When a company hires applicants based on how well they do performing skills outside those that would normally be associated with the job. Like an accounting firm requires you to be able to run a marathon, or a bakery that wants you to prove your skill as a mason first. After being hired however, the new employee finds themselves using the standard skill set for that job anyway.
Can be a one time deal, or that might actually be how they test all the new applicants.
Would not count if it's a Secret Test of Character
Most likely to be used in a comedic setting, though could happen in a more serious piece.
See also Heroism Equals Job Qualification
- Men In Black: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) invites J (Will Smith) to the M.I.B.'s training facility, for a try out, after witnessing him track an alien on foot. J ends up competing with marksmen and top military officers in various tests of skill and mental acumen. During the written portion of the exam, the others tried using their chairs to write on, while J was the only one with sense enough to make use of the table. However, it was during the marksman exam, that J also demonstrated that he was not only keenly observant, but could think outside the box. The others simply fired at whatever looked like a monster, while sparing the civilian targets, as one would expect. J fires a single shot and kills "Little Tiffany". When Zedd asks why, J explains:
J: "Well, first I was gonna shoot this guy on the lamp post, but then I noticed that he was just working out. I mean, how would I feel if I was at the gym, and a brother put a cap in my ass? Then I noticed this guy here had a tissue in his hand. So I was like, "he's not snarling, he's sneezing." That's when I noticed your girl over here. A twelve year old white girl, wandering around by herself, in the middle of the night, carrying books on quantum physics and quantum mechanics? Zedd, that is WAY too advanced for somebody her age. Shit was about to go down. Or do I owe her an apology?"
- J got the job, the others had their memories wiped and were sent home.
- The Imperial Examination gets parodied in Interesting Times with the Examination for the Post of Assistant Night-Soil Operative, which tests the candidates on poetry, literary criticism and music.
Rincewind turned the paper over a couple of times. There didn't seem to be any mention, anywhere, of words like "compost" or "bucket" or "wheelbarrow". But presumably all this produced a better class of person than the Ankh-Morpork system, which asked just one question: "Got your own shovel, have you?".
- In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, the sorcerer hires the boy because he can't read.
- Manly Guys Doing Manly Things seems to hire people for, among other things, their pectoral girth. The only person who has avoided this so far is Jared, by virtue of the Commander's interest in his story and making Pokémon battles interesting to watch.
[[folder: Western Animation]]
- On King of the Hill, Hank hired workers based on their knowledge of football. This bit him in the ass when he hired a drug addict who was a Cowboys fan.
[[folder: Real Life]]
- The skills required for a Chinese Mandarin in the Imperial Examination leaned surprisingly toward the artistic.
- Sports Clips, a chain of barber shops, only hires female barbers who know a lot about sports. The idea is to get your hair cut by a pretty woman who can discuss last night's game.