‘Where Else Are You Interviewing?’

Quizzical Guy


Tip of the Day

One of these days, an interviewer is going to ask what other employers you’re talking to. There’s not really a graceful way around answering, so take the question head on and provide just enough information to satisfy their curiosity without hurting your chances.

One way to do this is by describing the companies without using their names, or describing where you are in the hiring process. For example, say, “I’ve interviewed with a business intelligence solutions provider and also with the IT group of a mid-size accounting firm. But I’m very interested in the opportunity here.”

Of course, the interviewer might flat-out ask you to name the firms. In that case, tell the truth. But very often, this answer will satisfy them.

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2 Responses to “‘Where Else Are You Interviewing?’”

  1. Fred Bosick

    Thankfully, I’ve not had that question because I will refuse to answer it. Want my ass in the seat? Give me a good offer! My value doesn’t change no matter who I’m talking to.

  2. I can imagine few situations where sharing info on other positions you are applying for would be harmful.

    The only two instances I can think of would be a) if you’re not applying anywhere else (interested in an HR person’s perspective on this – Would it imply laziness? Or a dogged determination for your job opening, and your job opening alone?) or b) If you are unsure of what exactly you want to pursue and are haphazardly applying for a number of unrelated positions (Would think employers would see this as a warning sign. The interviewee isn’t sure what field they want to focus on. If I hire them and train them, is that a worthwhile investment of my time and money or will they leave after a year to do something else?)

    The last job interview I had, I felt very comfortable discussing other places I had interviewed. I don’t remember how it came up (indicative at least that they didn’t ask in a jarring way), but I discussed the other positions – I felt it showed them I was looking seriously in the field and, having been asked to interview elsewhere, made me feel like a desirable candidate. I was also upfront about my preference to work for their company. Why play hard to get it? At any rate, that worked out for me – and I’m still happily employed.