Strange interview experiences: "I've got an unemployment allergy"

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Conducting job interviews can be time consuming, but for many employers these meetings are far from boring. Executives were recently asked to describe the strangest pitches they've heard from potential hires. The responses ranged from a person who noted that he'd be a great addition to the company softball team to the candidate who sang her responses to interview questions.

The national poll included responses from 150 senior executives - including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments - with the nation's 1,000 largest companies. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.

Executives were asked, "What is the wackiest or most unusual pitch you've heard from a job seeker about why he or she should get the job?" Here are some of their responses:

  • "An individual told me he was allergic to unemployment."
  • "One candidate said that we should hire him because he would be a great addition to our softball team."
  • "One candidate sang all of her responses to interview questions."
  • "One job seeker said he should get the job because he had already applied three times and felt that it was now his turn."
  • "One individual said we had nice benefits, which was good because he was going to need to take a lot of leave in the next year."
  • "An applicant drafted a press release announcing that we had hired him."
  • "A person said he had no relevant experience for the position he was interviewing for, but his friend did."
  • "A gentleman delivered his entire cover letter verbally as a rap song."
  • "An applicant once told me she wanted the position because she wanted to get away from dealing with people."
  • "One person brought his mother to the job interview and let her do all of the talking."
  • "One applicant gave me his resume in a brown paper lunch bag."
  • "When our company moved to Texas, one applicant sent his resume in a ten-gallon hat."

While these job search tactics are amusing, they also indicate that many candidates need to perfect their pitches to potential employers, according to Accountemps. The staffing firm offers these tips for answering the question, "Why should I hire you?":

  • Look on the bright side. Rather than viewing this question as an obstacle, see it as a chance to describe the value you can add to the organization.
  • Tailor your response. The best responses highlight your abilities that directly relate to the position. For example, if you're applying for an accounting manager role, a good answer might be, "I was responsible for managing a high volume of accounts payable and receivable records in my last position, so I'm well equipped to handle the scope of work for this role."
  • Show enthusiasm. Along with describing how your experience can benefit the organization, point out what makes you interested in that particular firm.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Before the interview, plan how you will respond if you are asked to describe why you should be hired. Even if you are not asked this question, you can weave some of your points into the conversation.

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