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How To Answer “Have You Applied For Any Other Jobs?”

During the job interview process, you’re bound to come across some common questions that can throw you off if you haven’t prepared an answer beforehand.

From the likes of “What’s your biggest weakness?” to “Why should we hire you?”, it’s important to have an answer ready for these classic questions so you’re not caught out and end up saying something that you’ll regret later on.

Answering a question about other jobs you’ve applied for when you’re sat in an interview situation can be very awkward and – depending on how you approach it – you could come across as desperate for a job if you’re not careful.

There are two ways you can answer this question, and it’s important to find a balance between the two. If you start reeling off a load of other roles you’ve applied for, it sounds like you’re not interested in this particular vacancy and are just looking for any old job, which is very unappealing to a prospective employer.

On the other hand, if you say you haven’t been applying for any other roles, it can come across as unambitious and make you seem lazy in your job search. Of course, these are both stereotypical situations, and you might have genuine reasons for applying for lots of jobs or only one – it all depends on the person and the situation.

The best way to approach this question is to keep it slightly vague and say that you’ve applied for a small number of other positions and avoid naming any particular companies. However, you need to make sure you stress that this position is your number one choice and that it really stood out to you as something you can see yourself doing long term. This is also a good time to talk about how much you love the company and believe in its ethos etc, as this will cement the idea in the employer’s brain that you’re committed to this position.

Also, it’s a good idea to ensure that, if you mention other roles that you’ve applied for, they’re consistent with the role that you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re going for a Digital Marketing Manager vacancy and you’re asked what other positions you’ve been applying for, it’s better to mention roles like Communications Officer or Online Marketing Co-ordinator, rather than something like Business Analyst or Project Manager, which don’t come under the digital marketing umbrella.

This is important, as the employer might be asking this question to check that you’re really interested in that particular field, so name-dropping similar job positions will cover your back.

Avoid mentioning jobs that you’ve applied for and have been rejected from, as your answer should make the employer want to hire you, no wonder why you haven’t been offered a job elsewhere – you need to make yourself as desirable as possible as a candidate.

However, the interviewer won’t always be trying to catch you out with this question. Sometimes the query will crop up in an interview when the employer is keen on you as a candidate and genuinely wants to know what the competition is to hire you.

Overall, answer this question as honestly as you can, without giving too much information away or making it seem like you’re not committed to this particular role, and only mention vacancies that you’ve applied for if you haven’t been rejected or if they’re similar to the one you’re interviewing for.

So there we go, some advice for answering the dreaded “Have you applied anywhere else?” interview question. Have you got any advice on how to approach this difficult question?

Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! 🙂

One Comment

  1. Tera Lee

    I have always found this question to be tacky and intrusive. Most certainly a reflection of how the company is run and treats its employees.

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