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I just wrapped up a second telephone interview with a potential employer

Both interviews went well, and there seems to be agreement that this is likely to be a good fit.

However, at the close of the call, rather than scheduling an in person interview, the hiring manager instead asked for references, which I sent to her along with several work samples.

I guess this is not a huge issue... but who asks for references before they have even conducted an in person interview? At a point where neither party can possibly be sure that the relationship is a good fit?

My references are wonderful, but busy, people. I need them to provide strong recommendations when it *counts*. I am not thrilled with the idea of them being used as a screening mechanism.

Has anyone else experienced this?

by Anonymousreply 3805/24/2013

We actually check some of the references before we make the person come in for an interview. I wouldn't take it the wrong way, they are probably very interested, but want to start the process.

by Anonymousreply 106/28/2011

My last company felt that you could end up overlooking too much in an interview if you liked the candidate. (of course it was usually him doing so).

We created a policy of qualifying candidates before they came in to interview, which included background and reference checks.

by Anonymousreply 206/28/2011

Isn't that a little presumptuous and inconsiderate? It's not only the company that has a right to decide that they don't like that fantastic candidate so much after all. Prospective employees have the right to decide that as well.

Companies should not check references until both parties are able to confirm in person that a good fit exists. Otherwise, if one of the parties decides to move on, it creates a burden for the candidate's references and reduces the likelihood that he or she will get an enthusiastic reference "when it counts," as the OP says.

This is a another example of hiring managers and HR departments thinking their interests are paramount in the recruiting process.

by Anonymousreply 306/28/2011

Ditto #3%0D I'm not giving out personal identifying information to anybody unless I have an offer letter. My social security number is none of your business.

by Anonymousreply 406/28/2011

Regardless of the scruples cited by posters here, it has become standard to request references prior to interviews and offers.

The SSN issue is irrelevant; no one mentioned that the OP's prospective employer requested that level of personal information.

References are sometimes checked before the intensity and time-consuming work of personal interviews, especially by higher-level staff. It is also true that with limitations on the information legally available today from references, and the dubious value of providing names that will undoubtedly offer good news only (unless they are VIP references, where a mere "I heard of her and she's fine" is considered good enough), references don't matter much. Prior employment matters more, and with legal limits there as well, much information must be inferred.

I can understand your concern, OP. But it is impossible to read anything definite into the way firms are approaching hiring nowadays. It is a crapshoot and there is no standard for professionalism or respect for applicants or accepted process in place that gives you a sense of where you really stand as you try to get a job.

Bet of luck.

by Anonymousreply 506/28/2011

Just went through this.%0D %0D Notice to employers and H.R. people:%0D %0D DUH%0D %0D I am not going to give you the name of someone who would say anything bad about me.%0D %0D Asking for references is bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 606/28/2011


Thanks for the kind words. However, this is not one of those, "Do you think they are going to hire me?" posts.%C2%A0 I'm not worried about where I stand in the process; I'm confident. %C2%A0 What I am worried about preserving my own freedom of action while avoiding unnecessary nuisance to those who have agreed to do a professional favor on my behalf. %C2%A0 This job looks like a good fit, but I don't know for sure until I am able to go in and meet with prospective colleagues. %C2%A0 Again, it's not a big deal, but it's the sort of self-centered action that makes a person question whether it's even that great of a company to work for in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 706/28/2011

You nailed it, R6.%0D It doesn't add anything to the process.

by Anonymousreply 806/28/2011

Hi OP. I am dealing with the EXACT same thing. It's not right until a job offer is in process. It's just an HR thing, in my opinion, to make them feel more powerful. I mean, let's face it....I've got references too and everyone speaks well of me. If you've been working for at least 5 years and don't have at least 3 people who can speak well of you, well that's a problem unto itself.

BTW, I find it ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 906/28/2011

HR departments keep getting dumber and keep making up more bullshit rules.

by Anonymousreply 1006/28/2011

You sound a little precious for the current job market, OP. Why is it so terrible for your references to be checked? Are they that busy? Is Obama one of them? I don't understand why you'd require an offer letter to feel comfortable with the process. It sounds like you don't think they'll give you another good recommendation should this not pan out.

by Anonymousreply 1106/28/2011

I have found the level of screening to be very high at the beginning. I recently after a phone interview was required to submit references and take a blood and urine test for drug use.

by Anonymousreply 1206/29/2011

I got a tentative job offer. I completed all the ppw on the computer for the background checks last Wednesday. I did the drg test last Thursday. I haven't heard anything. Would it be ok to call tomorrow just to check if all ok? How long does it normally take to hear something? I'm getting worried.

by Anonymousreply 1309/28/2011

Did OP get the job?

by Anonymousreply 1409/28/2011

Word to the wise. Anytime you leave a job on good terms you should always get a letter of reference from as many people as possible. If your boss is a busy person, offer to write the reference yourself and present it to him/her to read and sign (if in agreement with what you've written).

by Anonymousreply 1509/28/2011

Has anyone asked the name of the person hiring, the person who will be the supervisor and the name of the person doing the interview BEFORE they went in?

