Putting your best foot forward is a default when it comes to job applications. True, there are some applicants who just crack under pressure and say things that make the interviewer go “WTF?!”, but most applicants do everything they can to get hired.
Some even go above expectations especially for their dream job or a job they desperately want. We spoke to a few HR Managers and Recruitment Specialists about their experiences with applicants who weren’t afraid to go the ~*extra*~ mile.
The Determined (Creepy) One
“I got to interview a charming applicant who’s familiar with sales and marketing. She has her own business and has a pretty good source of income. She has been hired to boost sales of a lot of prestigious companies in the country. Of course, I was impressed. To close the interview, I asked her for her asking salary, and it was lower than what I expected. I immediately decided to endorse her profile to our department heads since it’s so rare to have someone with so much experience ask for a low rate.
During the screening of her resume, one of the employees from our sales department reacted. He was shocked to see that this person applied. Turns out, she was his stalker. He showed us her messages on Facebook and told us all about what she’s done just to get his attention.” —Hannah, Recruitment Specialist at an energy services company
The Woman Whose Personality Trumped Her Poor Resume
“When she walked into our office, she didn’t meet the requirements. She was a former OFW who went home to raise her teen son. She did not have call center experience, which was mandatory for the role I was recruiting for. But there was something special about her when we had the initial interview that I went with my gut and still hired her. Maybe it was her positive personality or her quiet determination that convinced me to give her a chance. She was not the typical candidate who was putting her best foot forward; she was shy, reserved, but you can tell from her demeanor that she will do her best in whatever situation.
A year and a half later, she has emerged as one of the top performers in her account. She’s been considered for a promotion but had to decline as she is currently pursuing post-graduate studies. She is well-liked and is highly regarded by her peers.” —Kate De Guzman, HR Manager for Recruitment at Insurance Support Services International Corporation
The Early Bird
“I’ve been recruiting for quite some time now and one of the few people who stood out was this candidate who was always two to three hours early for his interviews with the managers. Talk about being punctual!”—Kay, HR and Recruitment Professional for a private company
The Heroic Commuter
“Another one was based in the province (I forgot where), and every time he's scheduled for a face-to-face interview, he’d have to travel back to Manila and commute for six to eight hours.” — Kay, HR and Recruitment Professional for a private company
The “Who Wouldn’t Hire Him?!” Professional
“[This story was] from my previous work in IBM Global Process Services. I was a Senior Recruitment Associate back then. [A candidate] for a Contract Manager position arrived at 8 a.m. for his 9 a.m. interview with me. He was scheduled for a one-day processing type of interview with me and two hiring managers. When I called him to step into the interview room, he had an excited look on his face. We sat down and started the interview. About 10 minutes into the interview, the fire alarm sounded (I completely forgot that there was a previously announced fire drill that day). We were required to follow.
Going down the stairs starting from the 30th floor, I apologized to him and told him we could continue later or on another day. He insisted on staying. I continued the interview (informally) as we went down the fire exit and upon reaching the holding area. We stayed at the back of the big crowd and continued to talk about his experiences. After about 40 minutes of talking and standing under the sun, we were cleared to go back to our offices. Upon entering the building, I saw one of the managers who was supposed to interview the candidate. We were all sweating, wiping our faces, and fanning ourselves while waiting for the elevators. I introduced the candidate to the manger and explained what happened. We were all laughing about it, and the manager even began making jokes about the whole thing.
When we reached the 30th floor, the manager said that he would take over, and he brought the candidate to the interview room. Almost an hour went by, and the candidate was asked to comeback at 3 p.m. for the final interview. He had about two hours to kill, so I told him he could wait any place nearby and [send me a message] once he returns. Once he came back, I endorsed him for the final interview.
Almost two more hours passed. The manager said that he passed, and we could start the hiring process. I explained the background check process and said that he could go home already. He calmly asked me if he could use the rest room to change, [so] I showed it to him, and he came out after a few minutes with a fresh pair of long sleeves on—all freshened up. Confused, I asked him why he dressed up again, and he said he needed to report to work a few buildings away since his shift will start at 7 p.m. I was surprised that he still had a lot of energy and he never lost the smile on his face. He eventually passed the background check process and later accepted the offer.”—Bas Antonio, Sr. HR Specialist at Summit Publishing Co. Inc.
The Guy Who Was #HusbandGoals
“We were conducting panel interviews for a managerial position. A man in his mid-30s came in, and he seemed very nervous and kept looking at his watch. At the end of the interview, I told him that he needed to go directly to Biomedics for his medical clearance. He seemed somewhat distressed about it, glanced at his watch yet again, and asked if it would take very long.
Kind of annoyed at [that] point, I asked him if there was something bothering him. We were all surprised by his response. He said, ‘No, it's just that my wife is in labor right now. I dropped her off at the hospital on the way to the interview.’ When asked why he didn't reschedule, he said, ‘Because I really need this job to support my family.’ He was hired, of course.” —Mich Tan, Recruitment Specialist at 51Talk
What would *you* do for a job? ;)
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