Interview Question About Where Else You Are Interviewing

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If you're job hunting, it's not unlikely that you'll be asked about the other companies you are interviewing with during the interview process. Interviewers will be curious about the other employers you are interviewing with for a variety of reasons. This question is often an indicator that the employer views you in a positive light and wants to know if the competition might also want to hire you.

In other cases, recruiters may want to determine how focused you are on your career interests. These employers will be trying to figure out if your other options are similar to the job for which you are interviewing. Another possible reason for this question is to determine how seriously you are searching for a new job.

Be Careful What You Disclose

In general, it's a good idea to avoid stating that the job you're interviewing for is the only one you are considering. Your marketability can be brought into question if you are not attracting attention from other employers. Also, your leverage in salary negotiations will be compromised because the potential employer knows you have no other options.

An exception is a case in which an executive recruiter has reached out to you, and initiated your application. In that case, it is appropriate to mention that you are happy with your current job but excited to explore this opportunity because the recruiter contacted you.

In this situation, the prospective employer will realize that they are competing with your current employer to vie for your services.

Exploring Options

Often, the best approach is to mention that you are exploring a number of other (similar) opportunities in the industry. It can be helpful to mention that a common denominator amongst all the jobs you are applying for is the opportunity to apply some critical abilities and skills that you possess.

For example, you might say, "I am applying for several positions with IT consulting firms because I enjoy analyzing client needs and translating them into development teams in order to find solutions to difficult technical problems. I've had a lot of training in this area and feel I am skilled at finding viable solutions."

Be cautious about overplaying your hand and mentioning too many other highly respected firms which might be interested in recruiting you. The potential employer might view you as an unattainable employee and move on to more realistic prospects.

Show Your Enthusiasm

Even if you're not sure you want to work for the company, be enthusiastic when you respond to this question. You would rather be offered the job and turn it down then be overlooked for the position. For example, you might say, "While I am seriously exploring other positions where I can leverage my venture capital skills, your position is a primary target for me." You can then elaborate on how you feel that you would be a valuable addition to their team.​

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