If you’ve been in enough interviews, chances are you’ve been asked this interview question: “How did you hear about this position?” It might take the form of “How did you hear about us?” or “Where did you find our job posting?” – but in the end, it’s all the same.
This is usually a first impression type of question, so if you panic, it can set a weird tone for the rest of your meeting. We’re here to help you prevent that awkward moment!
Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you’re asked where you found out about a role!
❌DON’T SAY: “I don’t remember…”🤷🏽♂️
If you’re headed into an interview, make sure you know where you found the job listing. Honesty is usually the best policy… but if you really can’t remember, it’s better to find the job posting again through Google and come up with an answer.
If you say you don’t know, it will seem like you’re disorganized or just not that interested in the company. Generally, any kind of “IDK” answer to any interview question isn’t the best strategy, so try to avoid it or say you’ll think and circle back to the question later.
❌DON’T SAY: “I mass applied to a bunch of jobs on LinkedIn!”👨🏿💻
It takes 21 to 80 job applications to get one job offer, on average – so chances are you’re probably sending your resume to multiple places. There’s no shame in the numbers game, but once you’ve secured the interview, make the company you’re talking to feel like your #1.
Remember, this is kind of like a first date scenario; even if you’re dating around (AKA applying to multiple places), you want to make them feel special! Take a few minutes before your meeting to refresh yourself on what you liked about the company, where you found their info, and why it resonated with you.
❌DON’T SAY: “[Employee you barely know] referred me!”😅
Employees who get referred are 4x more likely to get hired than those who don’t… so we get the temptation to say you know someone, even if they’re more like a friend of a friend of a friend. Unfortunately, that strategy can easily backfire.
Here’s a simple rule to follow: if you haven’t gotten their permission first, don’t mention them. That doesn’t mean you have to be besties, but make sure you connect with the person and trust them enough to give you a good review. It can be as simple as reaching out on LinkedIn or offering to buy them a coffee – after all, the worst they can say is no, but better they say it to you than to the person evaluating you for the job!
✅DO SAY: Any of the below options!
This question is a pretty straightforward one. Hiring managers will ask you how you heard about them because they genuinely want to know. However, they also want to hire someone who knows what they want vs. someone who will accept any job they can get.
Your answer should ideally be truthful, but should also show that you have intent and purpose in your job search. Don’t give off the impression you stumbled upon their company by chance and flipped a coin to decide if you’d apply. Show your interest in this specific position and organization by mentioning:
- You were looking actively for roles in the industry and loved their posting on LinkedIn or another job board
- Your friend/colleague/family member (that you talked to prior to the interview) referred you
- You saw an interesting blog or some other form of content that directed you to apply
- You talked to a recruiter who put you in touch with the company
- You’re a user of their product/service and noticed they were hiring after using their site/app/etc.
- You saw an advertisement for a job opening and thought it was interesting for XYZ reasons
- You knew of the company through following the industry and kept tabs on open roles
- Any other reason that’s truthful and specific!
There you have it! Now you’re ready for your next interview. For more tips like this, make sure to join the Pivot + Edge Talent Network. We’re always sharing our top career insights, hiring tips and all the latest news from our team, and we can’t wait to connect with you!