The Elevator Speech, Social-Media Style

online repSucceeding in the social-media space requires an ability to communicate in short, fast and succinct bursts.

If you want to be a digital media manager at Pizza Hut, you’d better be able to adopt this straight-to-the-point, social-media mindset right out of the gate.

Representatives from the Plano, Texas-based restaurant chain descended on Austin’s annual South by Southwest music festival this past weekend, to seek out and interview job candidates for the aforementioned position.

Lots of candidates, apparently: Each interviewee was to be given just 140 seconds (an homage to Twitter’s 140-character limit) to sum up their social-media bona fides, and convince the organization he or she has the goods.

One of the people they’ll need to convince is Caroline Masullo, Pizza Hut’s director of digital and social media. Masullo, who conducted interviews at the SXSW site for four hours on Sunday, explained the rationale behind the 140-second interview to Bloomberg Businessweek:

We need this person to be super-knowledgeable in the social space. They need to be able to communicate with our consumers in fun, quick, concise ways. … We need someone who knows who they are, what they are looking for, someone who’s super-passionate, quick on their feet, able to communicate clearly in a short amount of time.”

Candidates were also asked to bring only their IDs and smartphones, the latter of which would be used for a quick review of the applicant’s LinkedIn profile during the interview.

Ultimately, the 140-second interview is “like an elevator [pitch],” Masullo told Businessweek. “Tell me in 140 seconds why you think you should be the next manager of … . ”

Pizza Hut, which will conduct another lightning round of interviews via Google+ on March 14, is already being lauded for its unique strategy in finding sharp, quick-witted candidates; a tactic that Masullo hopes will net the company someone “on the cutting edge of the social space” that will “keep us at the forefront” of said space.

Time will tell if they find that someone, but you have to give Pizza Hut some credit for taking a novel approach. Just do it quickly.

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