Tom Cruise, in the movie Jerry Maguire, makes a moving plea to Renée Zellweger about why they are a perfect fit, but he didn't need it. He had her at "hello," she said. We are guessing hiring managers didn't react in the same way when they heard these strange pitches from job applicants.
The staffing firm Accountemps recently conducted a survey that asked executives to identify the strangest pitches they have heard from job applicants.
The responses included an executive who reported that an applicant said he was "allergic to unemployment."
Here are some other responses:
- Diddy get the job? "A gentleman delivered his entire cover letter verbally as a rap song."
- All hat, no cattle? "When our company moved to Texas, one applicant sent his
résumé in a ten-gallon hat."
- A swing and a miss. "One candidate said that we should hire him because he would be a great addition to our softball team."
- Stop the presses. "An applicant drafted a press release announcing that we had hired him."
- Friends in the know. "A person said he had no relevant experience for the position he was interviewing for, but his friend did."
- One is the loneliest number. "An applicant once told me she wanted the position because she wanted to get away from dealing with people."
- You go, mom! "One person brought his mother to the job interview and let her do all of the talking."
- Brown-bagging it. "One applicant gave me his resume in a brown paper lunch bag."
- Call and response. "A candidate sang all of her responses to interview questions."
- Third times a charm. "One job seeker said he should get the job because he had already applied three times and felt that it was now his turn."
To the people who stumble over the interview question "why should I hire you?", the staffing firm offers these tips:
- 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.