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The Lady Gaga Effect

Lady Gaga puts the "it" in "it factor." How does she do it?

Elizabeth Hoyt

November 13, 2013

The Lady Gaga Effect
A recent concept appearing on the Harvard Business Review’s HBR Blog Network caught a lot of attention: the value of a candidate’s “weirdness” in job interviews. The article posted discusses the idea that job seekers can benefit from displaying unusual and unique qualities, interests and conversations to distinguish themselves from the job hunt herd. The Lady Gaga Effect

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Dubbed the “Lady Gaga Effect,” experts have drawn lessons from the star’s playbook that potential hires can utilize during the interview process. Obviously, going into an interview dressed in one of Lady Gaga’s fantastical outfits would likely become distracting for both the interviewer and interviewee (assuming elaborate details were involved and, if accurate, they would be). The reality of daily life – outside of being a world famous pop star - sets limitations.

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However, there is something admirable about Lady Gaga’s uniqueness that job seekers can learn from. She’s got that special something that every job candidate should strive for: she’s one hundred percent, completely and undeniably memorable. She’s nothing if not true to herself and has no qualms about “putting herself out there,” which is something that everyone could use to their advantage. Stand Out

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Certainly, you should aim to stand apart from the crowd. If your interviewer doesn't need to take a moment to pause and recall, you likely did something right. Likely - you don’t want to be remembered in a negative light, either. Which brings up the next topic of discussion…the right amount of odd. Surely, different employers have varied thresholds of weirdness, which causes one to wonder how to accurately judge how much weird is too weird? Oddities & the Office Go ahead, be yourself. Let your freak flag fly - just be conscious of what’s appropriate in the office. Basically, you need to think and act outside of the box, while remaining inside the box. It’s easier than it sounds – just display an ounce of personality and you’re already ahead of the majority of interviews with what’s-his-face and so-and-so. Odds are you’re weird, but probably not as weird as Mother Monster – and we say that with the utmost admiration for both Lady Gaga and weirdness in general. The problem with being an authentic individual, with expressing your personality and staying true to yourself is that, inevitably, not everyone is going to like you. Be Anti-Forgettable Staying buttoned-up – mentally, speaking – is safe, but is it smart? Probably not. Here’s why: if someone isn't going to like you for no reason at all or judge your personality, why would you want to work with that person? Additionally, being noticed for being who you are (positively or negatively) is far better than not being noticed at all. At least you made an impression – quite frankly, you’re doing something wrong if you didn't. If someone isn't even able to remember interviewing you, how can they possible advocate hiring you? The truth is, they can’t and they won’t.

Can you use the "Lady Gaga Effect" to your advantage?

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