What's an Open Interview? How it Works

What is an open interview? How do you succeed at an open interview? An open interview is an opportunity to meet with a recruiting manager without first going through a formal screening and selection procedure. However, you can have to wait to meet with an interviewer, and you can be competing with other people for the same position.

Here's what the interview process for an open interview looks like. And how to succeed with the hiring manager.

open interview

What is an open interview?

An open interview is a group hiring event in which companies accept job applications and perform group and individual on-site interviews. These events provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet employers in person. They can also result in on-the-spot employment offers, drastically reducing your job search wait time.

Preparing ahead of time, appearing on time, looking your best, and making a positive impression on the recruiting team are all key to success during a hiring event or open interview.

open interview

How do open interviews work?

One of the sorts of job interviews that might be the most difficult to engage in is an open job interview. All of the applicants turn up at the same time, and you'll be competing against a bunch of individuals for the same position.

Tip: On the bright side, businesses frequently arrange walk-in interviews when they have many positions to fill, so even if there are a lot of other candidates, you should have a decent chance of getting hired.

One-on-one interviews might take place in an interview or meeting room. Alternatively, tables can be put up for recruiters to speak with applicants informally. The interviews will only last a few minutes. Applicants can be invited to stay to discuss a position with a recruiter in further depth, or a second interview can be scheduled at a later time. Applicants can be given a job on the spot in specific situations.

Examples of walk-in interviews

  • A company can place a job ad stating that open interviews would be held on a specific day from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Window signage at certain businesses can state that applications will be accepted on a specified day and hour. Open interviews, for example, can be held every Tuesday between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Companies can conduct interviews during a career fair or during organized on-site hiring activities.

Hiring event and open interview tips

Tips to succeed at a walk-in-interview or open interview.

open interview

Check the event description/job description

Employers will provide key hints about what to expect in the description of a hiring event. Employers can, for example, specify whether they intend to make offers on the spot or whether they will interview applicants and contact you later regarding a recruiting decision.

They can also contain work criteria such as required qualifications, physical job needs, or other information that will help you decide if it's the appropriate fit for you. They could also tell you what to bring and wear to the interview.

Look into the company

Employers use hiring events and open interviews to meet a large number of prospects at once. Before the interview, do some research on the company to assist you stand out.

Find the employer's corporate page and learn what current and past workers have to say about working there. If the company has a retail or eating facility, you might wish to pay a visit before the event to get a sense of how things work on a daily basis. Examine their social media profiles and go to their website.

open interview

Update your resume

Examine your resume/CV to ensure that it is relevant to the positions available at the recruiting event. While reading the event description, one approach to accomplish this is to think about your previous job experience. Consider how your skills and experience meet the job criteria. Make modifications to your CV to make it easier for this particular company to recognize that you possess the necessary abilities.

Dress the part

If there is a dress code, the employer can specify it in the event description. If there isn't any guidance on what to dress, your study into the company's culture can be able to assist you to figure out what's suitable.

Dress in a nice and tidy manner in any setting. Dark trousers, slacks, or a skirt combined with a button-down shirt, polo shirt, or blouse can be a suitable combo in many instances.

Practice your interview answers

Traditional interviews can be shorter than those conducted during a hiring event. Prepare a one-minute or shorter self-summary to present with possible employers so that they can immediately get a sense of what you have to offer.

Review interview etiquette

To every potential employer, you want to showcase the best version of yourself. Take care to be courteous to everyone you meet as soon as you step out of your house on the morning of the hiring event. Be kind to those you encounter on the bus, in the parking lot, or in the elevator; these people might be prospective interviewees or future coworkers.

Treat everyone with respect at the event site, especially anybody who looks to be aiding with sign-in or organizing the event. Before a hiring decision is made, these persons can be asked for input on your behavior.

Be prepared to wait

One of the most typical complaints about hiring events and open interviews is that there is a lot of waiting. Because these events are available to a large number of individuals at once, you can have to wait your time to be interviewed. Candidates are often interviewed in a first-come, first-served manner.

If you can, RSVP ahead of time to assist companies to obtain an exact count of attendance. Arrive a bit early or as near to the start time of the event as feasible. Employers can not be able to meet with everyone within the time limit allotted. They can ask you to return on a different day in this scenario.

If you know there can be a wait, bring something to pass the time, such as a book or magazine. Although some recruiting events provide food and drink, you should bring your own just in case. Remember that when you meet with a potential employer, you want to be in a good attitude. Bring items that will help you feel calm, relaxed, and energized in the days leading up to the meeting.

Don't expect privacy

An open interview also excludes the possibility of being interviewed in a private room or cubicle. Interviews are sometimes held in groups, with many job hopefuls being asked and responding to questions at the same time. You could meet with a recruiter one-on-one in an open space with other activities going on at other times.

This is seen positively by some participants of hiring events. In comparison to a typical interview, it can allow for a more relaxed and interesting dialogue. This interview scenario can demonstrate your ability to focus and interact with others in a busy work if you're applying for a job that requires you to operate in a fast-paced atmosphere.

Bring a copy of your resume (or copies of your resume)

Bring a list of references and at least five printed copies of your resume. Employers can require you to bring particular certificates to the hiring event in some circumstances. They could also want proof of state or federal identification.

These facts should be double-checked in the event description. Pro tip: Keep all of your belongings in a folder or professional portfolio so that you can stay tidy and organized during the event.

Follow up after the event

Request business cards from recruiters at the hiring event as you wrap up your talks. Send them a follow-up email after the event. It's a simple, courteous approach to express gratitude for their time—and it could help you stand out among the numerous candidates they've met.

Common questions

Questions from job seekers.

Can you get hired at an open interview?

Open interviews can be held by companies that recruit often. Successful candidates can be offered the position right away after an open interview, or they can be invited to a second interview.

Are open interviews easy?

One of the sorts of job interviews that might be the most difficult to engage in is an open job interview. All of the applicants turn up at the same time, and you'll be competing against a bunch of individuals for the same position.

How long do open interviews last?

Your resume/CV will be reviewed by the interviewer, who will then perform an impromptu interview. In certain situations, the recruiting manager will extend an offer of employment right after the interview. Interviews for open positions usually last 30 minutes to an hour.

open interview

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Get our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free. No email required.

Grab the PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur (Profile), Dice.com, WorkWise, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Share

Help us by spreading the word