Why should we pick you...
Describe how you overcame a difficult work situation...
How would your friends describe you in three words...
These are all standard interview questions. They’re expected, deliberated over and rehearsed. Each candidate’s familiarity with these questions means that their answers become scripted to what they think the interviewer wants to hear. Of course, a truly scripted answer stands out from a mile off, but what about those with the confidence and verbal skills to make them believable? Now, this is not to suggest that these answers may not represent true qualities, but how can you be sure when everyone knows what questions to expect?
Do new ways need to be brought in to measure candidate potential? Should interview procedures be rethought so that the best candidates are allowed to stand out on more than their word?
Heineken evidently thought so.
In a recent recruitment drive to find an event sponsorship intern, Heineken decided to get their applicants to show them, rather than tell them, why they were right for the job. The company had the challenge of deciding which of 1,734 applicants fitted the role best - but with the current scripted and well-rehearsed answers on show, they decided to get creative with their interview practice.
Is this the answer to the end of scripted interview answers? Probably not, as the element of surprise was a main contributor to this methods success rate. However, what this experiment does show is that by challenging candidates with an interview that is a little outside of the box, their true potential can shine through.