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In several interviews, I was asked at the end of the meeting if I have a deadline by which I need to hear a decision from them. Of course, I always appreciate the earlier they respond back. But, I'm not sure if emphasizing that would do me any favor. I imagined if they have to do interviews with other candidates too, they won't skip them just because I'm in a hurry. So, I think it will only increase the chances of hearing an early rejection from them if they get a feeling that other applications might appear stronger than mine in the rest of the interviews.

Is this the right interpretation from that question?

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The question means exactly what is being asked. They want to know how soon you need a decision.

Suppose you already have a job offer in your pocket from another employer and need to let them know by next Friday, but you wanted to see how this interview went before making a decision. Telling them you have a deadline of next Friday could indeed expedite the process. If you have a strong enough application and they want to hire you bad enough, they may in fact move forward without interviewing everyone they planned to and/or push harder to get the hiring committee to meet and give you an offer.

On the other hand, if your deadline is something they just can't meet, they might decide to just cross you out of the process altogether. So it pays to be honest here. Don't tell them you have a deadline just because you want to know sooner. It could work against you.

They just want to know if they need to rush to make a decision on hiring you, or if they can let their process play out as normal.

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Would like to add on the answer that Seth R has provided. If you give someone a slight push to do something earlier, they're more likely to do so. If you remain passive, they'd also likely remain passive themselves and would take longer to get back to you.

This isn't just the case with job offers, it's also with interviews. I once had a brilliant company reach out to me for an interview. I told them I already had an offer but was willing to speak to them, and told them I was in a hurry. They agreed to interview me far quicker than usual, because I gave them that push. And they also reached a decision far quicker as well. Had I remained silent about my job offer, they would've responded much slower

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