Tough Interview Question - What other positions are you considering?

What other positions are you considering?

Similar interview questions:
Who are the other employers you are considering in your job search?
How far along are you in your job search?
What is your general timing for making an employment decision?
If we were to offer you this role today, would you accept it?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
This question is normally asked late in the interview. The interviewer has an interest in you as a candidate and is switching to competitive posturing to start selling to you against other opportunities you may be considering. The answer is important intel from the employer side, since they need to know what and who they are competing with for you as potential talent. It can also give an indication of best timing for bringing things to a conclusion. Most employers do not want to have an offer hanging out there while you are bringing other interviews to conclusion, so be aware that they may hold off on an offer while you have other interview cycles still pending.

The best approach to answering this question:
You might think this is a bold question for the interviewer to ask and might even be shocked that it’s being asked so directly. Yet it’s a great question for you to be asked as a candidate, since it gives you an indicator that there is interest and the interviewer is already doing initial competitive posturing. It doesn’t guarantee that an offer will be made, but this is a first step in working toward an eventual offer. Your best answer is either to name specific employer names if there are competitors (whether in the marketplace for products and services or for talent in your job type) or to list other employers in a general way to give an indication that you are being sought after by multiple suitors. This will clearly signal that the employer will need to be competitive with any eventual offer. However, if you are currently working and were recruited specifically for this job, it’s fine to say they are the only one you are considering at this time. In that case, the employer still needs to be competitive against your current role and company. Keep in mind that if you have signed any nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), you may be restricted on how much you can disclose, so always review any signed NDAs to make sure you are fully within bounds of what you are discussing. You can also turn the question around to the interviewer to ask about their interest and timing.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"I am currently being pursued by two other employers who are competitors of yours. I’m restricted by their NDAs from disclosing specifics on who they are, but I can tell you that I expect to have offers in hand by the middle of next week. What do you anticipate will be your timing in making a decision and an eventual offer?"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"I am still pending with three other employers who are at various stages of the interview process. I am expecting the eventual offers to be made by the end of this month and plan to make a decision shortly after. What is your level of interest in me and what would be your timing if you were to make an offer?"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, as I mentioned, I’m unemployed, so I’m pretty much open to anything at this point. But you’re the only one who has called me for an interview after sending out something like 200 resumes, so right now, my wife is really hoping that you will make an offer so that I get out of the house and out of her hair…"

Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!

Further review: know the answers to these 100 Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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