Interviewing

What Is an Open Interview?

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You may have seen companies advertise open interviews at a certain place and time such as at a recruitment event. Even when you are applying for jobs the traditional way by submitting your resume for a particular role, you should also consider the option to attend an open interview. This article explains what you can expect at an open interview and how to prepare for this type of hiring event.

What is an open interview?

Employers will often use an open interview as an initial screening process when they have multiple positions to fill. Open interviews will usually take place at a single location in a specific time frame, such as at a recruitment or hiring event. Having many candidates in one location can speed up the initial screening process, which is helpful when an employer needs to fill positions quickly.

What to expect at an open interview hiring event

At a hiring event, you can learn more about a company and its culture and apply for any available positions. These events also offer an opportunity for you to make use of your interpersonal skills to make a positive impression rather than relying solely on your resume. Unlike a traditional job interview, which may involve meeting an employer on a one-on-one or panel basis, an open interview will often be conducted in a group setting with little or no private or formal interviews. 

Common features of an open interview

Here are some of the most common features of an open interview:

Group interview style

At an open interview, it is unlikely you will be interviewed in private, and you may be asked interview questions in a group with other candidates.  If you’re interviewing for a job in a fast-paced group setting, this interview style can better demonstrate your ability to concentrate on your work and engage with others in a busy environment.

Casual atmosphere

You may find this process a more positive way of interviewing, as it allows for a more casual and relaxed conversation than a structured and formal interview.

First-come, first-served basis

As open interviews are available to many people at once, you may need to wait your turn to be interviewed. Candidates are usually interviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, so arriving early will better guarantee you’ll be seen that day. It may not be possible for interviewers to see everyone in the available timeframe, and you may be asked to return on another day, or you may not be interviewed at all.

What to bring to a recruitment event 

Documents you will likely need to bring along include:

  • Up to 30 copies of your resume. You can also prepare a list of references.
  • Specific certifications that are relevant to the position. For example, a first-aid certificate.
  • Identification such as your driver’s license. You could also provide a copy of your passport.
  • Something to pass the time. There may be a long wait until it’s your turn to be seen by the interviewer, so come prepared with something to read, such as a book, magazine or your interview notes and company research.
  • Something to eat and drink. Some recruitment events will provide these, but you may want to bring your own, especially if you have any special dietary requirements.

You can also check the event details about the suggested items you should bring. Be sure to keep all of your necessary paperwork in a folder so you can easily access the documents you need in an organized manner.

What to wear to a recruitment day event

The employer hosting the recruitment event may indicate whether there’s a formal or casual dress code. If there isn’t any guidance on what to wear, research the company to help you understand what’s appropriate to their business culture. For any type of interview, dressing neatly and professionally is always a good idea.

Examples of open interview invitations

Here are some examples of open interview invitations:

Advertised on a company’s website

Some companies might promote a hiring event on their website. These types of open interviews are usually held during a particular time slot and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Companies offering jobs based on seasonal trends or needing to fill a lot of positions simultaneously might host open interviews on a daily or weekly basis.

Through a recruitment agency

Open interviews are also conducted during industry-specific hiring events by recruiters. For example, travel, retail or trade services industries host hiring events where many companies recruit. Invitations may not be issued by individual companies but rather through industry websites, publications or a talent recruitment agency.

Advertised in local news

Many open interview invitations will be posted as advertisements in regional newspapers or reported in local news broadcasts. For example, an announcement might read that open interviews will be held at a downtown convention center from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on September 22, 2020. It will usually list the companies that would be represented at the hiring event.

Advertised at a business location

Companies with permanent locations with high foot traffic, such as stores, may put up signs advertising, for example, that applications will be accepted and open interviews.