Candidate Questions that I do not care for

Here is a question that I always have a tough time answering and quite frankly, do not care to.

" How many other candidates are you interviewing for this position?"

I can have an easier time stomaching this if the candidate asks on an initial phone screen or trying to scope out whether this role will be available much longer. I'm more talking about the candidates who ask this question once you have invited them to interview with you. Should it matter? Does that mean they can slack if they know we think they are our front-runner. Or, can they look at us hazy eyed knowing that their chances are one in a million?

I liked to give candidates the benefit of the doubt and hope that they are trying to boost their confidence or make small talk with me, but the question is tough for me. Any suggestions? Are there any questions that sometimes 'irk' you and that you wish to give good advice on how to answer?

Happy Holidays, everyone!!

Views: 62

Comment by Maha Akiki on December 22, 2008 at 2:57pm
For that "I know I should ask a question but I don't know what question to ask so I will ask that question" question, I usually say:
"We've had a healthy number of people showing interest in this role, and we are in the process of interviewing qualified candidates. We've started interviewing this week (this morning, etc), and will be meeting with candidates for the next couple of days (week, etc.)"

Hmmm, I know I haven't answered the question, but I have yet to be called on that. They usually get the hint.
Comment by Doug Ries on December 22, 2008 at 3:03pm
Hi Chris, I would submit another perspective on that question. A person who understands that a component of the process is selling themselves (as much as you're selling the position) would want to have an understanding of the competitive landscape. Asking a question like this shows awareness and a willingness to take your process (whatever that may be) head-on that I would think would be an appealing trait to you. My feeling would be that, rather than sniffing out weakness in the process, they are getting a read on how you are looking at them (a number? an individual?). My suggestion would be to answer them honestly. :)

Happy Holidays!

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