Interview Question: “Are You Actively Interviewing?”

While the answer is simple from the technical standpoint, you could list other companies you have visited without having to think too hard, a smart response requires a careful balancing act. Do you tell names? What if those names are impressive, like Google, Facebook or McKinsey? What do you do if the question comes from the only company you are interviewing with?

On the one hand, you want to be helpful and open when answering tough interview questions like this one. On the other hand, details of companies and positions you are considering are proprietary information.

How do you respond to tough interview questions in a way that makes you look valuable and in demand, does not sabotage your interviewing process with the other companies and retains your leverage in salary negotiations?

Lets start by considering why hiring managers ask this question in the first place. There are three big-picture reasons.

An employer might ask, “Are you actively interviewing?” to learn more about your job search. This question can help them see how far along you might be in your other application processes. Employers want to see whether you are casually applying to their role or are focused on getting a job right away.

Are you actively interviewing? Interview Question and Answer

How to answer, “Are you actively interviewing?”

Follow these steps when answering this common interview question:

1. Be honest

Instead of dodging the question, be straightforward about your job search. You can let the employer know that you are interviewing with a few companies that align with your career goals and interests. Share that you are open to a variety of opportunities and are looking for the best offer you can get. You can use your answer to share a few reasons why you are ready for the next step in your career. Sharing that you are looking for new responsibilities shows employers that you are driven and ambitious.

2. Show you are strategic

Make it clear that you have a certain set of criteria for applying for a job. An employer might ask this question to see whether you are thoughtful and focused on your job search. Answering this question can show employers that you are in demand and driven to find the right job for you. Make it clear that you are being selective about your options, and that you are serious about finding a quality job offer.

3. Make this interview a priority

When answering this question, show that this interview is the most important one to you. This is your chance to show an interviewer that you are excited about this potential career opportunity. You could even explain that this role best aligns with your skills and interests. Make it evident that you would be welcome to a job offer from them. Try to steer the conversation toward discussing what attracted you to their company in the first place.

4. Share general information

Unless an employer specifically asks who you are interviewing with, you can keep this information to yourself. Likewise, sharing how many jobs youre interviewing for is unnecessary. You can simply explain that you have multiple interviews lined up and that you are in various stages of the application process. Sharing these vague details can make employers realize that you are a high-demand candidate and act fast to offer you a job.

Why employers ask, “Are you actively interviewing?”

An employer might ask, “Are you actively interviewing?” to learn more about your job search. This question can help them see how far along you might be in your other application processes. Employers want to see whether you are casually applying to their role or are focused on getting a job right away. This question also helps an employer gauge how fast they might need to move through the hiring process if they were to offer you the role. If you are actively interviewing, they might have an incentive to make their hiring decision sooner.

Example answers

Here are a few quality example answers to, “Are you actively interviewing?”:

Example 1

“Right now, I am interviewing with a handful of companies within this industry. I am looking for a position that will allow me to develop my leadership skills. So far, it appears that your company is the most promising with this. Comparatively, I can see that your team is looking for someone who can take some initiative and implement big changes. As someone who has worked in this sector for five years, I feel like I am ready for this management role.

I am actively looking to transition out of my current role because I am hoping to progress to the next step in my career. I am solely looking for a management role, which is how I found your company in the first place. While I am eager to start a new job, I am also patiently waiting for a job offer that aligns with my skills and experiences.”

Example 2

“Yes, I am actively interviewing for multiple positions. While I have gotten to learn about a few interesting opportunities, I will say that I am most excited about your company. I can see that you have a company culture that I would fit into quite well. I also see that this particular role would be the most logical next step in my career. I started the job hunt because I recently realized that I am more than ready to take on additional responsibilities.

This job would be the perfect challenge and learning opportunity for me. While my current skill set would allow me to dive into what I need to do right away, my goal-setting abilities would help me continue to push myself further. I am interviewing at multiple companies to see what each of them can offer. After learning more about your companys values, its evident that this role would be a great fit.”

Example 3

“Yes, which is why I am so excited to learn more about this job opportunity. I am looking for a role where I can take on new responsibilities and make a meaningful contribution to the company. Rather than interviewing for any job that I can, I am trying to be more selective in the roles I am looking at. I have been working in this industry for a while, so I have grown to learn which kind of work environment I will do my best in.

Thats why when I stumbled upon your job opening, I applied for it right away. I could see that your expectations align with exactly what I can deliver as an employee. I am highly organized, attentive to detail and a good communicator. If I were to get this job offer, I could definitely see myself wanting it more than the other positions I am applying to. Thats because I can tell that you truly value what your employees can do.”

FAQ

Are you actively interviewing How do you answer?

How to answer, “Are you actively interviewing?”
  • Be honest. Instead of dodging the question, be straightforward about your job search. …
  • Show you are strategic. Make it clear that you have a certain set of criteria for applying for a job. …
  • Make this interview a priority. …
  • Share general information.

Are you currently interviewing elsewhere?

To some interviewers, it’s a common way of saying “bye for now” or “see you later.” It’s normal that interviewers don’t know who to hire until all the interviews are over, and there may have been dozens or even hundreds of interviews scheduled before and after yours.

Why do recruiters ask if you are interviewing?

If you are interviewing elsewhere, briefly mention that you are in the interview process with other companies. If you are not interviewing with other companies, let the hiring manager know why this position piques your interest. Either way, always bring it back to the role you’re currently interviewing for.

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