Why Do Recruiters Ask About The Interviews I’ve Been On?–Job Search Radio

Serious mature businessman on call in front of laptop at desk in a bright office

There are many possible reasons that recruiters do this. Some are innocuous . . . and then there are the others.

On this podcast, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains the various reasons for asking.


I want to answer the question is someone sent to me. Why is it that recruiters ask me about the places I’ve interviewed? They may ask me about the numbers of places. The firm’s I’ve met with– stuff along those lines.

There are many reasons why recruiters do this. Some of them are completely innocuous and then there are the others.

Starting with the innocuous wants, they want to figure out how active you are in a search and how far along you are. Have you been on 15 interviews and been turned down. Been on 15 interviews anger close to a job offer. If you’re close to a job offer, the likelihood is that their client is a be able to move fast enough to compete. So they’re trying to do that kind of reconnaissance right out of the box.

They also want to find out if you interviewed with the client. You may ask yourself, “Why don’t they just will tell me who they are representing?”

The answer is that sometimes people are thieves just like recruiters are sometimes seen that way as well. We’ll get to that of the second.

Here’s the scenario that comes up (I know it’s happened to me way too often). Let’s say that I tell them that my client is Blah Blah company (obviously if there’s a company by that name I made it up on the spot; this has nothing to do with any firm by that are similar name). I have had many instances where I’ve told people the name of the company and their next phone call is to that company, perhaps even to someone that they know there, they get the interview without me but use my information to find out about the job and who doesn’t get paid? Me.

“I wouldn’t do that!” How do I know that? It’s always been seen that way in the four instances that cost me over hundred thousand dollars where I know it happened to me and I’m sure there are other instances that occurred to. I only caught four. That hundred thousand dollars was 25 years ago. I’m sure it happened more than that.

So, I’m not forthright about it; I’d rather hear it from you as to where your interviewing so that I can determine whether or not you’ve already met with my client and not put myself at risk.

They also want to see if you have received any job offers yet, what you liked and disliked about the firms that you’ve met with so far. This way they can learn from your experiences how you evaluate and assess jobs.

The last thing I’m going to bring up today is that they want to get leads of firms that are hiring. This is an example of recruiters taking that information that you provide in the interview with them and trying to convert it for their benefit.

Like job hunters who steal that information and act on it, recruiters do the same thing. If you want to avoid that, say, “I interviewed with a financial firm,” or a manufacturing firm or a consulting firm. Describe it by industry and I was talking with them about such and such type of position. It seemed interesting but they chose someone else. I got there a little late to the party and the rest someone further along and we really didn’t get far.

If they asked, “What firm was that?”

Answer, “I would prefer not really mentioning it. No disrespect is intended but I’ve had instances where recruiters have immediately contacted the firm that I mentioned and its costly opportunities.”

If they start to debate you about it, simply say “Look, I’m not going to identify who the firm is. It certainly doesn’t benefit me and I can tell you who the hiring manager as either.”

So those are the basic reasons why recruiters do it. Most of them are completely innocuous and then there is those last one.


Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the … Read more about this episode…