7

I first had an interview at company A, then one a day later at company B.

Company B asked me what other companies I was interviewing with. Since I always try to be honest I told the truth...

But then, Company B told me to compare each company and that they will wait until I finish the other interview process so I could decide.

But is it right? Do I have to decide before a real job offer? How do I tell company B that I want to wait for job offers for me to decide?

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    This is why you don't bring up where else you are interviewing with until you have an offer on the table if you want to create a bidding war. – user1666620 Aug 13 '18 at 4:58
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    Are A and B completely different companies, or are they "related"? When I applied for my current job, I also applied at a different company belonging to the same holding, and there was an agreement between "my A" and "my B" that made them not give out a job offer before the candidate had decided which company to work for. – Flo Aug 13 '18 at 5:56
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    Asking what other companies you are interviewing with is really inappropriate. You were probably caught by surprise, but in general it is fine to look a bit shocked if a company asks for details and say something like "I'm sorry, I'm am not comfortable discussing who else I'm interviewing with". That simply shouldn't be a consideration for company B at all. – DaveG Aug 13 '18 at 16:59
  • They are both IT companies, but completely different business model. – Jirico Aug 14 '18 at 1:19
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You can be honest and refuse to disclose any information you don't want to offer.

They're trying to match their offer to the other company's, if one is made.

You made a mistake by identifying the other company. The proper response to the question which other company are you interviewing with is a peer company. You avoid identifying company A while implying they are equals, therefore a threat... which they can match.

Remember that interviews are negotiations, and negotiations are games; games where information is currency. Your opponent is better equipped and more experienced at this game than you. You don't want to give out too much information because not only will you get nothing for it, but it will hurt you by achieving a lower offer than you would otherwise.

Once you're done with your interview they will ask you if you got an offer, and will probably want to hear the details of that offer. Assuming you got one, the best play is to refuse to disclose any details. It puts the onus on them to try and match something they know nothing about, which can (and often does) lead to a higher number than you'd get otherwise.

If you don't know how to phrase this, I would go with something like

I've been asked to keep Company A's offer confidential. I cannot disclose any further details on that process, just as I wouldn't disclose any details of our interview process to them.

sidenote: this line also works brilliantly when considering a counter-offer from a soon-to-be ex employer

This is all well and good if you do get an offer from A, but what if you don't? Call Company B on the very next day and ask to resume the process.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview with Company A before moving forward. I'm still interested in joining you, what is the next step?

If they ask whether you've got an offer, refer back to the other quote bubble. Stonewall them. It's none of their business. Let it be clear that any offers will be evaluated on their own merits and you want to focus on them, and what a brilliant fit you are for the role and the role for you.

Good luck

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    I love the brief statement, "Stonewall them." They won't (probably can't in most countries) tell you about the other applicants you are competing against. Why should you tell them about the companies competing against them? The process is often lopsided in the company's favor anyway, there's no need to give them more of an advantage. – Kyle A Aug 13 '18 at 20:08
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What B is doing is weird, so expect more weirdness from them in the future, just in case you get a job offer from them.

Everybody will apply for multiple jobs and try to get multiple interviews. If B acts like that, they save a bit of work but only get the rejects from other jobs. They will only do interviews with people who were rejected by A.

If you still think about joining them, call them two days later that you are just back from your interview with A and totally rejected the company. Is it a lie? Yes. But when you told B the truth, they acted stupid, so they deserve a lie.

7

They are presumably trying to make sure that when it's offer time they don't have to compete with anyone else.

Unless you significantly prefer company A, I would tell company B that you have decided to go for them (if they ask why the process with A didn't work out, tell them you prefer B and understood from them that you couldn't pursue both processes at once.) Now pursue both processes at once, as any jobseeker should do to maximise chances. Should you ultimately receive an offer from both A and B, and you either want to accept A's offer or start a bidding war, your excuse to B can be "Company A came back to me with a better offer after I withdrew from the initial process."

If you don't want to be deceptive, you could reply challenging their email, saying that your financial responsibilities mean that you're not in a position to so selective, and need to pursue all available opportunities until one results in an offer. You hope they will be happy to continue with the process, as you really like their company and have really enjoyed meeting them all.

7

As already answered, what company B is doing is trying to weed out competition. They expect that you'll come back saying you totally like them, after which you lose a lot of negotiating power.

You are writing that Company B told me to compare each company. You have to tell them:

I compare every aspect of the offer: company climate, possible projects, benefits, and salary. I will need all this information to make my decision.

This is 100% truth and if Company B refuse to provide info, they are not serious about hiring you for what you are worth. They might pay less, and you might be OK with that, but that is for you to decide, not them.

2

This is an unusual approach from Company B, and I would ask them why they are taking it.

I would also tell them that you need to compare not just the companies but also the offer from each company. Ask them how things will play out, assuming that you get a firm offer from Company A with a few days to accept it? Will they then make you a firm offer within those few days? Tell them you can't afford to be without a job, and that if you get a good offer from A and no firm offer from B you will be forced to take A's offer.

1

It sounds like Company B doesn't want to compete with anyone else when hiring. Unfortunately, that means that Company B is only hiring the worst people; everyone doing a job search applies and interviews with multiple companies simultaneously, and the only reason someone wouldn't be doing so is if they could not get interviewed by anyone other than Company B. In a sense, it sounds to me like Company B is positioning themselves to hire only the bottom of the barrel people, those who could not even get an interview anywhere else.

Based on this, as suggested in other answers, I would lie to Company B and see what they say (say that you've ended your consideration of Company A when you have not actually done so). Then, if/when you get offers for both companies A and B, I would rank Company A's offer highly above Company B's. If I chose to accept Company A's offer, I would just tell Company B that you started interviewing with another company (don't tell them it was Company A, and try to be as evasive as possible if they ask you who the other company was) after you started interviewing with them; tell them when they asked you if you had any concurrent interviews you were being truthful, but that the other company interviewed you after Company B interviewed you.

Again, I would only take Company B's offer if you have no other options, in this case.

  • I wouldn't necessarily lie to Company B, just tell them that you can't consider them until you receive a job offer from them. – DaveG Aug 13 '18 at 17:25
  • @DaveG That's unlikely to be productive. Company B is not likely to, sight-unseen, provide you a job offer, without even an interview. Something like that is likely to come off as passive-aggressive and rude. Lying to them is, of course, worse, but if they don't find out then it doesn't matter. At least this way you're not being rude to their face immediately. – Ertai87 Aug 13 '18 at 17:50
  • I'm not saying "sight unseen". Clearly you have to interview with company B to get an offer. But lying to company B that they are your only option doesn't sound like a good approach. If company B only interviews people who have no alternatives, you don't want to work there. – DaveG Aug 13 '18 at 17:54
  • Right. My understanding of the OP is that Company B won't even interview OP if he is interviewing elsewhere. I agree that you probably don't want to work at Company B if Company B has this philosophy, but OP would probably rather work at Company B than nowhere at all (if he's rejected by Company A). – Ertai87 Aug 13 '18 at 18:31

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