There’s no great secret to performing well in a job interview – it relies heavily on research, preparation and good interview technique
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Job interviews are incredibly nerve-wracking – and a sudden unexpected question can throw anyone off guard.
Although answering the question “Are you interviewing anywhere else?” is, in theory, more straightforward than the likes of “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, it can be tricky to know how much (or how little) you should reveal to an employer.
If you’re not interviewing anywhere else, does that decrease your value? And if you reveal every detail of companies and roles you’ve been applying to, are you breaking any rules?
In a high-pressure interview situation, it can be hard to gauge what you should or shouldn't say - but why do employers choose to ask it in the first place?
Employers want to know what stage you're at in your job hunt to confirm that you’re serious about getting a job, and to determine their own timeline. If they like you, and they discover you are already interviewing for graduate jobs elsewhere, it’s likely they will speed up the decision-making process in order to beat their competition. On the flip side, if they’re unsure about whether you’re quite right for the role, and they know you're already interviewing with other companies, they may decide to take a step back and take a little more time to assess your application.
Employers want to know that you are genuinely interested in their particular industry, and that their company fits in to what you are looking for long-term. If you’ve been applying for graduate jobs everywhere from FinTech startups to advertising agencies, they will draw the conclusion that you are not particularly interested in their market, and that you’re unlikely to be committed to this position and company.
Sometimes, the question isn't even really about you. Employers will often ask it to do some market research, and find out which companies in their sector are currently hiring people like you. They could just be looking to determine how they stack up against their competitors - however, if they know that rival companies are looking for similar candidates, this may affect their salary offer (working either in your favour, or against it!), how willing they will be to negotiate, and how quickly they make a final decision.
In a high-pressure graduate job interview, the best approach is to stay calm, be truthful about where you are interviewing (without revealing every detail!), and most of all, emphasise to the employer just how interested you are in their particular company and industry.
Read our complete guide to Interview Questions!
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