What other companies are you interviewing with?

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You can expect to be asked about the other companies you are interviewing with during job interviews. 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 positively, and would like to know about the competition for hiring 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 this job is the only one you are considering. Your marketability can be brought into question if you are not attracting attention from other employers. Your leverage in salary negotiations will also be minimized.

An exception is the case where an executive recruiter has reached out to you, and prompted your application. In that case, it can be appropriate to mention that you are happy with your current job, but excited to explore this opportunity since their recruiter has brought it to your attention. In this situation, the prospective employer will realize that they are competing with your current employer for your services.

Exploring Options

Often the best approach is to mention that you are exploring a number of other similar options in the company’s industry. It can be helpful to mention that a common characteristic of all the jobs you are applying to 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 where I can analyze client needs and translate them to development teams in order to find solutions to technology problems.”

It can be a mistake to overplay your hand and mention too many other highly respected firms which are recruiting you. The employer may figure that you are unattainable and move on to more realistic prospects.

Show Your Enthusiasm

Be sure to include an enthusiastic statement about how motivated you are to work with the organization in your answer. For example, you might say “While I am seriously exploring other positions where I can leverage my financial modeling 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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