The Ultimate Guide to Open Job Interviews

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Posted by: David Garcia February 17, 2022

Are you heading to an open job interview? Some jobs are open to the public, and employers will interview anyone who wants to apply. The open job interview is a perfect chance to impress a hiring manager without the usual lengthy screening process.

However, the openness of the recruitment style also presents several challenges. Remember, you will not be alone. In a larger group, it’s harder to stand out and make a lasting impression. This recruitment style will likely attract many other candidates and is highly competitive.

Preparing and knowing the process in advance is the best way of getting an advantage come interview day. Read on to find out everything you need to know about open job interviews and feel confident that you understand what steps to take.

What Is an Open Job Interview?

You may have come across an advertisement for an open job interview or a walk-in-interview. This kind of interview format refers to an event where a company has opened a time slot for any applicant to attend. It means that a company will take applicants on the spot without any formal screening process beforehand.

These opportunities bypass the usual resume screening and let you talk personally with your hiring manager upfront. Another benefit of this kind of interview is that you save time on scheduling and sometimes get hired on the spot.

All these benefits come with challenges, though, and even experienced applicants will need to adjust their technique to secure their job of choice.

Why Do Companies Use Open Job Interviews?

What makes this interview format valuable to employers? Knowing the answer to this question gives you a good idea about how they work and how you can use that to your advantage.

It Saves Time

Scheduling can be a lengthy process. When a company needs to fill a position, navigating times for interviews alongside usual business can be both difficult and inconvenient. Efficiency in business can make a big difference, and an open job interview is a possible way to speed up this process.

Conducting open interviews means setting aside one or two time slots with potentially hundreds of candidates. Alternatively, with a traditional one-on-one consultation, this could take weeks or even months.

Some companies will even hire on the spot at an open job interview. Logistically, this is not the case for traditional interviews. It could mean the recruiter could fill a job in one afternoon, which is a tempting prospect.

They Have Many Positions to Fill

U.S. businesses filled over 74.5 million positions in 2021 alone. Companies are finding more employees and creating new roles. Because of this, many companies are often hiring for several roles at once. Casting a wide net could mean finding the perfect employee quicker.

The chances are that if the company is holding open job interviews for one position, they could be looking to fill multiple roles at once. Bulk interviews are the perfect chance to meet many potential employees at one time. Logistically, it may be a better choice.

Advertising a job on online platforms accesses more workers than anything else. It can also bring a lot of applicants that may not live in the right area or are under qualified or irrelevant to the position, which recruiters hate.

Localizing the interview process through an in-person open interview while accessing a large candidate pool is a good option for many businesses.

They Know Job Fairs & Hiring Events Can Be Advantageous

Recruitment events are the perfect opportunity for businesses to access a vast number of applicants. The face-to-face meetings give the hiring manager a chance to meet candidates personally. Also, knowing that every candidate has the motivation to attend sends a clear message about the quality of their potential employees.

A job fair or hiring event will also save the company money. Conducting open interviews often involves location rental and other associated event costs. A small entry fee could be a considerable savings, especially for small businesses with limited resources.

These recruitment events are a perfect opportunity for both businesses and applicants, where open interviews are an ideal logistical option.

How to Prepare for an Open Job Interview

Preparation is the number one asset to landing your interview. It may be hard to know where to start. Focusing your attention on the wrong areas can be a big mistake.

Look at the Event Description

Before attending your open interview, make sure you have looked over the event description as much as possible. While this may not give you all the information you need, close reading can help you identify clues about what to expect.

Look at the event’s location, determine traffic routes, and check for information about where it is happening. Is it an in-house event or outside the company? Is it a large or small event room? It could make a difference for your interview type.

Finally, the information may indicate how many positions are open and how soon the employer wishes to fill these spots. Knowing all this can help you prepare to get ahead of the competition.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

When you meet your hiring manager, chances are you will not have much time to make a lasting impression. Considering open interviews have many applicants at once, you need to look the part. Hiring managers may be looking for any chance to cut down the numbers, and you want to ensure you remain in the selection process.

Following these steps, you will have already checked for any indication of a dress code in the event description. If this is not covered, it is important to know how to dress and prepare your outfit in advance.

Whatever you wear, ensure that it is neat. Business casual is best as it is appropriate for most jobs. For more casual or modern companies, such as some tech companies, you can wear plain colors and ensure you are presentable.

