’re in high-pressure situations, we do extreme things that we’d probably think twice about doing under normal circumstances. A job interview definitely qualifies as one of those instances where you might find yourself doing something a little crazy.
If you really want the job, the chances that you’ll do something out there to get it go way up. While it may sound strange, those things (if not psych ward admission worthy) can be just what you need to get the leg up on the competition. As long as it’s in line with the job you’re trying to land, something a bit “out of the box” can help show that you’re passionate, creative and willing to go the distance to get the job done.
Here are some wild examples of people going to that wonderful, crazy place to get hired. Funnily enough, most of these efforts resulted in a job offer.
1. The hard sell
“I threw my phone at the wall.
“I was applying for a sales job. The interviewer asked me if I had a phone.
“Sure, I do.
“Sell it to me. Convince me to buy your phone from you.
“It was an older Nokia model, beaten up over the years. I took it out of my pocket. It didn’t really have any selling points over newer smartphones.
“Mmm… it has a flashlight button. And you could listen to FM radio on it if you found the right cable for that… mmm… it could also help you give the image of a rugged, active lifestyle…
“… And… my mind lit up.
“It’s tough as nails! I challenge you to do this with any other phone! I said, throwing it against the wall.
“The phone survived without a scratch. There was a small dent in the drywall.
“I got the job.” — David Germanico
2. Tech genius
“When I got out of college I decided I wanted to live somewhere on the east coast, but didn’t really care where. I’m a web developer, so I built a system to scrape jobs from Craigslist. Based on keywords in the job listing, the code would construct a cover letter from paragraphs that explained my experience with the associated keyword. I sent out around 1,500 resumes in 24 hours.
“The next day I was swamped with calls and did a bunch of interviews, and one company flew me out for an in person interview the next day. I ended up getting the job and while I didn’t mention how I sent out my resumes during the job interview, it came up later while I was working there. After explaining the app, they informed me that had I told them that story, they would have probably hired me on the spot without more interviewing.” — Ryan Stout
3. Pure honesty
“I was asked if I could pass a drug test. I politely responded, ‘I need two weeks to study.’ I was hired on the spot.” — Justin Fodor
4. Hacker’s my middle name
“While interviewing for a technical writer position, the company owner asked for samples of writing. I had plenty to show him. He quickly got a puzzled, then an alarmed expression, on his face, because I had hacked into the company’s website, downloaded all their internal documentation, and had rewritten much of it. He recovered from that, though, and said: ‘I leave Monday for three weeks, so I’ll do some more interviews and let you know after I get back.’
“I said: ‘Three weeks! I thought this thing had a tight schedule. I can be three weeks into the job by then!’ I started the next day.” — Stephen Foster
5. My daughter’s plastic cow
Richard Waddington was given a good luck toy cow before he went in for his first job interview in a long time. “I’m sitting across from the VP of HR, a middle-aged woman wearing a conservative suit, who says ‘I’ve heard good things from the interview team, but I do have one concern…’
“‘… You look like a pretty straight-laced guy, and, well, things get a little crazy here from time to time. How do I know you’ll fit in?’
“Without thinking I blurted out, ‘I have a cow in my pocket!’
“There was a moment of very awkward silence, and I was convinced I’d just blown it, but I found the cow, and set it on the table. Another second or two went by before she burst out laughing.”
Nikki Finnemore had just finished her first job interview, but now the heads of the company were deciding in front of her whether or not they should hire her. In her desperation, she proposed they play rock-paper-scissors with her, and if she won, she’d get the job. Thankfully, her risky proposal worked — she won and was hired on the spot.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below: