If you have ever gone to a regular interview – you know what the stress is like. Half the work is done, but it is now officially up to you as a person to make the hit a home run. You can no longer hide behind your resume and application. But what is this “open interview?” There is a sign in town saying “Now Hiring! Open Interview: (Insert date and time here!)”. What do you do? How do you prepare? What is an open interview?
First off, an open interview is an interview where there will be open ended questions. They will not have read your application and resume. Therefore they do not know what you can and cannot do. Their questions will be open and vague and you have to sell yourself for the position you want/need. In an open interview – it means that you will not be the only one there. Everyone is invited – everyone looking for a job that is. In today’s economy… just about everyone is looking for a job. Think of it like competition – you have to “beat” everyone else. Only the elite will make it. But how do you become an elite?
Simple. You cannot think that just because it’s an “open interview” that everything is laid back. It is actually quite the opposite. With so much more competition you want to stand out. You have to pop out at the interviewer. That interviewer may just be the manager, the general manager, or even corporate. First of all – go in to the location a day or two before (dress appropriately). Get a feel for the lay out, put your face out there. Also, pick up the application. You want to be prepared when you walk in for the interview and having the application is one step in doing that. Go home, fill out the application. Take your time – fill it out neatly. Black or Blue pen. Put the application somewhere safe – do not bend or dirty.
Next, don’t forget your resume! Update it! Add a touch of color to the font. Make it stand out. Make sure the “Objective” is specific to the job of which you want. If you are applying for a position at Wendy’s or McDonald’s – you still need to make this fit for that job. Example: “To obtain a job as an associate who can grow an employee in the family of Wendy’s.” It is specific to the company, it is job specific (yet it is open to any position.) Print off your resume and place it in a plastic cover sheet. Not only will it protect the resume, but it will also help your resume stand out in a professional way.
Also, dress up. Regardless of any interview, you want to stand out to the employer. This does not mean a low-cut top that shows off cleavage or a short skirt that shows your great legs. It does not mean muscle shirts and jeans. Slacks. Khakis. Polo shirt. Collared shirt. Tie (if you really want to). BELT! If the pants are lose – put on your belt. Wear dress up shoes – not heels per se, but black shoes. Darker shoes will be best – maybe a clean pair of sneakers… Try to get a feel for the clothing that the workers wear there. If they wear black slacks – wear black slacks. If they are wearing black shoes – wear black shoes. They want to see if you can dress for the job. If you are in the food department – take off the nail polish, remove the jewelry. Keep it simple. Make your hair look clean and presentable. Keep it out of the face. Do not overdo makeup. This does not look “presentable”. Think of your interviewer to be like your 80 year old Grandma. If she would not approve – then do not do it. Is this job worth the risk of chancing it?
Finally, when you go to the interview, show up early. If it says 1:30, be there for 1:15 latest. If you’re not 10 minutes ahead, then you are 10 minutes late. Not only will your interviewer and employer see that you are there early, but in case they do interviews on a first come – first serve basis (most places do) then you do not want to be 30th on the list. Not only do you have to wait but by the 29th person, they may already have their “prime candidates” in mind. They, too, are tired of asking questions, shaking hands, and listening to the same qualifications over and over.
When you arrive to an open interview, they’ll normally have you fill out the application and when you are done filling out the application, then they will add your name to a list. They will give you a number and tell you to wait until your number is called. Most often times, they will have more than one interviewer. You’ll have less than 5 minutes to properly get yourself sold to the interviewer. All the interviewers will be someone you will be managed under – so make sure to act accordingly. Even if you do not see an interviewer – remember – big brother is watching. Look up and around – there are cameras. When you introduce yourself – a strong handshake is always best. It keeps it professional. When you hand over your application, hand over your resume under it. With that plastic cover, they will know you are giving them your resume too.
Act natural. Be calm. Give it your best shot. If it is meant to be – it’s mean to be!
– Why do you want a job at our company?
– What makes you think you are qualified for this job?
– What makes you stand out from among the 30 others here today?
– What would you say your biggest flaw is?
– Are you able to stay late on your shift? Weekends? Overtime? Holidays?
– Why should we hire you?