EP 1245 Is It a Good Idea To Tell Them You Already Have an Offer from a Rival in Order to Convey Scarcity? It depends. 

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I have a question from someone. "Is it a good idea to tell the interviewer that you have another offer from a rival in order to convey scarcity?"

If you are a hiring manager and you hear this, you just want to put a bullet in your head because the notion that there is scarcity is imbecilic. There is no scarcity as far as labor is concerned; there are plenty of people available who do what you do in most geographic areas and, if you want to pressure them, most times/ most hiring managers I know are conditioned to respond in this way: so, uh, what kind of position is involved? What sort of money are they talking with you about if you find this job so interesting, why are you here?"

It is probably a bluff that you can't pull off because to parse your scenario sufficiently so that you confess that the other job isn't so good you should be interviewing with them.

They argue the scarcity of the skill.

*What sort of money are they talking with you about?"

"Why do you find this job so interesting?"

"If you fight his job so interesting, why don't you just take it? Why are you here?"

At the end of the day, it is probably a bluff that you cannot pull off because they will pick apart your scenario sufficiently that you will confess that the other job is not that good and that you should be interviewing with them.

They don't view it is scarcity; they they are looking at this with bewilderment, particularly if it is a 1st interview. Like I'm looking at this as an early stage scenario.

I also want to say that it is different later on in the process where you have had a few interviews where you now state, "I have another offer." I want to be clear with you that if you don't have another offer and you try this tactic, they may call your bluff and say, "We are not ready to make a choice. If you are telling us that you are going to take this other job, we wish you well and if it doesn't work out, reach out to us and we have another position, we will continue the conversation then."

You see, there is no real leverage that you have if you think you can pull this off without actually having another offer. If you have another offer, then you can say, "Look, I have this other offer that I need to respond to by such and such date and time." If they ask questions, you can be forthright about it, hear from them about the position in greater detail more quickly I get a sense of the employer about what their timeline is.

In doing so, what you have done is balance the power differential. Without that other offer, it is a joke because, at the end of the day, your holding (I'm going to use a card game scenario), you don't have an ace in the hole to pull out. Basically, you have a deuce. As a result, you get left holding the bag.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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