Want to stand out in a sea of mediocrity during the interview process? Then do something a little crazy. Seriously.
Just keep in mind the difference between the crazy and crazy good, says John B. Molidor, author of “Crazy Good Interviewing: How Acting A Little Crazy Can Get You The Job” (Wiley, May 2012).
“You need to stand out and just a little eccentricity can help you tip the scale,” he notes. Again, don’t do anything crazy stupid, like wear grunge clothes to the office or hum out loud to your music or pick your teeth.
In a tough economy where it’s harder to land a good job, it’s important to be cognizant of your behavior.
“That’s why it’s so important to do everything in your power to shine,” says Molidor, assistant dean of Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. He gathered the data from his book from years of training others about the hiring process.
He says you start the process of standing out by identifying your top three strengths. Then you come up with a crazy platform for delivering your strengths, and a five-sentence history that builds a bridge to the interviewers. Examples of crazy good techniques include creating a keynote presentation on an iPad to show what you can bring to the job or assembling a DVD highlighting your abilities.
Here are other tips for using the crazy good approach:
• Display a unique talent related to the position. For instance, a candidate pursuing a flight operations position for a major airline showed that he could read the interviewer’s questions upside down from across the table faster than the interviewer could read them right side up. He had worked in military intelligence.
• Consider a creative angle. Molidor describes an applicant who arrived at an interview for a sales position with his friends to serve as references. When the receptionist asked who the three other men were, he responded, “They are my references.” The gutsy move showed that he could convince three people to accompany him to an early-morning interview and that he would likely make a persuasive salesman!
• Show your passion for an outside interest or hobby. This will give the hiring manager an idea of other skills and talents that you could apply to the job. For instance, if you're an avid reader, you show that you value learning and that potentially you have good research skills. If you like to cook, you likely possess creativity. If you love playing chess, you might be perceived as someone with business strategy savvy.
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