Throughout a job interview, you will be asked a number of questions that are really designed to assess your true interest in the position for which you are being considered. Although it may seem simple, there is a perfect interview answer to the question, “Are you interviewing with other companies?”
In a nutshell, the perfect interview answer to this question is always an emphatic “Yes!”. Of course, a simple “yes” answer to any interview question is never truly a complete answer. My standard interview technique for answering this question will help you elaborate on the answer.
But first, it’s important to understand the rationale behind this perfect interview answer.
Why the Answer "Yes" Is Perfect
When you let the hiring manager know that you are interviewing with other companies, you effectively do three things:
- You let the interviewer know that you are very active in your job search. You are not a passive candidate, but rather someone who is taking charge of his or her career and taking appropriate steps to move it forward.
- You convey a sense that you are an attractive candidate to competitors in the industry, so you must have something very valuable to offer.
- You increase your chances of negotiating your desired salary. As a candidate that is highly sought after, you can leverage your popularity to your benefit when it comes to negotiating your compensation package.
As I mentioned before, a simple “Yes” is really never a complete answer. It is just the start of the perfect interview answer. It’s important to give the interviewer a bit more information. As a standard interview technique, I coach my clients to use a few key phrases that really indicate that the job seeker is being thoughtful and deliberate about his or her career search.
A Solid Answer to the Question
A solid answer may go something like this:
- “I am in the process of conducting a very strategic career search, and I am interviewing for Sales and Business Development roles with other leaders in the software as a service marketplace. In particular, I am talking to companies with leading-edge cloud-based solutions and those with the best reputation for delivering premium level service to their clients.”
You need not feel obligated to, nor should you, volunteer the names of the companies with which you are interviewing. If pressed to do so, you might simply say that you would like to keep that information confidential and then add:
- “I have determined some specific criteria by which I am evaluating the companies I’m interested in speaking with. Your company meets those criteria very well as do a handful of other companies.”
Remember to Keep the Answer Positive!
As a standard interview technique, reassure the hiring manager of three key facts:
- You are a top-notch, A+ candidate that they would be very lucky to hire.
- You are doing your due diligence in assessing opportunities so that ultimately you’ll accept a position that’s a great fit.
- You are very interested in the position for which you’re interviewing. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to receiving a job offer.