Job search is a game of numbers. Only a naive hiring manager thinks that you are interviewing only with their company, that you haven’t sent applications elsewhere, trying to improve your chances of getting some interviews, and of eventually securing a great job. Most interviewers aren’t naive though. They know that as long as you have some skills and experience, or a degree from some Ivy League university, you are likely interviewing with other corporations as well. But why to they ask the question then? And what to they want to hear from you?

We will try to find the answers on the following lines. Let’s start with 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include on my list answers for different scenarios, and I included also some unconventional answers in my selection. I hope you will find at least one that resonates with you, and express the attitude and message you try to convey in your interviews. Do not forget to check also my notes below the list of answers, in order to avoid some common mistakes job candidates make while answering this question.

 

7 sample answers to “What other companies are you interviewing with?” interview question

  1. I have an interview planned in two other companies at the moment, ABC and DEF, in the upcoming ten days. I’ve done my research and handpicked a few offers that I find the right match for my personality, strengths, and also for my career goals. Your company and your job offer is definitely a great match, but it isn’t the only one on my list. My goal is to meet with hiring managers of all three companies, show what I can offer, hear what they can offer, and decide accordingly.
  2. I have sent my applications to several other companies as well, but this is the only interview I got up to this point. Speaking honestly, I do not have a particular preference when it comes to my future place of work. I’ve read a lot about you–the working culture, values you try to promote across the organization, team of people you have in place. And I like what I’ve learned. If you decide to hire me, to give me a chance, I do not plan going to other interviews, should they eventually invite me. But of course I know how popular your organization is in the area, and for sure I am not the only candidate interviewing for the position. That’s why I sent my applications also to other places.
  3. I am not currently interviewing with any other company. I’ve been to a few interviews in a last couple of weeks, but either they did not choose me, or I decided to not accept the offer, after everything I’ve seen and heard in the interviews. Look, I am not a job hopper. I do not want to accept any offer just because I do not have a job at the moment. Looking around and interviewing in different companies, I am trying to find a great match to my personality and strengths, and a job I will enjoy doing. Maybe it can happen in your company…
  4. The only other company I am interviewing with at the moment is Amazon. As you for sure know, they have a rigorous and complicated hiring process in place, with many rounds of interviews. I’ve passed a couple of them, and I am waiting for the next one. But I do not want to bet all my money on a single horse. It may easily happen that they do not hire me–the competition is enormous after all, and hence I am glad to have a chance to interview with your company. Sure, you aren’t as big as Amazon, but I see also many advantages here–working in a smaller team, having more room to express my creativity, and I also like a lot your product range XYZ, and consider it superior to the products of Amazon. To sum it up, I am glad to be here today, having a chance to learn more about your place, regardless of whether I am currently interviewing with someone else or not.
  5. I am not interviewing with anyone else. I decided to approach my job search in a rather unconventional way. Instead of sending dozens of non-tailored applications to a variety of organization and businesses, I decided to laser target my focus, find the one offer I find most fitting to my skills and preferences, tailor my application to the utmost detail, get an interview, and eventually get the job. So far I have managed to achieve everything, except of the last step–getting the job in an interview with you.
  6. Honestly speaking, I am interviewing with some other organizations, but I do not think it is right to disclose their names here. And I won’t disclose your name in any other of my interviews. In my opinion, it is best to give an equal chance to every single manager I meet in the interviews–to present the offer, to learn as much as they can about me, so we can both eventually find out whether this is the right match or not. Today I am here with you, and I can assure you that I do not think about other interviews I had, or will have in the coming days. If you find me a great candidate for the job and if I find your offer a great match for my expectations, I will accept it. Regardless of whether I have any other interviews on my schedule.
  7. I am not interviewing with anyone else. I’ve been unemployed for two years now, and find it really hard to get any interviews. Because, of course, I do not apply just for any random job, to do something I won’t enjoy doing, or something I would outright hate doing. Sure, I’ve sent my application to several other places as well, but they did not reply positively until now, so this is the only interview on my schedule. I did my homework, I find the job a great match for me, and won’t hesitate to accept the job, with the conditions described on the job ad.

 

You do not have to disclose any names

Nobody can blame you for refusing to disclose some names in the interviews. Certain hiring managers may actually like this attitude, especially if integrity and confidentiality play a vital role in their business model.

Having said that, you should not lie, saying that you aren’t interviewing with other companies if you are. It can easily backfire later in the hiring process. Say that you are interviewing with someone–you can also explain why, or disclose the number of interviews you’ve been to lately (or will go to in the coming weeks). But you have no obligation disclosing the names, unless you decide to do so.

Everyone likes to be your first choice

If you can, and if it is at least half authentic, tell them that they are your first choice–regardless of other interviews on your list. But you should elaborate on your answer ans try to make it sound authentic.

You can point out two or three things that make their company your first choice. It can be anything from the leading position in the market, your strong affinity to their product line, fitting working environment, best remuneration packages, this or that benefit, and so on. You should simply point out something so they do not consider your answer just empty words…

 

Honesty can often win you a job contract

We live in a world of actors. Everyone plays their little game, trying to convince their peers on social media of their happiness, and how amazing life they have in their family, in their job. Everything seems to be purple and heavenly, as if no problems existed.

Of course, the world of social media has nothing to do with reality. It is completely fake, just like many other things out there. But you can benefit from this sad reality in your interview. Honesty has become a highly sought after quality in many organizations.

Saying that you actually didn’t get any other interviews, or that you’ve been unemployed for long, and nobody even responded to the twenty applications you had sent before, can actually win you a lot of points in your interviews. Because not many people dare to admit such things, and the hiring managers will immediately see one quality you stand out with from the rest of the pack–your honesty…

 

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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