How do you answer this question?
Honestly, but vaguely. It’s less about your answer, and more about the motivation behind your job search and giving the interviewer a glimpse into how the position you’re applying for fits into your overall career goals. You want to convey that the job you’re interviewing for is at the top of your list, but that other companies are interested in you. The descriptions of the positions you’re applying for should be similar as well, so you appear focused on what you’re attempting to find. We’ve all been through the job process, and there’s no harm in saying you’re applying for other positions. In fact, I’d be wary of a candidate that isn’t applying to other spots. When I interview someone, I want to see aggressive pursuit of a task at hand. I don’t want a dabbler who’s applied to a couple of jobs over the last several months. I want someone who makes a decision and goes after it in full force. This question is just one of several that is asked to get a picture of what kind of a person you are when it comes to your career advancement.
If it’s for a job where the prospective employer expects you to be interviewing with multiple firms (e.g. investment banking, equity research, strategy consulting, etc.), then it’s totally fine to mention a couple of other firms especially if they’re in the same industry/function. In fact, firms often want to see that you’ve had interview opportunities elsewhere so that they can assess how sought-after you are, for some of the reasons that Level2Relief mentioned. However, you always should remember to reiterate why the firm you’re speaking with is your top choice.
Numi, what about if the places one is interviewing are in different prestige leagues so to say? Isn’t there a situation where the more prestigious so to say potential employer says" Well, this guy is not serious?"
I don’t see why you need to give them an honest response. It would never really help. I generally say that I am networking quite a bit, seeing some smaller firms, and also looking at some big firms that could use me for their [some department] department. The key is to be descriptive about the jobs you ideally want, or just say you are loking at places very similar to the one you are interviewing at. No names though - that never helps you in any kind of way.
I was interviewing with a private equity firm out of undergrad and was asked this. The interview was going great up until this question. When I responded to this question by listing a lot of consulting firms, the interview responded “So no I-banking firms?”. I could tell he was turned off when I told him no. I think for some industries like private equity and i-banking, seeing that other firms in the industry are going after you also is a confirmation you are a good candidate.
“Just your biggest competitors, but really, I do you like you.”
gino Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Numi, > > what about if the places one is interviewing are > in different prestige leagues so to say? Isn’t > there a situation where the more prestigious so to > say potential employer says" Well, this guy is not > serious?" Yield is definitely something that firms care about; however, it all depends on how convincing your reasons are to work at the “less prestigious” firm. For example, if you were deciding between doing investment banking at Lazard versus some middle-market shop, most people would select Lazard based on the prestige and exit opportunities, but to diffuse any concerns about that, you might talk about how you like the people, location, and better work-life balance at the less prestigious firm. Those are just some possibilities.
You: “Maybe you’ve heard of them… Microsoft Word” Them: “We want to hire you”
I think this question is designed to gauge your interest in an industry and particular firm. The dog and pony shows start from the first day of school as a first year MBA. If you have a ton of firms that you are interviewing with in the same industry, you’ve checked off the “is he/she serious about so and so industry”. As someone mentioned earlier, the next thing is to reiterate your interest in that particular firm. Mention a unique aspect, specific industry focus etc. Remember that more often than not, the person interviewing you is an alumnus of the school. They have been through the grind. A seasoned interviewer can easily catch a BS answer. Good luck.
Good comments above. Obviously, if it is a recruiter/headhunter asking, I would decline to answer!!! On a regular interview, I would be general and focusing in the job descriptions of possible leads. I would not give specific company names. If you do you no have specific interviews I would talk in general terms of networking.
numi Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If it’s for a job where the prospective employer > expects you to be interviewing with multiple firms > (e.g. investment banking, equity research, > strategy consulting, etc.), then it’s totally fine > to mention a couple of other firms especially if > they’re in the same industry/function. In fact, > firms often want to see that you’ve had interview > opportunities elsewhere so that they can assess > how sought-after you are, for some of the reasons > that Level2Relief mentioned. However, you always > should remember to reiterate why the firm you’re > speaking with is your top choice. what if I am not interviewing anywhere else, will they deny me employment just on this basis? even if my skill set is different and not every company has such positions.
Today, I interviewed with one guy at a bank, and he asked me this question. I told him who I was interviewing with also, and it appeared they had worked together. So now, I may be royally screwed cause I have 2nd round next week with the 1st one…