Whenever we ask this question to a candidate we feel a sense of uneasiness about telling us the answer. So we’d like to set the record straight about why we’re asking!
Transparency with each other is the key to any successful relationship and that is just as applicable with a recruiter/candidate. We’re not being nosey or trying to scupper your chances of being successful with a current application you’ve made, we’re building up a picture of what you really want and how far along in your job search you truly are. We’re tasked by our clients to find someone that fits the bill for their roles in all ways – skill set, cultural fit and a manageable work/life balance being 3 key areas. And having a trusted relationship with all our candidates is the way we feel we are able to achieve this.
So why are we asking you about other interviews you may have going on?
If you’re hot property on the recruitment circuit, our clients need to know before they miss out! You could be interviewing with one of their immediate competitors and we can push them in to acting on your CV if they’d like to stand half a chance of securing you. And although we wouldn’t highlight where you are interviewing to our clients unless you ask us to, it can be helpful to alert them to the fact you are serious about your job searching.
If we launch in to a chat about a role we think you’re perfect for, spend a lot of time telling you about the company and their requirements for a new employee, get all excited when you say it sounds ideal… then tell you who it’s for and you say you’re already mid interview process it’s a bit deflating. We’d rather know upfront so we can bypass that one as you already have it in hand. And similarly, if you’re at a 3rd stage interview for a job you really want, we need to manage our clients expectations if you still want to go forward for their role.
Sometimes, if you’ve applied to a company directly or via another agency and they haven’t come back to you as quickly as you’d like, it’s tempting to try and get an interview via another channel. So by not telling us about your application, we send your CV to the client and are told it’s already been received. As we always ask our candidates if they’ve been sent to certain companies before we do it, we know we’ve done our part of the job but it makes you look like you either a) aren’t keeping track of where your personal details have been sent or b) you’ve applied to so many places you have no particular desire to work for any one specific place (and no employer wants to feel like just another company on your CV!).
Sometimes we speak to people and they tell us they only want to work for a boutique company so that’s what we focus on. Then we hear they’ve taken a job with a huge, global organisation, totally the opposite of their dream. It’s confusing for us and our clients!! So to make sure we’re definitely covering all bases, we like to get a feel for the kind of companies you are veering towards.
If you tell us you’ve been on 4 interviews with 4 different companies in the last 2 weeks yet nothing has resulted in a job offer, we want to be able to try and help. So we’ll invest the time in interview preparation with you, go through the company in detail and make sure you are fully prepared.
We hope this goes some way to explaining why we ask what we do, the important thing is to build a full picture of every person’s needs so we can help in the best way possible with your next career move.
If you’re in business travel and are looking to speak to someone about potentially changing jobs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We can be reached on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and all our chats are confidential and informal.