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Where Else Have You Interviewed?

Where Else Have You Interviewed?

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Ep 655 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer this tricky question so that you do not disqualifying yourself. 


Today, I want to talk with you about 1 of those tough interview questions that, on the surface, seems so easy but firms usually in an effort to trip you up. It is very seductive because you can answer the question. However, the answer tells them something about you.

Today's question is, "So, where else have you interviewed so far?" Sometimes it is asked as, "So where else have you applied so far?"

I remember when I was a rookie recruiter a hundred years ago and I asked someone this question and they went on to rattle off 20 some odd places they been on interviews. The message I took from that was, "20 places turn this person down. What's wrong with him?"

There are 2 ways to answer this question. If you're still working, and you are asked this question, you mention 1 or 2 places. You respond by saying, "I have interviewed with (never name the firm). 1 of the banks, a manufacturing firm." Whatever industry it is. They were interesting opportunities but, at the end of the day, they didn't seem superior to what I had."

Then, you may be asked follow-up questions. "What are you looking for? What's going to be important to you in the next job organization?" It may be some sort of follow-up question that allows you to talk with them about what you're looking for the next job. Be prepared for that question. It is very natural follow-up for a firm to know what it is that you are looking for so that they can figure out whether they can give it to you. That's real simple.

Here's the other condition. Let's say you've been out of work for a while and you are asked that question. You still don't rattle off 20 places like this person did. Instead, what you say is, "I've interviewed a couple of organizations. Initially, when I was laid off or quit my job, I took a little time off because I been working continuously for the longest time with very few breaks and and I figured (if you're in your 20s, you say). At this stage in life that would be very few opportunities for me to take some time off again. So I decided to take a break, playing with my kids, going to trip… Whatever it is."

If you're in your 30s, 40s, 50s, it's all a bit different. You might say, "I take a little time off to figure out what I want to do next. I have been back with a vengeance looking at opportunities because I'm looking for something very specific and, what I've heard about your organization, is that the…" Do you talk about a few the things you found that you research about them that appeal to you. "It seems like a great organization to work at."

Notice, you are not mentioning 20 places.

Keep your answer simple. Stay off the subject of's the specific places where you have interviewed and, if they ask the follow-up question of, "so, where have you actually interviewed," you can respond by saying, with a smile on your face, "I've interviewed a couple of organizations, one in banking…" And you rattle off a couple of industries and leave it at that.

The idea, again, is to talk with them but get off the subject. Switch it over to what you're looking for in an organization and that you are impressed by everything that you have heard about theirs.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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