In this age of personal information, shouldn't a prospective employee have the capability of finding out if s/he WANTS to be hired by the aforementioned people?

by Anonymousreply 1609/28/2011

R13. Need some advice.

by Anonymousreply 1709/28/2011

Here is my deal - I'll be looking for a new job next year after 12 years in my current one (relocation for partner's new job). Who do I use for references? People I worked with over 12 years ago? 15 years ago? There likely isn't anyone who'll remember me there and another employer is out of existence. My current employer says the only references they are allowed to giver are "yes, that person worked here". Period. I'm nervous about not having proper references.

by Anonymousreply 1809/28/2011

R18, I'm in the same boat, sort of. I was a retail manager for a company that has since liquidated, so there's nobody at the store level nor at the corporate HQ to refer or verify. Luckily, I've kept in touch with some former coworkers who can vouch for me if need be.

by Anonymousreply 1909/28/2011

R1 makes a good point. It's possible that the employer sees you as a good prospect and puts some value in speaking to your references before your in person interview, perhaps to develop some more detailed lines of questions, perhaps because it's a small industry with a high likelihood of personal contacts with your past employer....

Of course, they could be be process crazy and wasting time by doing things "backwards", but unless you find yourself in this position again and again, I'd suffer through rather than protest.

by Anonymousreply 2009/28/2011

OP's reference is covering both the fry machine and the soft-serve station today, and doesn't have a lot of time to give a reference, especially when OP doesn't even know if Hardee's is right for her yet!! Jeez, you guys!!

by Anonymousreply 2109/28/2011

Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 2209/28/2011

R13: I worked as a legal secretary (or, if it sounds better, "assistant") in SF (and years ago, NYC). As recently as 2003 for a friend of mine (also legal secy):

- got an offer at a big firm (Skadden & Arps; SF office now closed) and had to wait almost 2 weeks to hear results of background check (a lot of big firms outsource this); she got hired.

- myself, as recently as late 2006, at a much less fancy but big firm (Lewis Brisbois): had to wait almost 2 weeks for results of background check. My credit was (and is) horrible; when I expressed concern, the adminhistrator said not to worry; they were mainly concerned about any criminal background.

I got hired. So, hang in there; probably everything taken even MUCH longer in this economy (firms being just as big pricks as they think they can!)

by Anonymousreply 2309/28/2011

TO the poster who wondered about having proper references: might just be in my little former world of being a legal secretary, but I have used references from 2 temp employers (temping on my own, not through an agency in those cases), and though usually my references are from lawyers, in a couple of cases, used HR. And I know of at least three secretaries - years ago AND recently - who, having had personality issues with their bosses (about 90A% the attys' faults, I believe), gave the name of:

co-workers (i.e., other secretaries), and they got hired; one only 5 months ago.

And yes, places pretty much will just say, "yes, so and so worked here from (date) to (date)." BUT the way you do an end-run around that is not to depend on just the HR people where you worked.

Good luck!

by Anonymousreply 2409/28/2011

Employers get away with anything these days.

by Anonymousreply 2509/28/2011

OP hasn't posted on this thread in 3 months.

by Anonymousreply 2609/28/2011

Recruitment agencies ask for references so they can phone them and after going through the motions of pretending they wanted a reference for person X, they offer their recruitment services to the referee. I know this as I have been given as a referee by many people.

