Yes – there are dumb questions…

And this is easily one of the leaders.   “How many other people are interviewing for this position?”  

Finally, it has reached the point where I must address this issue for the final time, and the direct approach is the only course.  It makes absolutely no difference – NONE.  How does the number of people interviewing for an opportunity matter?  Seriously, if there are 500 or 2, it is of absolutely no relevance.  If there are 10 people in the loop, will you “go for it”?  If there are 20 is it now too hard?  Why does it matter – is there some magic tipping point in the odds book somewhere that impacts your commitment to an opportunity?

In the end, only one person will get the job.  The relative depth and breadth of the “competition” makes absolutely no difference to YOUR ability to win the role.  Every hiring decision is based on the interviewer’s particular needs and wants and how the candidate fits into that criteria.  The candidates “fit” is only based on that criteria, along with a healthy dose of relationship building (do they like you).  How many others might be paraded through the process does not change the criteria nor does it impact your ability to meet those criteria, and it certainly does not impact your relative level of “likability”.

So please, for everyone out there in the transition process, debating a transition, or who might end up in the transition and interview process someday, remember the number of people interviewing for a role is absolutely of no relevance to you.  It has no impact on your degree of fit for the role, and above all else, it is in the end and without question beyond your control.  Why worry about it – nothing comes from it – nothing.

So please, ask about things that matter, worry about what you can impact, and let go of the things that you cannot control and that are not relevant.  Interviewing is tough enough – do not make it tougher by sweating irrelevant details.  Besides, it certainly does not make you more likable!

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Filed under Coaching, Interviewing

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