What Is An Open Interview?
An open interview, also known as a walk-in interview, is an initial screening process usually implemented by employers who have multiple positions to fill at once and need them to be filled quickly. They take place at a single location at a specified time, like at a company hiring event or local job fair. Candidates are interviewed on the spot and may be offered the job directly afterward or proceed to the next stage at a later time.
An advantage an open interview may offer for some is that candidates are given the opportunity to show off their interpersonal skills right off the bat and make a good first impression in-person rather than depending entirely on their resume.
How Do Open job interviews Work?
Just like with any other type of interview, open interviews have their own unique challenges. Since there are no scheduled interviews for individual candidates, all prospective candidates will be there at the same time. Prepare for a busy and competitive atmosphere, but don’t let a large crowd intimidate you. Chances are there are multiple positions available.
Candidates are usually seen on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is better to arrive as early as possible to be in front of the queue. Being late will not only mean longer wait times but may result in you not being seen at all.
Although open interviews may be done one-to-one or with a panel like other types of interviews, they are more likely to be conducted in a group setting with little to no privacy. It is also much more informal and relaxed than traditional interviews, which might reduce the pressure for candidates. Group interviews can help employers to observe candidates’ abilities to focus and engage with others in a bustling environment.
How to Prepare for An Open Interview
Just follow these steps to prepare for an open interview:
Before going to an open interview or hiring event, you should read up on the company or companies that will be there. Identify those you have the most interest in working for and do your homework on them. The best way to start is by browsing their company website. There you will be able to find out about the background of the company, their mission statement, and what they do.
You may also find employee testimonials and general information about what the company offers for work environment satisfaction, i.e., THE PERKS.
To get even further insight into a company, you may visit their social media pages or use a search engine to find out about the company’s latest news. Being able to talk about what you learn confidently during the open interview will show you to be detail-orientated and have a vested interest in the company.
Also, be thoroughly informed about the position or positions available that you will be interviewing for. Study the job descriptions, if available, ahead of time if possible. If no job descriptions are available, you can look online for similar jobs for their descriptions. Armed with the knowledge of key responsibilities and skills required, you will be able to answer questions better and communicate why you are an ideal candidate for the job.
- Up-to-date copies of your resume – bring the necessary number of copies needed for the number of companies you aim to apply and interview for.
- List of references or letters of recommendations – it may be helpful to have a list of references or letters written from previous employers readily available.
- Relevant certificates for specialized skills – if jobs you are interviewing for require specialized skills such as first-aid, make sure you can provide them with these certificates to prove your qualification quickly.
- Pen and notepad – handy to take notes on information the recruiter may give you. It is also good to make personal notes to keep track of interactions you had with certain recruiters if you plan to talk to multiple recruiters during a hiring event.
- Identification – bring a passport or driver’s license as proof of identification. These are often needed for application processes and proving your right to work.
- Entertainment – there will be long stretches of waiting involved at some stage so keep yourself busy by bringing something to pass the time, such as something to read. Perhaps you could revise notes on your company research or read up further if you have internet access.
- Food and drink – some events may provide snacks and refreshments, but you may wish to bring your own, especially if you have special dietary requirements. Staying hydrated and energized will keep you performing at your best throughout the day.
Dress to Impress
On any occasion where first impressions are important, your physical appearance will be a factor. It is important you represent yourself well by wearing an outfit that is appropriate for the event. You may need to refer to the invitation or advertisement for the dress code. But if no dress code is stated, it is a safe bet to assume that a neat and professional attire will be most acceptable.
If the open interview is an initial screening, try to get a business card or other forms of contact information at the end of it. This will help you to follow up on your application afterward. Remind them of your interaction and request an update on the status of your application.
Examples of Walk-In Interviews
Places you will be able to find walk-in interviews include:
A Company Website
Sometimes a company will advertise and host a hiring event on their website. Typically, these open interviews are held at a specified time and place on a first-come, first-served basis. Companies looking for seasonal hires or have multiple vacancies to fill simultaneously may host open interviews regularly.
A Recruitment Agency
Recruiters conduct open interviews at Industry-specific hiring events. Invitations to these hiring events are issued by industry websites, publications, or a talent recruitment agency. An example of such would be an email newsletter received by job seekers who have signed up to a recruitment agency. Some invitations may be targeted to those who have expressed interest in a specific industry or are suitably skilled for that industry.
A Local News Advert
Many hiring events that conduct open interviews are often advertised in local newspapers or news broadcasts either on television or radio. They may also be advertised on the webpage for your local authority. Announcements will include the date, time, and location of the hiring event, along with a list of companies that will be looking to hire at the event.
At A Business Location
A business or company may take advantage of the foot traffic if it has a permanent location that is situated on a busy street. Adverts may be inside the building near a counter, reception, or waiting area. There may also be signs posted on windows and doors for full visibility. These signs may state that applications for a job will be accepted during a specified timeframe.
For more information on how to prepare for interview questions and being effective in your job search, check out our other articles on Talenteria.