Employer asks you if you’re interviewing elsewhere

What should one do if their employer point blank asks them if they are interviewing? Sometimes it's easy for an employer to get suspicious by a couple untimely doctors appointments and such.

Did anyone encounter this before? Is it considered distasteful to flat out lie?

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Comments (20)

Feb 4, 2019

"I have no plans to leave this firm, what makes you think I'm interviewing elsewhere?" - You don't lie and they should explain what makes them think you are on your way out. Never admit you interview somewhere else, because it's end of your career at your current employer.

    • 1
Feb 4, 2019

"Are you guys hiring anyone else?"

    • 1
Funniest
Feb 4, 2019

I was asked once. I was crabby af and had a dentist appointment later that day.
Manager, "Are you interviewing elsewhere by chance?"
Me, "Should I be!?"

    • 3
Feb 5, 2019
WolfofWSO:

I was asked once. I was crabby af and had a dentist appointment later that day.
Manager, "Are you interviewing elsewhere by chance?"
Me, "Should I be!?"

LOL were you the one who said that and then left a few months later when a competitor tapped you? I recall reading a comment like this and laughed out loud.

Feb 5, 2019
slothsloth:
WolfofWSO:

I was asked once. I was crabby af and had a dentist appointment later that day.
Manager, "Are you interviewing elsewhere by chance?"
Me, "Should I be!?"

LOL were you the one who said that and then left a few months later when a competitor tapped you? I recall reading a comment like this and laughed out loud.

That was me. To say I was micromanaged at this joint was an understatement; checking up on my dentist appointment to see if it was valid, wtf.

    • 3
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Feb 8, 2019

This. I would even add a bit of feigned concerned with an accusatory tone as well to make them feel bad for asking and make sure they never bring it up again. Something along the lines of:

"What makes you think that? Honestly, you definitely caught me off-guard with this question and now makes me think I should be looking elsewhere."

You might even get them to admit they're thinking about replacing you, who knows?

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Most Helpful
Feb 5, 2019

No, not distasteful to lie at all. Loyalty is overrated. Always protect yourself over the firm's interest. They could fire you tomorrow for no reason at all. Why give a fuck about them?

Storytime. This happened to my uncle last year. Worked for the government for over 30 years. Gets cancer that required extensive treatment so had to take numerous days of leave. Was asked by HR to go on no pay leave. After a year, was asked to tender his resignation. Firm did not provide ANY form of support. Seeing stuff like this really changed the way I think about employers. We are just there to get them a profit. Our usefulness to them stops the moment we can't get them the money.

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Feb 8, 2019

This 100%. The psychological profile of most big corporations is textbook psycho/sociopath. You exist for them to use you as much as you will tolerate. If they burn you out, they will have no issue looking elsewhere to replace you.

    • 1
Feb 8, 2019
InVinoVeritas:

This 100%. The psychological profile of most big corporations is textbook psycho/sociopath. You exist for them to use you as much as you will tolerate. If they burn you out, they will have no issue looking elsewhere to replace you.

Yeap, this is easy to understand. Afterall, wanna guess what kinds of people make it to the top? https://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/18/why-psychopaths-ar...

Feb 10, 2019

Was your uncle still working for the government when this happened? A bit unclear why you referred to them as a firm and mentioned profit if so.

Feb 10, 2019
sheldonxp:

Was your uncle still working for the government when this happened? A bit unclear why you referred to them as a firm and mentioned profit if so.

Yes he was working for government when it happened.

So the government agency he was working for = the firm I was referring to.

On the point of profit, yes this is a gov agency so no profits were involved. Point is the moment you stop being useful to them, you are out.

Feb 6, 2019

Approach the question with humor. And yes, lie if needed. You have an at-will contract and should feel no obligation or loyalty unless you've got equity in the firm. They can legally fire you without ANY reason and have no obligation to pay any severance no matter how long you worked for them. I'm assuming you live in the US and not Europe.

    • 1
Feb 6, 2019
guybrush threepwood:

Approach the question with humor. And yes, lie if needed. You have an at-will contract and should feel no obligation or loyalty unless you've got equity in the firm. They can legally fire you without ANY reason and have no obligation to pay any severance no matter how long you worked for them. I'm assuming you live in the US and not Europe.

100% this. If you want to find out more bullshit employers pull on their staff. read this: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/biggest-pro...

Feb 7, 2019

"Not yet. Have any good leads?"

Feb 8, 2019

Don't ever admit it because nothing good can come from it. It's better to make up some hazy excuse like family issues or psychological problems. All this does is give a firm a legitimate reason to fire you.

The only time to admit you are looking elsewhere is when you have an offer in hand and want to leverage said offer for a pay raise, or are putting in your two weeks notice respectfully.

    • 1
Feb 8, 2019
InVinoVeritas:

Don't ever admit it because nothing good can come from it. It's better to make up some hazy excuse like family issues or psychological problems. All this does is give a firm a legitimate reason to fire you.

The only time to admit you are looking elsewhere is when you have an offer in hand and want to leverage said offer for a pay raise, or are putting in your two weeks notice respectfully.

You sound experienced in this respect. Do you have more to share? Thank you.

Feb 8, 2019

At my old position in brokerage my boss got word that I was looking elsewhere. He was already suspicious due to me taking sick days, having breakfasts to attend, etc... He asked me to meet for coffee and popped the question. I mistakenly admitted it, and he had no intention of changing my shitty incentive comp structure.

Days after I saw a new LinkedIn posting for my exact position in the group. Then I had a race against the clock to find new employment before they found my replacement. Even if they would have kept me on for some time to train him, it was a horrible stressful experience.

    • 2
Feb 8, 2019
InVinoVeritas:

At my old position in brokerage my boss got word that I was looking elsewhere. He was already suspicious due to me taking sick days, having breakfasts to attend, etc... He asked me to meet for coffee and popped the question. I mistakenly admitted it, and he had no intention of changing my shitty incentive comp structure.

Days after I saw a new LinkedIn posting for my exact position in the group. Then I had a race against the clock to find new employment before they found my replacement. Even if they would have kept me on for some time to train him, it was a horrible stressful experience.

Wow that must have been incredibly stressful. Hope it worked out for you. And thanks for sharing.

Feb 8, 2019

Tell them no, and that your dentist requires suit and tie and that's why you were dressed up that day.

Feb 8, 2019