The term open interview refers to a meeting where company representatives are willing to speak with potential job applicants, bypassing any prescreening of candidates. Open interviews are held on a specific date and time, allowing any individual interested in working for the company to attend the meeting.
Open interviews are oftentimes held for seasonal positions or when successful completion of on-the-job training is nearly as important as prior work experience. For example, an electric utility may hold open interviews for meter readers or call center representatives to backfill positions of full-time employees that are on vacation during the summer season.
Open interviews will be scheduled in advance and the duration of the meeting will be several hours, providing company representatives with the opportunity to speak with many of the job applicants. Companies can use this event to distribute applications and answer any questions the attendees have about the company or the requirements of the open positions. The meetings also provide company representatives with the opportunity to pre-screen a large number of candidates.
The format of the meeting is relatively informal, and job hunters should be prepared to answer questions using the behavioral interview technique. These questions are answered in the SAR format, where the candidate first describes the Situation, then explains the Action they took, and finally describes the Results achieved.
Attendees should also bring to the meeting several copies of their resume, along with any information they need to complete a job application or materials they need to take written notes. Potential job candidates should also prepare for an open interview in the same manner they would for a more structured job interview. This means researching the company sponsoring the event as well as dressing as if the meeting were a formal interview.