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I have started the game of networking and meeting with potential future employers who need my skills.

I am not actively looking to jump ship, but keep the options open because my current employer is soon (in 5-6 months) relocating to another distant country. My relocation package is very attractive, but due to personal reasons I am more keen on staying in my current location. Should I find an offer as equal or better than my current job (including my relocation offer), that would be the only reason I would jump ship.

I have been invited to a few coffees, but also a number of actual "interviews" with senior managers and HR in other companies, which in fact are more like interviews for specific roles (despite not having applied the traditional way).

How can I stand out in this kind of speculative interviewing process, if I am otherwise intending to stay loyal to my current company?

Maybe I am asking this because it's the first time that I interview while already being employed, so I am not sure if it would be appropriate if someone asks "Why are you here, interviewing with us?" and I answer "Oh, I'm just trying to keep my options open, but ideally I prefer staying with my current employer".

Hope this makes sense.

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I think honesty is a win win here. I think it's best to explain the situation to potential employers here.

They will ask you why you're interviewing with them and their first question will probably be "Why are you leaving (or considering leaving) your current job?"

No reason to lie, tell them straight up you're very happy with your current job, that you're doing things you enjoy at a fun environment but that you're willing to hear them out and are always interested in learning about new opportunities. I'd also definitely mention the relocation of the company.

After all, they get better at interviewing, you get better at getting interviewed, they get a benchmark for future candidates and you get a benchmark for future interviews. You get to know people in your area with similar interests that might become possible business partners in the future. At the very worst, you might get a tempting job offer and take it.

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