What's the craziest/quirkiest/most creative/etc you've done to make a good impression at a job interview? And what was the position you were interviewing for?

Ever tried any of those teeth whitening products? Bought a new wardrobe full of clothes you'd never normally wear?

trandell's picture

Maybe I'm boring and old fashioned, but I stick with a traditional checklist and it has never failed me.

- Crisp copy of my resume
- Close shave
- Fresh haircut
- Brand new white shirt
- Pressed suit and tie
- Mirror shined shoes
- Firm handshake
- Broccoli-free smile

As an interviewer and hiring manager, quirkiness and creative ensembles have put me on alert. I tend to work for serious companies, so that's probably a product of my environment.

Mark's picture
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Can you help me understand the purpose of this post please? Thanks.


digitalrocks's picture

Brand new shirt - that makes me think of my standard pair of black pants. I have multiple pairs, but I have one in particular that I always bust out for interviews. Everyone's got their own quirky thing though.

And the point of the post? Well I was hoping someone had maybe tried one of those teeth whitening products... trying to find some personal opinions on the subject. Thinking about trying it before my upcoming interviews...

cb_bob's picture

I have whitened my teeth, purchased two new suits, haircut, manicure (yes, men can get manicures!) and had my shoes polished for an interview.

I was interviewing for a leadership position in a sales organization, and I knew that appearance would play a larger than normal role in the decision making process.

My interview happened in two phases - the first was a "normal" interview where I was asked the standard questions in a conference room with the hiring manager and so forth. The next day, I delivered a 2 hour presentation to around 200 members of the organization.

The position that I was applying for was 3 levels above my previous level. Due to the rather large jump in level and the presentation aspect, I felt the interview justified an investment on my part.

I ended up getting the job and I feel that the extra investment in my appearance was a contributing factor.

Mark's picture
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Those of us who interview a lot of folks rule people out who do quirky things to be successful in interviews.

The intersection of "quirky" and professional is a null set.

Practice, practice, practice.

fcch_mngtools's picture

It wasn't a gimick, ... just drives home a few points that M&M have made in various Podcasts ...

I was being interviewed (only candidate) for a seniour position at a private company.

Lunch date with the CEO and the Owner. 3 minutes of chit chat and the CEO says we'll have lunch then finish the "interview" over coffee.

I said that I'd prefer to know straight off if I had the job. After all, we'd been speaking for almost 5 minutes and their mind MUST be made up.

I added, ... that way, if I didn't get the job, ... I'd only order pasta. If I DID have the job, I'd have a steak.

The Owner called over the Server and ordered up 3 porterhouse steaks (the house speciality).

Be honest, be yourself.

Mark's picture
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That whistling sound you hear are the bullets whizzing by you. Nothing is so exhilarating as being shot at and missed... but that getting hit things is, ahhh, scary.

I told the Procter interviewer, Lee Rodriguez, in answer to his question why should I hire you, "because heaven forbid I go to work for one of your competitors."

He spanked me for a process error, but I got the job and did okay.



asteriskrntt1's picture

I am a portly guy (less portly than I used to be thankfully) with shock red hair. My gf (a very talented designer) wants me to wear things like neon yellow shirts and the fun looney tunes types of ties.... I have no interest in doing this but have to keep that "Peace in the Household" thing going.

Any suggestions how do deal with this?

Thanks as always


Mark's picture
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Yes. Tell her no. She doesn't know what she's talking about.

"Thanks, but I'm going to stick with what Manager Tools recommends."

If she gets mad, that's her issue.

If you keep the peace, at the expense of an interview, that's your failure... but an issue for BOTH of you.

Consensus is not possible in a grouping of two. An issue-free life is not possible.


fcch_mngtools's picture

Mark, ...
[quote]That whistling sound you hear are the bullets whizzing by you. Nothing is so exhilarating as being shot at and missed ...[/quote] LoL ! ... Well been there and ... yes ... it is "exhilarating" :shock:

Back to that particular lunch interview, the context was a bit particular/unique. I knew exactly the profile they were looking for. I'd be negotiating some important contracts for them (life or death of the company). The owner was old school stand-up real gentleman.

He'd be insulted if you asked him to sign a contract. Handshake was enough ("Let the lawyers figure out the rest").

p.s. ... Thanks again to you two for a fine podcast and forum.