How To Answer “Where Else Are You Interviewing?”

By Maddie Lloyd
Mar. 10, 2023
Articles In Guide

Find a Job You Really Want In

Summary. When answering the interview question “where else are you interviewing?” you should show enthusiasm for the job that you are interviewing for and mention similar jobs. Avoid saying that this is your only interview and don’t give too much information.

One of the more uncomfortable common job interview questions is “where else are you interviewing?” It can be tricky to answer this honestly without revealing too much, but it is possible.

In this article, you’ll learn how to answer this question, read example answers, and gain a better understanding of what interviewers are looking for when they ask this.

Key Takeaways

  • Talk about what the jobs you’re applying for have in common to show what you’re looking for in a position.

  • Always turn your answer to why you’re drawn to and excited about the job you’re currently interviewing for.

  • Be confident in your answer to show that you know you’re a valuable candidate.

  • Don’t lie, but also don’t offer more details than you need to.

How to Answer Where Else Are You Interviewing

How to Answer “Where Else Are You Interviewing?”

It can be difficult to try to decide what you should bring up and what you should keep to yourself as a job-seeker. Here are some tips for giving the best response:

  1. Mention similar jobs. Talk about that you’re actively exploring a number of other jobs in the company’s industry and that you have other interviews lined up. It shouldn’t look like you’re just applying everywhere randomly.

  2. Show enthusiasm for the job you’re interviewing for. Emphasize your excitement about the job you’re currently interviewing for. Always bring the conversation back to their specific position. Always talk about how your qualifications and accomplishments have set you up for success, wherever you end up. If this company you’re interviewing with is your top choice, definitely bring that up.

  3. Clarify a theme. If you’re applying to jobs in different industries, try to find common characteristics of these jobs and make their connection the focus of your answer.

  4. Be confident. You should always sound like your job search is going well and you have options. It’ll make it sound like your a competitive candidate that’s worth their time and consideration, not like they’re the only company who could possibly be interested in you.

  5. Explain what you’re looking for. This is a chance for you to ask questions and put your interviewer in the hot seat; you’re a super marketable candidate, and they’d be lucky to have you. Now, what can this company offer you that all those other ones can’t?

Sample Answers To “Where Else Are You Interviewing?”

  1. If you have interviews lined up with companies within the same industry example:

    “I’m currently interviewing with several different companies in the media and broadcasting industry and I am at various stages with each of them, but I’m most excited to work here because of the opportunities for growth, the chance to learn new technologies, and the ability to get hands-on experience.”

    Why It’s A Good Answer
    This person has shown the interviewer that they’re a desirable candidate in their industry.

    They have also shown their enthusiasm for the position by mentioning details of the job that excite them, which tells the interviewer that they’ve done research on the company.

  2. If you have interviews coming up for jobs in different industries example:

    “I’m interviewing with a few different companies for a variety of positions, but it all comes down to writing content that is informative yet entertaining.

    I am very open to different means of furthering my career, but based on my research, I feel that I could write really great content for you because of the topic and industry that you’re in.”

    Why It’s A Good Answer
    This answer hints that they have interviews with companies in other industries, but tells their interviewer that their main goal is to put out great content for the company. They have also shown interest by stating that they produce successful work because of their topic and industry.

  3. If you have no other interviews on the horizon example:

    “I’ve only recently started looking for jobs. So far, I’ve been looking into jobs that will allow me to use my skills as a strategic thinker and my degree in Mathematics.

    I was very excited to have found this position, as I feel that my skill with numbers could help to streamline processes and automate analyses.”

    Why It’s A Good Answer
    This person has shown that they are excited about the position while also briefly mentioning their skills and qualifications.

    Note how they were able to avoid sounding disappointed in their lack of interviews or looking desperate for a job.

What Interviewers Want to Know

In order to be prepared and give the best answer possible, it’s important to think about why the interviewer is even asking you this question in the first place.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The interviewer is interested. This question is often a sign that the interviewer likes you. They might being trying to figure out how in demand you are and how they compare to the competition.

    Interviewers want to know what their chances are of gaining an ideal employee.

