Crazy interview stunts that worked (and some that didn't)

Patch, 36, an Auguste clown, poses for a photo during Mexico's 17th annual clown convention, La Feria de la Risa, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. Approximately 500 clowns gathered at two local theaters in the capital city to exchange ideas, compete for laughs and show off their comedy performances. Patch has been as a clown for 13 years. (AP Photo/Anita Baca)
Anita Baca

(MoneyWatch) Have you ever thought about doing something crazy and off the wall to land a job? CareerBuilder surveyed over 2000 hiring managers and HR people and asked them to share the most memorable interview method that actually worked. The candidates that did these things were actually hired:

Candidate contracted a billboard outside of employer's office.

Candidate gave a resume on a chocolate bar.

Candidate showed up in a suit with a red T-shirt underneath a white shirt. The red T-shirt had a message - "Hire me, I work hard."

Candidate asked to be interviewed in Spanish to showcase his skills.

Candidate crafted the cover letter like an invitation to hire her rather than a request (similar to a wedding invitation).

Candidate climbed on a roof the employer was repairing and asked for a job.

Candidate performed a musical number on the guitar about why he was the best candidate.

Candidate volunteered to help out with making copies when he saw interviewer's assistant was getting frazzled.

Candidate repaired a piece of company's equipment during the first interview.

Candidate sent a message in a bottle.

What this survey didn't say was what types of jobs these people were applying for. In many, many situations, these techniques would fail miserably. Some of them are very specific--if the job didn't require Spanish, asking to be interviewed in that language would be weird, and if it did, the interviewer would have been negligent to not speak with the candidate in Spanish for at least part of the interview. The Guitar trick might work in an advertising firm, day care center or trendy start up, but would get you strange looks and a "thanks but no thanks" from most companies. Lesson is, know your audience. The people above took a risk and guessed right. The people below took risks as well, and it didn't help them. Here are the most memorable candidates that they didn't hire:

Candidate back-flipped into the room.

Candidate brought items from interviewer's online shopping wish list.

Candidate sent a fruit basket to interviewer's home address, which the interviewer had not given her.

Candidate did a tarot reading for the interviewer.

Candidate dressed as a clown.

Candidate sent interviewer some beef stew with a note saying "Eat hearty and hire me."

Candidate placed a timer on interviewer's desk, started it, and told the interviewer he would explain in 3 minutes why he was the perfect candidate.

Candidate sent interviewer a lotto ticket.

Candidate wore a florescent suit.

Candidate sent in a shoe to "get their foot in the door."

Unless you have inside information that tells you that a hiring manager will enjoy your extreme method of job hunting, it's best to stick to the basics:Dress properly, have a well put together resume, ask the proper questions, and apply for jobs that you are highly qualified for.