There's no way I would give out a reference name and contact number unless I had met the client - I have been for what appeared to be good jobs on paper only to arrive at their offices to find the place (partic the toilets) was a tip, the staff in chaos and incompetent and the line manager a complete and utter tosser whom I would not work with, or for, for a trillion pounds!


by Anonymousreply 2709/28/2011

Thanks R23. Its just that I'm supposed to start in a week so I'm getting concerned. I'll hang in there.

by Anonymousreply 2809/28/2011

Bump... curious to find out where the people in this thread are currently. OP, did you get the job?

by Anonymousreply 2905/21/2013

One of the reasons to qualify an applicant as much as possible before laying eyes on him or her is to minimize the risk that someone who is not hired can claim that it was the result of discrimination because the applicant is a member of a protected class. By postponing a face to face interview until the last moment, the potential employer (rather like a coop board) can disavow any knowledge that the applicant was a member of such a class -- by virtue of color, religion, handicap, sexual orientation -- thereby strengthening the case that no discrimination was involved.

by Anonymousreply 3005/21/2013

R30 that is me. My former employer hired a new boss after I was there 5 years and he was a big homophobe. He pushed me out and I tried to fight back but it ended up on the internet.

I have not been able to find a job since. I know that HR is googling my name and without a reason the interviews stop.

Just a warning when you fight back boys.

by Anonymousreply 3105/21/2013

Do you have a unique name, R31? I haven't been able to find a job in over a year and there is nothing discriminatory online about a former employer. My point is that maybe what's online may not be deterring potential employers. Maybe it's just the crappy economy and job market that we're stuck in.

There are sites, though, that can help with reputation management. They manipulate the search engines so that less favorable results don't show up on the first page...

Good luck. I know it's hard right now but hopefully you will bounce back.

by Anonymousreply 3205/21/2013

Thanks R32. Unfortunately, I have a very unique ethnic name, so, I cant claim its someone else. I have googled it myself and my name is all that comes up on the firs two pages.

I did look into those reputation companies but they wanted on going fees costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Mainly for CEO types who could afford that.

I know the economy sucks right now, but its just too weird how I get a bite, I am about to move into a fact to face interview, then bam, HR send me a letter they are not interested at this time.

I even tried calling one or two but neither of the HR people would even take my call or return it for that matter.

by Anonymousreply 3305/21/2013

That sucks. You are not necessarily screwed for life, though. A gay-friendly company won't care about your experience at your last job given you were a victim of discrimination. It does happen and anybody who is going to discount you because of it, isn't someplace you want to be.

I'm really amazed at the lack of manners I've experienced from potential employers over the last year. There's definitely a shift with the way the "jobseekers" are doing things now. Only too often, I've gone on interviews with companies that seemed interested only to never hear from them again, not even in response to an inquiring email. It's incredibly frustrating.

by Anonymousreply 3405/21/2013

They always have, R25.

I think a big part of references is simply showing that you ARE ABLE to come up with two or three people who can vouch for you. It really isn't that big of a deal.

I've been in a position to serve as a reference for people. I do my best to save the employer time by stating at the beginning that I give my overwhelming support to the person they're considering, so they can make it easier by just assuming I will answer in the most positive way to each question so we can both get on with our day.

What shocks me is that people still don't get that employers will search online so that posting on Facebook you made about being so drunk you had to skip work was probably not a good idea.

by Anonymousreply 3505/22/2013

I have to do this tomorrow, on a Saturday. They're not ready to call in people for interviews, but she wants me to "come in and fill out some paperwork the company requires". And give her the names of four references.

Since it's a receptionist/concierge-type job, I think it's just because she just couldn't find a pic of me on the internet (my Facebook pic is my cat).

by Anonymousreply 3605/24/2013

I blocked my Facebook so potential employers cannot spy on me and I will not apply for jobs that ask to include your social networking profiles (outside of Linked In which makes sense). I don't understand why that's relevant to a job submission or any of their fucking business.

by Anonymousreply 3705/24/2013

Several years ago, I applied for a very high level job in an extreme specialty. The employer had advertised world-wide, and probably received about 100 applicants from around the globe that would be qualified. I am one of those qualified people, and I also know personally about a dozen others who are qualified and applied for the same job.

I was shocked when this employer asked for written references as the first step before even creating a short list of applicants. Not only did they demand the references, they sent a lengthy questionnaire (several pages) that I was to forward to my references and have them complete. I had to find one new reference out of my three, because one person was simply unable to take the time with this over-the-top request.

I didn't get the job (I wasn't expecting to, quite frankly), but I did eventually learn that every one I knew who had applied for the job had to do the same thing, and burden their references with this big task. Obviously, this employer didn't understand the purpose of references.

The real kicker: the employer eventually announced the new employee in the trade media, but no one else ever even got as much as a "thanks for applying" rejection letter.

And in an interesting bit of karma, a year later, they were advertising the job again, and very few people applied. The position has had a revolving door ever since.

by Anonymousreply 3805/24/2013
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