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Interviewer: "Where else are you applying and do you have any offers?"

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
When an interviewer asks you where else you're applying for, what is the best approach to answering this question?

Do you want to be vague and mention the industries you're looking at? Do you want to be more specific and mention actual firm names?

Thoughts?
post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post
When an interviewer asks you where else you're applying for, what is the best approach to answering this question?

Do you want to be vague and mention the industries you're looking at? Do you want to be more specific and mention actual firm names?

Thoughts?

I think you want to fashion an answer somewhere between the 2. I think they are trying to gauge how much value you have in the market, and to sniff out the competition. If you handle this skillfully, you can create a sense of urgency for them to tender you an offer.
post #3 of 34
That question should not be asked and if it is a response of that's not your concern is appropriate.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
I think you want to fashion an answer somewhere between the 2. I think they are trying to gauge how much value you have in the market, and to sniff out the competition. If you handle this skillfully, you can create a sense of urgency for them to tender you an offer.

+1
post #5 of 34
good candidates don't have to spend a long time looking and get interviews and offers from the best... I had this question once and didn't know how to respond either. now I say, "I've chosen (ie I'm a chooser not a begger) a few good companies (ie i'm industry leader material) I think look interestesting (I've done research and know why I want these I'm not just a brand whore) and I've applied to a few, am currently interviewing with them and so far it looks good. I've still got time before any offers expire (make it up even if you dont' have interviews or offers) so don't worry (ie you won't lose me). So far you guys look really good and I'm more interested in finding the right fit so let's take it from there... or something to taht effect. Ie I'm getting interviews because I'm a good candidate and of course I have offers but you've still got some time to get back to me before i'm gone.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
I guess I fucked up. I actually told them the names of the firms I've interviewed at. Even went so far as to say that I'm waiting to hear back for an offer or no offer at a certain firm. SMH..
post #7 of 34
i had a similar question... and i answered like ^ i still got offers. just answer it anyway you can. if they like you they'll grab you, if they dont' then hey! at least you're not putting all your eggs in one basket.
post #8 of 34
that's a tough question. I would probably play with some kind of answer like "I'm lucky enough to have been able to put my eggs in several baskets, however I also think the confidentiality of those baskets should be respected. If I was working here and a competitor was to ask me about what proposals and leads I was working on on your behalf, I would respect the confidentiality of this firm in largely the same way." ...something like that anyhow. Still a tough question, and I don't know that an answer like that would roll off my tongue without me having some thinking time first.
post #9 of 34
Are you a fresh grad looking, unemployed, or currently employed? I think that will impact the answer quite a bit.

Currently employed, I would do the, "I enjoy my current position and feel that I am excelling at meeting my employers needs but I'm afraid the career path trajectory I envision is not to be had there. So while I'm not in a rush to jump ship, I am trying to pick a new opportunity that will be the perfect fit. So to answer your question, I think your organization is offering me that perfect fit and I am not currently interviewing anywhere else."

I like that as it says, "Long retention" at the new place to the new boss and doesn't make you look desperate.
post #10 of 34
My old firm used to ask that-- at least, where else I was looking. Part of the motivation is to see what you're really interested in. Someone coming into a consulting firm can say that they're totally driven by long-term process and non-conflicted advice to institutions. If every one of their other choices is retail brokerage you might not think they were a great fit.
post #11 of 34
^ this

I think of it from the other side of the table. I interview a lot of young candidates and I like to understand who they're interviewing with and why - it gives a better perspective on their story, focus and career aspirations. Also often tells you if someone understands the industry or not.

I don't like the BS evasive answers. It's not a trick question, it's not confidential, why would you not answer it?
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for my first job out of undergrad. Graduating in May.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
^ this I think of it from the other side of the table. I interview a lot of young candidates and I like to understand who they're interviewing with and why - it gives a better perspective on their story, focus and career aspirations. Also often tells you if someone understands the industry or not. I don't like the BS evasive answers. It's not a trick question, it's not confidential, why would you not answer it?
i don't know Greg, I'm on the same side of the table as you are in this, and I just outright wouldn't ask that question. It's none of my fucking business. To me, that makes the correct answer to someone who does ask "none of your fucking business"...which he can't say to an interviewer. So, I'd recommend being evasive (but in the case of my answer, invoking the high road), and I would take it as a small indication that whatever other companies I had my eggs basketed with were ever so slightly more attractive now.
post #14 of 34
Matt - this is a highly typical question for campus recruiting. It's not a personal question, why would you react so negatively to it? None of your business, really?
post #15 of 34
the only legit reason (ie not, is the market saying you're valuable) I can think of to ask this is that the interviewer wants to know if there's any particular reason you're interviewing with them instead of just everyone.
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