Are you Fluent in PowerPoint and Excel? And Can You Juggle Knives on Live TV?

We’ve been intrigued lately by a trend I’ve noticed of organizations using job interviews as company PR and buzz building. Unsure of what we mean? Here are two examples:

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is looking for a new “Social Media Manager of Greatness.” How did they expect to fill this position? At SXSW, of course—and candidates were allowed just 140 seconds to impress the boss. Doesn’t that number sound familiar to all the Tweeters out there?

In doing this, Pizza Hut assumed, rightfully so, that a) the right person for the job would be at SXSW (or on a Google+ hangout for those who couldn’t make it), and b) the person would know how to make a splash in a matter of seconds, which is a key skill for a social media marketer.

If you think this is strictly a stunt, think again. The job has a legitimate set of criteria, including 5+ years experience in digital advertising or marketing.

Heineken

On the other end of the spectrum, Heineken was conducting interviews for an event and sponsorship internship. How did they weed through the 1,700 applicants? Instead of interviews that lasted seconds, they conducted drawn out interviews that featured everything from an interviewer who tries to hold your hand to a fake heart attack and having to catch someone who’s jumping off a burning building.

And in a Candid Camera style twist, Heineken secretly taped the interviews and turned them into a video, The Candidate, that has now been viewed almost three million times on Youtube.

Why is this interesting, aside from being entertaining? Well, isn’t that just it? These two companies have found a way to make the commonplace job interview entertaining to millions of current or potential consumers—showing the fun side of their corporate brand to the world while filling a straightforward HR need. Pizza Hut has even seen coverage on Forbes and BusinessWeek.com, while Huffington Post UK and Mashable have covered Heineken’s “The Candidate” scheme.

If Pollock Communications were to take this approach, what would it look like? Definitely a healthy cooking competition—sort of Chopped meets MyPlate—and we’d be live tweeting from @PollockPR through the entire thing.

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