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How to Tell the Interviewer you Have Other Interviews

Posted: 12 September 2018

Having multiple job opportunities lined up is a great position to be in as a job seeker. But inevitably you’ll be asked whether you’re interviewing elsewhere too. You want to answer this in a way that makes you seem desirable but not unattainable. Interviews can be a bit like playing poker – you don’t want to lay all your cards on the table straight away; you need to size up your opponents and work out what they have to offer you before showing your hand. The stakes are pretty high if it’s a job you’re really keen on, so it’s important to tell the interviewer about other interviews in the right way. Here’s some dos and don’ts to bear in mind:

Dos and Don'ts for talking about other interviews in your interview

Don’t feel obliged to say ‘this is my only interview’ if it isn’t

If you’re a desirable candidate, the interviewer isn’t going to expect that you’ve only got one interview lined up. You may be worried that telling them about other interviews will damage your chances of being successful with this one. But it’s worth being honest, especially if the interviewer seems keen on you – if they know there’s competition for you, it may force their hand to make a decision sooner.

Even if you don’t have any other interviews lined up, saying that you’ve got a few other opportunities you’re exploring won’t hurt! Or is it’s early on in your job search, tell them that you’ve only recently started actively applying for jobs and are waiting to hear back regarding interviews.

Do speak generally about other interviews

You don’t have to give the interviewer names or specific details about other companies you’re interviewing with. There’s no doubt they’ll be itching to know this – they can tell a lot by looking at the other types of job you’re applying for, finding out all sorts of information from their job adverts like what seniority and salary you’re aiming for. Don’t give away too much too early on, that way if they do offer you the job you have a bit of an advantage when negotiating salary and benefits. It’s best to say something along the lines of ‘I’m also pursuing several different opportunities with other companies for similar roles to this one’.

Don’t come across as desperate or out of reach

Making out like this job is the be-all-and-end-all, or that you are so desperate for a job that you’ll take anything, regardless of whether it’s the right fit for you, isn’t going to give the right impression to the interviewer. Focus on showing the interviewer how passionate and motivated you are about this role and the company. 

On the flip-side, making out like you’ve got stacks of other businesses begging you to accept their amazing job offers isn’t the best tactic. If you seem too unattainable or come across as arrogant and a bit full of it, they may look at other candidates that are more down-to-earth and likely to accept a job offer from them.

Do let them know that you’re interested in this particular role

If you are keen on this job, don’t play it too cool – make sure you explicitly say to the interviewer that you’re really interested in working for this particular company. It’s still fine to tell them about any other interviews you may have, but let them know that this role is the one you’re most excited about

Don’t be too honest about why you weren’t successful in other interviews

If you’ve had a few other interviews and didn’t get offered the job, you don’t necessarily need to make this public knowledge. By all means, tell them that you’ve been for other interviews, but keep it vague – you can always say you’re waiting for the other companies to reach a final decision.

Having a successful interview comes down to saying enough to make the interviewer interested in you, but not giving away all the details about your wider job search. You want to show that you’re a desirable and talented candidate, but not come across as unreachable – using these guidelines will help you feel confident in handling the question ‘do you have any other interviews lined up?’ and make a good impression with every interviewer you meet.

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