Absolutely Know What Your References are Going to Say about You

Ensure your job references will provide a positive review

You received the dreaded “Thank you for your interest in the position, but we went with someone else,” email.

You thought the interview went extremely well, so what happened?

There could be several reasons you did not get the position. It could have been you didn’t fit in with their culture, someone else was a better fit, they hired internally.

Is it possible that your references are the culprit?

Before attending an interview, have your references lined-up and ready to provide their information to the interviewer when asked.

More than writing names and phone numbers of previous employers and bosses, you need to do additional preparation. Finding out how a former employer views you and your work history with them is vital before providing that information to a potential employer.

Even if your memory of your time spent with your previous employer is positive, you don’t know what they will say unless you ask.

Your first step is to contact everyone that you are considering using as a reference. You will want to confirm they are working for the same company and whether their phone number is the same. If a boss has moved to another company, you can still use them as a reference if you can track them down.

When you reach a potential reference, ask for permission to use the person as a job reference. If they tell you no, then don’t use them.

Don’t assume they will remember you and your job performance. Remind them. Things you say during your conversation can have a positive impact on what they have to say about you later on. Important: make sure your experience with job references are less than 10 years.

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Ask whether they are comfortable providing a favorable reference and if there is any feedback they have for you. If you are very comfortable, you can ask how they felt about your time working with them.

If you are not comfortable providing a direct supervisor or boss, you can use other employees in the company that hold a supervisory position. Think of people you have worked closely with on projects. They are valid and reputable people to provide as references.

Alternatively, you can hire someone to call your references. There are companies who will conduct your background and references checks. That way, you will know what to expect and whether you should remove the reference.

If you have made it through the interview process, a job reference would have to go bad for it to affect a job offer.

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