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I am going to a "Walk-In Interview" session a company is having at their location. This is a respected company that a friend of mine works for and really enjoys. There was a recruiter who told me to just come on in at any time. The interview is scheduled for a non-workday (Saturday). All I was asked to bring was a few copies of my resume. In what ways are walk in interviews different from regular one on one interviews? Should I expect HR representatives or my future boss and/or coworkers?

Update: I went to the company and it was basically a regular interview in a more casual setting which lead to a job offer, it was a legitimate and well thought out interviewing session. There was a longish wait to get into the interview though, and was a single interview with three current employees, not the boss or even with HR.

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    It's very hard to believe the legitimacy of this. People who make hiring decisions are usually busy, and it seems that they are saying 'Come any time, our senior devs & managers are willing cancel their meetings and push back their tasks at any moment with zero notice'. Sounds shady. – MrFox May 29 '13 at 14:42
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    My (legitimate, not MLM :-) ) company sometimes has open houses which can function as quasi-interviews. They do not replace the interview by any means, but candidates do come, resumes in hand, ready to talk with us about how they could be the right people for our open positions, and we talk with them about that. Is it something like that, @PaulBrown? Or have you been given the impression that this walk-in interview would be the only step? – Monica Cellio May 29 '13 at 14:49
  • Yeah the context is important. The original question sounded like generic type positions with an unknown company. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 15:51
  • There are legitimate companies that do this. Most often, I've seen it called an "Open House" and they are held when the company wins a big chunk of work for which they do not have enough people and/or expertise. In my experience, these usually serve as resume gathering and preliminary interviews. Full interviews with promising candidates are scheduled for a later date. – GreenMatt May 29 '13 at 20:41
  • Did it lead directly to a job offer, or was there a scheduled interview later which then led to a job offer? – Keith Thompson Jun 6 '13 at 18:16
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Personally I feel this says either one of two things about the company.

1 They are either too lazy to schedule proper meetings with structure so they are fine with not giving you a set structure. This also gives you the potential to clash with other people who just want to walk in at the same time as you. This basically puts all of the inconvenience onto you rather than on the company, which I think speaks volumes about how they view your time.

Or

2 They are attempting to make a more relaxed, less rigid meeting structure hoping to keep you relaxed as it seems more informal. Still professional, but more informal none the less. This could be seen as a large positive as they are willing to make sure you are comfortable in their work environment.

As you can see you can get two equal and opposite views of a company doing this, good or bad, so you can't really make any assumptions about this.

I suggest treating it no differently to any other meeting, you should always be presenting yourself professionally in the best light possible.

Be sure to think about your answers and come prepared with a few questions.

Whilst it could be more informal I still suggest making sure you have some background research done on the company so you are at least partially knowledgeable about them, but honestly, I would treat it as you treat any other interview, because at the end of the day the journey is different but the goal is the same, to get you a job!

Edit: A few things probably worth taking into consideration

Don't turn up right at the end of the day, it will make you look lazy and unprepared, plus the interviewers will be tired and bored from a day of interviewing.

Don't turn up right at the beginning of the day, sure you will seem eager and ready to go, but they might still be settling themselves.

I suggest turning up an hour to an hour and a half after they 'open'. This gives them a chance to have interviewed others and got into their stride, and still gives you the chance to turn up early enough in the day to seem eager and professional.

  • Sounds like good advice, I have a close friend that works for the company so I know they are pretty good to him. He does complain about half day long meetings though. – CincinnatiProgrammer May 29 '13 at 14:49
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In what ways are walk in interviews different from regular one on one interviews?

Typically, a walk in interview strategy is used to conduct interviews when the recruiting firm is wanting to hire in huge numbers. Or are so desperate for good people that they are ready to scan anyone who can 'walk-in'. The number of rounds of an interview generally remain the same. The time taken from start to finish can be painfully longer than a scheduled interview. I have found that being at the venue as soon as the event begins is the most helpful since no part is worn out and almost no one 'just wants the day to end'

Should I expect HR representatives or my future boss and/or coworkers?

Did the email say same day offer ? I think you should expect HR and your future boss. I have found that most often interviewing firms usually offer on the same day (if there is no other clearance sort of requirement) with a condition of a background check being met. However a lot of walk in interviews will just line up a bunch of people who have cleared the first few rounds of the interviews and then later schedule a one on one with them.
Good luck

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    Most walk in interviewing firms usually offer on the same day - What basis do you have for this statement. Do you have any way of backing up this claim? – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 16:33
  • @Chad Does tremendous experience with walk in interviews count ? – happybuddha May 29 '13 at 18:21
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    I do not know does it apply here? do you have a great amount of experience with this situation? The answer should tell me all of that. If you are getting the infromation from a job seekers website then link to the page with that information etc. From the FAQ Please note that answers should be backed up either with a reference, or experiences that happened to you personally. You should always include in your answer information about why you think your answer is correct. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 18:25
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    Your first paragraph does this well with the sentence I have found that being at the venue as soon as the event begins is the most helpful since no part is worn out and almost no one 'just wants the day to end' - The second paragraph lacks that explanation of why. I think you could change it to say I have found that most often interviewing firms usually offer on the same day. But if you have a more authoritative source then your statement of fact could stand. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 18:28
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While not having a scheduled time means that you can't be late, there is the potential for there to be a wait in some cases if there is a rush of people all coming at the same time. Around here there a couple of different situations that come to mind like this. Medical appointments can be scheduled in some places and others will take walk-ins so that the latter can end up waiting until a doctor is available. The other case where I see this is for salons where some people can have appointments and other people will be walk-ins.

Depending on the size of the company, the HR representatives may or may not be possible. The boss would be quite likely unless it is a large company where senior developers would be the ones doing the hiring decision.

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