INTERVIEWS / JUL. 24, 2013
version 2, draft 2

Open Interviews and How to Survive Them!

What are open interviews? Well, this may seem like an easy question to answer, but the truth is, open interviews will differ from one company to the next. Open interviews can mean ‘group’ interviews whereby a number of selected applicants are interviewed at one time, but they can also mean an open interview in terms of anyone who is interested in the job advertised can show up and try for the job!

Types of open interviews

As mentioned, open interviews can vary considerably between one employer to the next, and as such, candidates should be prepared for every eventuality when it comes to open interviews.

1) Group interviews: this is where a recruiter will hope an interview with a group of prospective employees at one time, ask a question, and then have each interviewee answer individually.

2) Timeframe interview: is an open interview whereby the job is advertised in a publication or online source with a specific period for interviews. All applicants interested will show up during the specified timeframe in the hope of gaining an interview.

Disadvantages of group interviews

  • They can be intimidating
  • Other interviewees may ‘steal the limelight’ and over shadow you
  • It may cause unnecessary stress
  • Recruiter may overlook you due to the attention of others

Disadvantages of timeframe interviews

  • You will be faced with no set time for an interview
  • You may not be seen by the recruiter
  • There will be many other applicants and heightened competition for the job

Why are open interviews used?

Recruiters tend to find open interviews very resourceful, not only because they can cut down on interview costs and time, but also because it gives them the chance to see interviewees effectively compete with one another for the job. The difficulty with intervie3wing candidates separately is that recruiters tend to forget who they liked best at the end of it all and have to then rely on scribbled notes they had taken during the interviews. By having an open interview, recruiters can effectively compare one interviewee to the next.

Tips for surviving an open interview

  • Show up on time with all the necessary paperwork and documents
  • Ensure you stand out from the crowd by answering questions thoroughly and with interesting responses
  • Dress smart and professional
  • Practice answers to commonly asked group interview questions
  • Stay confident and calm at all times

Have you had experience with open interviews? If so, share your experiences below...

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