It's no secret that the job market is tough right now. The fight for open positions is extremely competitive and in light of increasing pressure to get noticed at an interview, some candidates are getting creative to beat the competition — but how far is too far? Not all of these stunts are guaranteed to get you the job.
Without relying on their credentials alone, more and more job applicants are coming to interviews prepared to give demonstrations of the skill sets they tout in their resumes and cover letters. If this is the case, and if the demos really illustrate the skills required for the job, a standout technique could really impress — and get you hired. However, if your demonstration isn't work related, you may be shooting yourself in the foot, instead of getting a foot in the door.
For instance, unless you're actually interviewing to be a pastry chef it's probably never a good idea to show up to your interview with a homemade dessert. Any attempt to differentiate yourself with sweets or gifts of any kind is just plain unprofessional. One applicant who dropped by an office with a fresh-baked cherry pie earned a reputation as a stalker and a likely, "Do Not Hire" label in her company file. When it comes to making an impression I'd say keep the extra effort relevant to the position you're applying for and forget the bells and whistles. Still, sometimes something a little out of the ordinary might just pay off. So tell me, have you ever done something totally unconventional that's gotten you the job?