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Sometimes recruiters will ask me about other interviews, and as the process continues, will ask for updates on those other interviews. For what purpose do they want this information? Is there a "correct" answer (e.g. having another interview makes me appear more desirable, or having another interview makes me appear less interested)? Is this an area that I should be open and truthful about, or should I deflect or stretch the truth (towards the more desirable answer)?

I'm specifically talking about first-party recruiters. I don't reply to third-party recruiters.

marked as duplicate by Chris E, JasonJ, Joe Strazzere interviewing Dec 28 '16 at 17:10

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    Ask them if they are interviewing other candiates and their progress. If they refuse to answer the question, wait for a few minutes until their stupidity dawns on them, and if it doesn't, walk out. – Masked Man Dec 28 '16 at 16:16
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For what purpose do they want this information?

The most common purpose is timing. If you are involved in another process, they need to make their offer ASAP. That means, for instance, that they could try to schedule your interviews ASAP, instead of 'whenever'. My company always asks this during recruitment process. The "classic" process is 3 interviews, one per week, plus one week to confirm the terms - about 1 month. However, if people have a strong timing constrait (example : I have already received an offer from Company X, and they want an answer in the next 10 days, you are my first choice and they are my second) the process can be sped to meet the applicant's deadline.

Is this an area that I should be open and truthful about ?

Yes, as long as you do not offend the recruiter, and as long as there is some kind of coherence. A dev interviewed at Google saying "I'm also in process with Apple and Microsoft for similar jobs" is fine. The same guy saying "I'm in process at Apple and Microsoft, and they are my 1st and 2nd choice" is taking a big risk. The same guy saying "I'm also in process as a bank trader at XYZ and a sales rep at ABC" might raise coherence interrogations - why is he motivated by this job if he applies in very different fields ? Ask yourself, what would the effect of your answer be on a recruiter.

  • There's also no need to mention the specific companies where you're interviewing (though they might ask for details). Big names (within the industry you're applying to) might make you seem more desirable, but if you're applying to a small company this might make them conclude (wrongly or not) that they're not your first choice. – Llewellyn Dec 28 '16 at 17:47
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In this case you should always be truthful. One of the main reasons they ask is to determine whether or not they can submit you. If you've applied and are interviewing with the the ABC Widget Co., they can't submit you to that company, if they are recruiting for a position there. In addition, they are trying to determine if there is a need for urgency to get you an interview and offer with their clients.

  • As per my edit, this is about first-party recruiters, so there's not really "submitting" going on. I don't work with third-party recruiters. – Tanya Dec 28 '16 at 15:29
  • I should have included that in the original post. Also my edit isn't showing up... – Tanya Dec 28 '16 at 15:34
  • @Tanya you seem to have two accounts, both named "Tanya". The account that created the post can always edit it. You might want to stick with just one account if possible. – Dan Pichelman Dec 28 '16 at 17:05

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