Recruiters: why do you ask “are interviewing with any other companies” and how should I answer?

Amazon gdma80
Apr 6, 2018 18 Comments

I currently work at Amazon but for whatever reason finally took a Google recruiters call last week and figured, since I was going brush up on my fundamentals for the interview anyway, I might as well respond to a few other recruiters too - namely Facebook, Adobe and Oracle.

So far I’ve only done a phone-screen with Google but when we were scheduling the on-site I was asked if I was interviewing anywhere else and I said no (technically I wasn’t yet) but as I expect to be asked this again by the others I wanted to know why they ask this and if will saying yes/no help or hurt me?

Also - any thoughts between those companies? Eg, if all the offers were more or less the same so it was narrowed down to a question of work-culture etc - which would you prefer/avoid?

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TOP 18 Comments
  • Uber XQXB30
    The correct answer is "Yes". For negotiation purposes you want them to think you're entertaining many offers.
    Apr 6, 2018 5
    • Google / Eng
      Yottabyte

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      BIO
      2**80
      Yottabytemore
      Beware they may ask you to prove it. At the least they will ask who you are interviewing with. Especially if you say you have a better some written or digital proof will be needed if you are leveraging up.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Uber xxvegas
      You are thinking too much. I always say “if you ask me for proof, it means ok for me to show your offer to others, too.” Everyone will balk.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      Yottabyte

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      BIO
      2**80
      Yottabytemore
      Recruiters assume you will share anything in writing or digital form and it will be shown to others if leverage calls for it. That is why Google only speaks the terms until you say it is a number you would accept.

      Unless you have peculiar skills, special value, or are diverse candidate a statement like the one @xxvegas said would likely end the negotaions and freeze the offer if not result in it being recinded, unless and until proof is provided. And you would have already left a negative impression, so don't try it if you think your packet is on the fence.

      Instead of being coy a better answer would be "I was hoping for more," but don't expect much movement. Realize that FAANG companies do a lot of competitive salary research so they know what you are worth to competitors ans when you are likely full of it.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Uber XQXB30
      Yeah, I wouldn't lie to the recruiter. But it is a good idea to actually interview and obtain offers from multiple companies, and you don't have much leverage unless you tell your recruiter this.

      And anecdotelly–i had offers from Google and Uber (among others) and negotiated them both up without showing anything in writing. You're right that they'll stop at a certain point though.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Uber xxvegas
      ^ that’s what I meant. You don’t need to show actual written number to other companies.
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Amazon dmbm345
    Hi! I’m a recruiter and we ask that question to better understand the layout of what you’re looking at. It helps better understand your timeline (E.G. If you’re at an on-site stage with one company and just starting the interview process at my company, I know I need to catch up) as well as what competition we have in terms of making an offer.

    It has little to no effect on what our offer will be because the big companies you referenced utilize compensation bands by levels to avoid essentially starting an auction for candidates. As recruiters, we simply like to be in the know so we can council our interviewing team appropriately. Perhaps one of our interviewers worked at one of those companies previously and can share their personal experiences. Things like that.

    Overall, I always encourage you to be honest and open with your recruiter. Don’t get me wrong; I know there are lots of bad recruiters out there but the good ones are going to fight on your behalf to get you your preferred interview date, compensation offer, team, etc and honesty about your activity helps with that.
    Apr 6, 2018 1
    • Amazon gdma80
      OP
      Cool - that is kinda what I figured.
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    Yottabyte

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Oracle
    BIO
    2**80
    Yottabytemore
    It's to see if they need to move faster to take you to each next step in the process. Getting an offer from Google can be 2 to 3 months from sourcer phone screen to extending an offer. If you are interviewing elsewhere the recruiters are supposed to keep your packet moving faster to reduce it to like 1 to 2 months.

    There have been many cases where candidates have started interviewing elsewhere after starting to interview at Google and then accepting an offer elsewhere before even clearing hiring committee. That's also the logic behind those exploring offers, to force you to choose before other offers become clear.
    Apr 6, 2018 2
    • Oath / Eng 20XL
      I heard Google can skip the phone screen if you tell them you have an offer in hand.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • LinkedIn / Eng BhRT59fuX
      They also skip if you provide internal references.
      Apr 7, 2018
  • Pinterest / Eng LOK53
    Really interested in this answer as well, I have said no in the past, and then later informed them that I have also been contacted/interviewing since I started interviewing with the company who is asking and on multiple occasions get a response saying that they have moved on to other candidates. I’m wondering if you say it later in the process it appears you’re trying to leverage or are not actually interested in the company asking?
    Apr 6, 2018 0
  • Apple anonp
    Having been in both sides of this equation, it is mostly for timing and planning purposes, but also if you are interviewing with other companies and you are one of the first candidates to interview for a position, it means that you have to impress them, because they do not know if a better candidate may come. So this can play both as advantage or disadvantage.
    Apr 6, 2018 0
  • Sirius XM UvIK51
    It’s best to just say “I am very interested in your company or I wouldn’t be talking to you, but I want to find the best fit for me and the company I go to work for and so I am considering other opportunities as well.” It implies you want to get what’s best for you but you also care about the benefit to the company you end up choosing, which is good for both sides.
    Apr 6, 2018 2
    • Pinterest UhmWho?
      This is really too much. They are really not asking to be messy. Most of them just want to know if you have deadlines so they can know whether to speed your process or not. The only time I would use politically correct statements like this is when they are asking you for salary information.
      Apr 6, 2018
    • Sirius XM UvIK51
      It only comes across PC if you don’t actually mean what you’re saying.
      Apr 6, 2018
  • Lyft kaisa
    Maybe, maybe not.
    You just make your best offer and I'll let you know if I decide to take it. don't worry about anything else :)
    Apr 6, 2018 0
  • Pinterest UhmWho?
    To know whether they should speed up the process or take their time.
    Apr 6, 2018 0