Are You Interviewing Elsewhere?

Career Blog

Believe it or not, some hiring managers still ask this ridiculous question. Am I interviewing elsewhere? Seriously? No. You’re the only place for me. Turn me down and I’ll grow a hearty beard and set out for a life lived off the land.

Just imagine the look a job seeker would receive if they asked a recruiter if they were interviewing other candidates. It’s lunacy, but since direct questions are hard to ignore, use this three-step process to best the nonsensical inquiry.

  1. Keep it Simple: Never complicate an easy question. The answer is almost always, “Yes” …unless of course it isn’t. Realistically, the only time it’s “No” is when you are a passive candidate approached with an opportunity enticing enough to spark a conversation.  
  2. Be Truthful: Regardless of your answer, integrity matters. While candidates should always endeavor to get the best possible deal, always be upfront about your intentions and honest about counter offers. If you ultimately decide to walk a different path, close the loop with all parties.
  3. Employ Conversational Jujitsu: You can turn the awkward inquiry into an advantage by saying, “Yes. I am interviewing with other companies, but I’d be willing to expedite my decision if I was offered a role within X days.”

Sometimes of course, what you don’t say is equally as important as what you do. When responding to this question, skip the details. There’s no need to shower the interviewer with your backstory or job search rationale unless it will help advance your candidacy. Remember a yes or no question requests but a one-word answer. Whether it warrants that much is up to you.

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