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How to Answer “What Other Companies Are You Interviewing With?”

By | Lily Zhang |

When you’re in an interview, you’re probably ultra-focused on the job and company at hand. You need to show your interviewer how enthusiastic and committed you are. You have to portray yourself as the perfect candidate and make them believe this is the perfect company for you—that your life will only truly have meaning once you become the new account manager for enterprise-level candidates in the Northeast at Such & Such Co. Or maybe you’re playing it cool. They’d be lucky to have you.

Either way, an interview question like “Where else are you interviewing?” is designed to shatter your carefully cultivated illusion, right? Well, not really.

Why do interviewers ask about where else you’re interviewing?

This question always throws people for a loop: Why are they asking, and how much do they actually need to know? But it’s not a trick. Nor are employers looking for someone who has no options besides this one or someone who barely seems to care about their open role. They’re looking for someone honest, but interested.

Hiring managers are curious about what other companies you’re interviewing with for a few reasons:

  • They want to scope out the competition.
  • They want to see how serious you are about the industry and roles like this one.
  • They want to gauge their likelihood of landing you as a hire.

So how do you respond to this in a way that doesn’t make you sound either desperate or unattainable? Here are some ideas—plus sample answers for common situations.

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