I had an interview early this week that went well. At the end of the interview I mentioned that I had a pending offer and asked how quickly the process would go? I haven’t heard anything in 3 days and it made me wonder if mentioning this was a bad idea. Would an employer appreciate the honesty or be less interested in spending the time if they thought I may already be taken?
The hiring process is like anything else, it is mostly self centered. How they react to such information will vary greatly even with the same person at the same company on a different day.
There is no reason to reveal why you are looking for an abbreviated hiring schedule, so you shouldn't.
Next time try something like this: "How long does it take to reach a decision, and subsequently an offer"?
You may want to note that their answer was very vague. You should have asked for specifics. Perhaps 6 months is "as soon as possible" for them.
It could be that they have interviewed, or are waiting to interview what they feel will be a stronger candidate. Perhaps they have extended an offer to someone already and will only offer you a position if they turn it down.
It really is impossible to know.
If you have a pending offer, it is appropriate to mention that in the interview, and ask about their timeline.
- If they are very impressed with you, this allows them to speed up their process and perhaps get a competing offer to you.
- If you are just another option, they will likely not change their process, knowing they will lose you to another offer.
If you are just interviewing, but do not have a pending offer, then it is not as useful to bring it up.
But, if you already have an offer, and you're more interested in the current option, then you either have to turn down that offer in the hopes you'll get one from this company, or try to speed up their process. And they won't speed it up if they don't see a reason to do so.
Some wording, if you have an existing offer:
I really like what you've told me about your company and the position. I should let you know that I have another offer from a different company, and need to respond to them by next Monday. If you think I am a good candidate, I hope there is a way you could speed up your process - I would definitely be more interested in an offer from you.
“Would a pending offer make another employer less interested?”
This seems very unlikely. I’ve even had potential employers ask me about other prospects. It helps them get a sense of how quickly they should be expected to move you through the process, should they decide to proceed.
For hiring managers, this is an incredibly common ocurrence and it’s unlikely to sway their opinion one way or another but there’s a chance it might actually help to demonstrate that you’re in demand and not desperate.