  • What you want out of an employer. Interviewers might want to know how focused you are on furthering your career or how seriously you’re looking for a new job.

    They want to get a sense of your job hunt and exactly what it is you’re looking for in an employer.

  • How focused your job-hunt is. Employers typically want to hear that you’re looking at jobs in the same industry or industries that are fairly similar.

    If this is your only interview with an accounting firm, it’s probably best not to mention that your other job prospects are for testing potato chip crispness.

  • They want to know their timeline. The hiring process takes time, but if you’re expecting job offers soon (and they like you), the hiring manager(s) may speed up their decision-making process.

    Alternatively, they don’t want to waste too many resources on you if you’re likely to take another offer elsewhere.

  • They want to figure out how popular you are. That’s why it’s important to not sound like this is your only shot at a job. When you tell them you’ve got interviews all around town, they’ll take you more seriously.

    Just don’t lie to make yourself seem like more of a hot commodity than you really are (more on that later).

  • Informal check-up on the market. The company wants to know, regardless of you as a candidate, what the job market is like for this position. Are lots of competitors also hiring, or are they the only ones? This can have a serious impact on the salary you’re offered (if you get a job offer)

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Answering

We’ve covered the best practices for approaching a response, but it’s equally important to explain what you shouldn’t say.

Avoid the following common mistakes when answering this interview question:

  • Don’t say this is your only interview. If this is the only interview you have lined up, don’t let them know that. Instead of talking about your lack of job prospects, tell the interviewer about the types of companies and positions you’ve been applying to.

  • Don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate about how many other interviews you have coming up. While the employer probably won’t check up on it, they can pretty easily. If they catch you in a lie, you’re not getting the job. Plus, let’s say they contact you to see if you got an offer from a competitor and want to talk about the specifics of their offer. You’ll look pretty silly or have to keep lying. Don’t let things get messy; just tell the truth.

  • Don’t disclose too much. Don’t state the names of specific companies you’re interviewing with. There’s really no reason to mention this. You have a right to some privacy. If they push for specifics, you can give them (if you’re comfortable doing so), but don’t go on about how great the other companies are.

  • Don’t sound frustrated or disappointed. Interviewers can pick up on it, and it’s not a good look. Sound confident instead, because that’s the type of employee the company wants to hire.

  • Don’t panic. If you get flustered answering this question, it won’t look like you can handle stress very well. Take a deep breath; you’re prepared for this question and ready to give a great response that makes you look good.

“Where Else Are You Interviewing” Interview Question FAQ

  1. Do you tell an interviewer you are interviewing elsewhere?

    Yes, you do tell an interviewer you are interviewing elsewhere. However, you shouldn’t tell them this if they don’t ask, and you don’t need to share where else you’re interviewing.

  2. Why do interviewers ask if you are interviewing elsewhere?

    Interviewers ask if you are interviewing elsewhere because they want to get a feel for how in-demand you are, for the job market as a whole, and for what your employment goals are.

    This gives them an idea of how quickly they need to move if they want to hire you and how serious you are about finding a new job.

  3. Is it okay to tell a potential employer that you have another offer?

    Yes, it’s okay to tell a potential employer that you have another offer. In fact, this is often a good idea, because if the company wants you, they know they’ll need to move quickly and give you a competitive offer.

    This will ideally result in better options for you since the companies know they have to sweeten the pot to convince you to choose them.

  4. Are interviewers allowed to ask if you are interviewing other places?

    Yes, interviewers are allowed to ask if you are interviewing at other jobs. When they ask this type of question, you will want to tell the truth but avoid giving too much information. You should also avoid telling them that this is your only interview.

Final Thoughts

Use your answer to this question to show the interviewer that you’re most interested in the job you’re currently interviewing for.

Employers want to hear that you’re interested in jobs similar to theirs. If you’re going for a retail position, try not to mention that your real goal is to be an astronaut.

It’s okay if you don’t have other interviews lined up, but don’t lie to make yourself look better.

Let them know that you’re excited to work with their company and talk about how you feel that you would be a great addition to their team.

You can be sure to hear back from the company for a second interview.

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Maddie Lloyd

Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

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