12 July 2023

What to expect from a recruitment open day

Career Advice

Hands up who’s applied for a job only to find that the first stage is attending a recruitment open day? Then comes the panic, the questions: ‘What is an open day?’ ‘Is it an interview?’ ‘How should I prepare?’

Here’s a rough guide on what you can expect:

It’s probably not an interview

Don’t confuse recruitment open days with assessment centres. Unless your invitation specifies otherwise,  the open day is usually activity and interview-free, so don’t worry about those awkward interview questions.

Most companies hold recruitment open days as a way to connect with potential candidates, to share their culture and allow you to get a feel for the place. It can constitute the initial stage of the recruitment process, but it’s after this event that formal applications for a job take place.

You’ll learn all about the company

As you’d expect, most recruitment open days begin with an introduction to the company. You’ll learn about humble beginnings, and how it got to where it is today. You’ll learn about recent/current projects from the actual doers, and hear about the company’s exciting plans for the future.

They may discuss the various roles on offer, the working environment and company culture. This is where you can start to understand whether the company’s values align with your own, and if they would be a good fit for you.

Find out the main route into recruitment.

You’ll get a grand tour

Nothing gives you more insight into a company than a tour of its buildings. Facilities can speak volumes about how staff are regarded and the company’s attitudes to work-life balance. Is there a fabulous cafeteria? Open and airy spaces for people to relax? Are the basic facilities of a decent standard? The tour can equip you with more insight than three hours of presentations.

Interaction with staff: real life insights

This is where you can differentiate yourself from the pack, by asking pertinent questions, demonstrating not only interest but also potential.

Good questions to ask employees might include:

  • “What is it about your job that makes you stay here?”
  • “How would you describe the company’s culture?”
  • “How much autonomy do you have around decision-making?”
  • “Do you have the tools necessary to do your job efficiently?”

What is an Open Interview?

An open interview is a unique approach to the recruitment process that offers a more inclusive and accessible way for candidates to showcase their skills and qualifications. Unlike traditional interviews, open interviews are conducted in a group setting, allowing multiple candidates to be interviewed simultaneously. These sessions provide an opportunity for employers to interact with a larger pool of potential candidates and assess their suitability for a particular role.

Open interviews often involve a combination of individual assessments and group activities, providing a comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ abilities. This collaborative approach fosters a dynamic environment that encourages candidates to demonstrate their strengths and abilities while also gaining insights into the company’s culture and values.

6 ways to get the most out of a recruitment day

  1. Research the company: Make sure you want to go to the event. It’s possible that places are limited. Plus there’s nothing more disheartening for the organisers than people who creep out during the coffee break.
  2. Be prepared: Scour the invitation for information so you know precisely where you’re going, how to get there and how long it will take. Don’t be the one remembered for turning up late.
  3. Zhuzh up your LinkedIn profile: If they haven’t already, recruiters will connect with you online. Take the opportunity to further impress them. (p.s. here are some top tips on how to get noticed on LinkedIn).
  4. If in doubt, ask! The schedule for the day should be sent to you in advance, so you’ll be able to plan. But If you have questions about anything, make sure to ask your recruitment consultant or HR contact.
  5. Enjoy it! A recruitment open day shouldn’t be stressful or put much pressure on you. Go in with an open mind, soak up lots of information and who knows? Perhaps you’ll be showing potential candidates round yourself in a few years’ time!

Find out how to select a recruitment agency.

What’s next?

To discover more about open days or to find out about our latest vacancies, get in touch. Alternatively, if you’d like to discover how we can help you hold your own recruitment evening or event, contact our Marketing Team.

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