Heineken’s quirky job interviews go viral online

Breaking the recruitment mold, the Dutch brewer conducted unorthodox interviews, videoed them, and asked current employees to vote for the most appealing candidate. Then it took the whole process public.

There were combative questions and forced hand-holding. They had to deal with the interviewer’s suffering a medical episode. Things culminated with a fire alarm and an emergency situation with a person possibly jumping off a building.

It was all part of a Heineken campaign called The Candidate, which was crafted not only to energize employees in regard to the company’s culture, but also to give YouTube viewers and blog fans a different view of the Dutch brewer.

“At a time when it’s very tough to get catch a career break, Heineken wanted to encourage young adults to stand out from the crowd by being inventive, resourceful, and innovative,” a Heineken spokeswoman says.

The approach

The Candidate was planned “over a period of months,” with the goal of reinforcing Heineken’s identity of being “inventive and resourceful,” the spokeswoman says.

“It broadens horizons and inspires consumers to be inventive about their career options,” she says.

The interviewers narrowed the initial 1,734 applicants down to three, but then enabled the Heineken Brand Team to vote using an internal portal for the last three candidates.

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