Why You Encounter This Question
Interviewers ask candidates about applications for other jobs for several reasons. Primarily, the hiring manager wants to know if the interviewee takes the job search process seriously and plans on applying for more than one position to increase chances of obtaining meaningful employment. Applying for only one position shows lack of commitment to finding roles in line with personal career aspirations in a given field. Managers may also see respondents as deceitful if the individuals provide no disclosure on the subject. Remain honest about the job search to show integrity to interviewers.
Show Preference During the Interview Process
Conversely, ensure hiring managers know the current job option remains the preferred first choice. If respondents spend too much time talking about work prospects elsewhere, interviewers may see applicants as likely to accept other jobs and may decline to make offers of employment. In addition, long-winded responses pull attention away from the interview at hand. Give concise answers to display professionalism and dedication to the career search, then bring the conversation back to the current position in a positive way. Avoid speaking negatively about other prospective employers, as doing so may inadvertently harm chances for hiring consideration if the interviewee makes an offensive or insensitive statement about competitors. Thoughtless or disparaging comments may reveal ignorance of industry practices, as well.
Use Your Options as Potential Leverage
Prior research of competitor companies shows industry knowledge and gives respondents other options for employment. Though candidates may describe plans to submit hiring forms to companies elsewhere, doing so before the interview shows further preparation and gives respondents specific business names to mention if asked. Use competitors to succinctly provide contrasting options and compare the current position in the most positive light. Avoiding the question gives the impression of the need to hide information, which sends a dishonest and untrustworthy message to the interviewer.