Case study: Heineken – The Candidate

To recruit an intern in its event and sponsorship team, Heineken threw away the interview rulebook after asking itself: if all interviews are the same, with similar questions eliciting familiar answers, how do you find the right talent? Instead, it put applicants through a series of unexpected situations.


Over 1,700 people applied for the role, which involves following the UEFA Champions League Trophy as it tours the world, with opportunities to meet football heroes.

Shortlisted candidates were invited to Amsterdam for the interview process. The interviews took place in three stages: the kick-off, where the boss led the interviewee into the meeting room by holding hands the entire way; medical assistance, which involved helping the boss as he ‘blacks-out’ during the meeting; and fire drill, where firefighters call for help to rescue a stranded Heineken employee from the roof after a ‘fire alert’.

Candidates’ responses determined who had the necessary skills to work in the Heineken marketing department.

The entire interview was captured on camera by Heineken, which resulted in

The Candidate, a behind-the-scenes film that was released to the brands’ marketing team via an internal portal so they could vote for their favourite interviewee from the three best interviews.

The most voted-for candidate was brought to the Juventus stadium for a ‘final test’ during the pre-match ceremony. Giant screens showed the interview process and then announced that the winner, Guy Luchting, had got the job. He now has a placement based at Heineken headquarters in Amsterdam.

Luchting says: “I really didn’t know what was happening at the job interview. First they take my hand and I think ‘Hey, that’s friendly’, and then the guy falls on the floor and the next thing I am outside during a fire alarm helping somebody jump off the roof. It was insane. I am glad I showed enough for Heineken to give me this job within their UEFA Champions League sponsorship; it really is my dream job.”