Alternative Job Interviews: The Latest PR Stunt?

By Amy @BubbleJobs

When you attend a job interview, 9 times out of 10, there are normally two or three possible outcomes – you get the job, you don’t or you get asked back for a second interview. Well, how about if there was a fourth outcome? And one that involved making the headlines and coming under the glare of the world’s media?

OK, so that last comment might sound pretty odd but we’ve come across a number of stories over the last couple of weeks where the outcome has been just that… and we’re sorry to say, it’s not been pretty. We’re talking of course about certain brands holding alternative job interviews and treating potential candidates well… less than kindly.

job interviewAnd it’s got us wondering if holding job interviews that are a bit alternative and “out there” is just the latest PR stunt for brands of all shapes and sizes.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Let us explain. First up, it’s Curry’s. A few weeks ago, candidates that attended a job interview for the electrical retailer in Cardiff were made to dance David Brent-style to a Daft-Punk song in a bid to “break the ice” and impress the manager. The outcome? A load of “rubbish robotics” and some pretty humiliated candidates that turned to the country’s media to complain.

Curry’s response? It was a one-off and not something they actively endorse… only it turns out, it wasn’t a one-off at all. Another job seeker came forward this week to say he too had been made to bust a move in his job interview for the same store last year… oh dear!

Now, obviously Curry’s didn’t exactly get good PR from this little stunt… but the same can’t be said for TV brand LG. A week or so ago, news broke that the manufacturer had used their new 84 inch “ultra-realistic” HD TV to dupe candidates that had apparently come in for a job interview in China. The naughty LG team installed the TV, made it look like a window then laughed and hit ‘record’ as the poor candidates reacted in terror at the apparent meteor strike that was talking place outside.

Now, the jury’s out on whether the job interviews were real at LG for this ad but I have a feeling they were definitely staged (viral marketing anyone?!) and they definitely helped LG to convey its main marketing message – that its new super-duper TV has great image quality and is indeed “ultra-realistic”.

So there you go; two different job interview processes that have got two major brands some pretty mixed exposure over the last two weeks or so. Granted, one was staged (I think!) and one got the brand attention for all the wrong reasons… but after seeing the level of attention both big names received on the back of them, we wouldn’t be all that surprised if we started to see more and more of these stories cropping up in the next couple of months as other brands attempt to jump on the current hot alternative job interview bandwagon.

Do we think it’s right to humiliate job interviewees in a bid to garner some press? Definitely not… but we have a feeling a little thing like a conscious isn’t going to stop some companies who are desperate to get any kind of attention.

As ever, we’re keen to get your thoughts on this one. What do you think of the LG and Curry’s incidents? Would you ever be tempted to stage something like this for your company in a bid to get some column inches? Leave us a comment or tweet us – @BubbleJobs.


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