31 August 2016
How to NOT get a foot in the door

With the anticipated surge of candidates following the Summer months, it’s going to be harder than ever for individuals to stand out from the crowd. As we know, first impressions are everything when it comes to an interview. The way you behave will determine whether you get shortlisted for the role in question. It is no longer about a witty cover letter or an outstanding CV to get you get noticed. We have seen some clever marketing tricks executed by talented candidates to get their details in the right hands. One memorable hack was leaving a CV in digital agencies disguised as a passport. This landed the candidate with several interviews following the stunt. But we have also heard of some outlandish tricks from those who forget to be professional and most of all, normal, throughout the process. The giants released their annual survey of the most outrageous interview mistakes candidates have made, collated from over 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals nationwide.

You can see the list below, proving the number 13 is unlucky for some:

1. Candidate had a priest contact the hiring manager and ask for candidate to be hired.
2. Candidate bought a first class upgrade to sit next to hiring manager on a transatlantic flight.
3. During the month of October, 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 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 counsellor 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 hiring manager money in an envelope.
10. Candidate arrived to interview in a white limousine, an hour early, dressed in a three-piece suit. The open position was middle-wage and had a required dress code of khakis, company button-down and black shoes.
11. Candidate kissed hiring manager.
12. Candidate gave hiring manager a book on a subject he knew candidate manager enjoyed.
13. Candidate wore a tie that had the name of the company he was interviewing with on it.

Rosemary Haefner, Chief HR Officer at, says that recruiters and candidates are starting to realise this, and that an extraordinary cover letter and a résumé just isn’t enough these days.

“Unfortunately,” she adds, “what many aren’t realising is that the catch is making sure you do that in a professional, respectful way.”

So we urge you, please stay cool candidates. There’s quirky and then there’s weird. Be sure to know where the line is.

Candidate Hints & Tips