Yikes! This can be one of the most dreaded interview questions that a potential employer can ask. At times, it can almost seem like a very personal question! However, if an interviewer prompts you with this question, don’t fear. It is actually a good thing! Receiving this question is typically a good indicator that the employer enjoyed interviewing you and is hoping to consider you as a finalist. So, how much can you really disclose about other positions that you are considering? Here is how to handle this question and come out as a top candidate.
When asked this question by an employer, feel free to keep your response short and sweet. You don’t need to go into great detail about your application and job search process, as this can actually work against you! If you have been contacted by other employers after submitting an application, feel free to communicate the number of other companies that are currently pursuing you. It is not necessary to disclose the number of applications you submitted, or if any companies have already rejected you. If you do have other offers, these are typically time-sensitive. So, this is the perfect time to actually let your interviewer know that you await their timely response on a decision after you complete the full application process!
Example: “I have been contacted by three other companies for positions similar to this one. I am hoping to make my final decision by the end of next week”.
Some applicants will feel compelled to say that no other company has sought them out, and that the one they are interviewing for is their only option. The goal for many who say this is that the employer will view this as a compliment, and feel that you are completely dedicated to applying for this position. However, this is not necessarily the case. Instead, this gives your employer the illusion that maybe they missed a red flag on your resume, that other companies picked up on. Or, it will allow the employer to take their time getting back to you, since they are under the impression that you have no other offers. This can spiral into a real problem, honesty is always the best policy!
Example of what NOT to say: “This is the only position I have heard back from. It is my dream job and my top choice career. I did not bother submitting applications anywhere else or accepting interviews because this is what I want”.
Sometimes, not only is it uncomfortable to answer this question, but it can actually get you into some trouble! Many companies have you sign NDA agreements stating that you can not disclose certain information. So, make sure to review these documents before you reveal anything you should not during your interview. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Example: I am not allowed to disclose any information about my other opportunities at this time”.
Good luck with your interview!
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