How should I respond when hiring managers ask where else I’ve been interviewing? If I say nowhere, they’ll think I’m desperate. Or, they may think their job is my second choice if I mention high profile companies. What do I do?This question requires a strategic response. The key is to provide just enough information to satisfy the interviewer’s curiosity without hurting your chances. Here’s how to do it.
- Describe the companies without mentioning their names or where you are in the hiring process. The exception is if you want the interviewer to know you have an offer from another company on the table. For example: “I’ve recently interviewed with a bank and a mid-size oil company. However, I’m very interested in this opportunity. When do you need someone to start?”
Naturally, you need to tell the truth in case the manager asks you to name the firms. But this answer should satisfy their curiosity without letting the cat out of the bag.
- No irons in the fire? Just say: “I’ve recently applied for several positions, but this one caught my eye.” In other words, talk about your activity and job search strategy, not your results.
- Make sure your answer aligns with your brand and story. For instance, you don’t want to mention that you’re interviewing for a programming role if you’ve just spent the last hour talking about your QA expertise. Or that you’re interviewing with a startup if you emphasized your desire for job security. Again, you need to be honest, but vague as possible if your other interviews contradict what you’ve said.