Do Your Research

Searching online for the company’s history, goals, and what it’s like to work there. This information can help you answer many of your questions about the role. Knowing the answers before you arrive frees you to focus on impressing your hiring manager and shows initiative.

Try searching online for employee review websites and online forums. Also, examine the company website and look for any news articles or blog posts for the company itself. These data points could give you a clue about where they began and the direction they are heading.

Showing the hiring manager how much you know about the company could separate you from the other candidates. Any step you can take to stand out is encouraged, and your research will help you determine if you want the job in the first place.

Common Mistakes in an Open Job Interview

Job interviews are complicated. Open job interviews can feel even harder to navigate. Understanding common mistakes can lead you to good choices and land you your desired job.

Not Being Informed About Interview Types

An open interview can be very different depending on the company and whether it is in-house or at a second location. While you may have some information based on the event description, it is best to prepare to be flexible. Preparing for any interview style will be your best chance of success.

Some open interviews are one-on-one chats, even though they are in public. It is not unusual to conduct your interview quickly at a desk or cubicle. However, know that you could be talking in a noisy setting and a fast-paced environment. Those accustomed to a private setting should practice their answers in a busy area to test your attention.

More likely, your interview will be a group interview. In this case, candidates will field questions simultaneously. Being confident and personable while remaining polite to your fellow applicants will help you stand out from the crowd.

Mismanaging Waiting Times

The nature of open interviews means that many candidates will also attend. These events are usually first-come, first-serve, so your best bet is to be first in line for your employer of choice.

Numerous candidates also mean that you may spend more time waiting in line than speaking with the hiring manager. Maintaining your focus while waiting for an extended period can be difficult.

However, you can use the wait time wisely and rehearse your talking points. If you happen to hear the questions asked for the person in front of you, consider fine-tuning your response to the recruiter.

Not Preparing Your Answers in Advance

These interviews are quick! Without the usual one-on-one interview time, you must know what you plan to get across. A strategy change will help you concisely answer all questions and present yourself as the perfect candidate.

Be ready to present a quick summary of yourself and your work history. This pitch should be as brief as possible. Think of the information as three or four concise points, and practice until it sounds smooth and confident.

On the hiring manager’s side, having such little time means that they will likely get straight to the point. Expect scenarios that help them understand you as a person or your technical understanding. Have your answers prepared, as well as a few simple questions of your own.

Common Questions in an Open Job Interview & How to Answer

Knowing what an employer may ask can help guide you to understanding how you should respond. The most important thing to keep in mind is honesty and the value you bring to the job. Practicing your responses can guide you to a natural response on the day.


  • Tell me about a recent workplace challenge, and you overcame it?
  • What is your proudest work achievement?
  • Have you ever dealt with a conflict at work? How was it resolved?
  • How do you handle stress? How are you working under pressure?
  • Why do you want to work for us?

How to Answer

The first thing to note is that there is never just one way to answer these questions. They are designed deliberately to determine who you are, and you should be sure that your answers are honest. Preparation is vital to ensure that you answer confidently, present yourself as professional, and communicate precisely the way you want.

After researching the business’s goals and values, you should have a clear idea of what they are looking for and what makes you a good fit. Practice answering these questions on your own. Then craft your responses to be as clear and concise as possible while meeting this expectation.

Finally, practice speaking aloud to ensure you come across as natural, honest, and confident.

How to Follow Up After an Open Job Interview

Following up your interview may seem like a minor detail, but it can make a significant difference for recruiters when selecting a candidate. Standing out in such a large hiring situation means using every strategy possible.

Ensure that you have the details to contact your employer for the follow-up. Make a note to ask your hiring manager for their business card at the end of the interview. It will also show that you have initiative, even when the interview is over.

Following up after your interview shouldn’t be anything too extensive. A polite email thanking your employer for their time will suffice. It will also help them remember you and help open lines of communication.

Cover Your Bases with ScoutLogic!

Group interviews are not simple. Employers want to find their most suited employee, and there are many things that can prevent them from hiring you. In a highly competitive situation, it’s good to know that you are already clear to accept the job before you arrive.

At ScoutLogic, we provide employers with background check solutions—but it doesn’t stop there. Job-hunters must find any strategy to ensure their job of choice, and knowing how employers screen their candidates is an important thing to consider. If you’re curious about how this process works, all your answers are here!

Have more questions? Reach out to our team.

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