what’s the best way to handle friends who apply for jobs where they’d be working with me?

A reader writes:

What’s the best way to handle a friend who applies for a job not just at your company, but working with you?

As I’ve moved up in my company, this has come up a couple of times. In both cases, the friend in question would work with me, so I was involved in the application process, but they wouldn’t report to me. I handled both situations differently, and they both, somehow, turned out to be not ideal.

The first time was a friend I really didn’t want to work with — Jon. I had some doubt about whether he was likely to be successful or a good fit in the open role given his experiences in other jobs. I played a small role on the hiring committee and ended up recusing myself and telling him so. He didn’t get hired (which I believe was the right decision), and he was upset that I hadn’t done more to promote his candidacy.

Now the reverse has happened, and it is also uncomfortable. I wholeheartedly endorsed an application from my friend Arya. (I was comfortable with this because we’ve worked together in the past.) I haven’t seen the other candidates, but she seemed like a strong contender to me. The hiring manager, though, apparently wasn’t all that into her application. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation if she did make it to the final round; now I’m not sure how to handle her frequent requests for updates. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don’t want to keep her in false hope. I also think we’re making a big mistake passing on her, regardless of our personal friendship.

Alison, I’m stuck: Is there ANY good way to handle these situations? Should I just have a blanket policy of saying, sorry, I don’t get involved with friends’ job applications? How much is appropriate to push for a friend who would be good at a job?

I don’t think you should have a blanket policy of never getting involved. You want to be able to bring your own judgement to bear, and each case may be a little different. You might think someone would be great for the job, and there’s no reason to keep that to yourself. Or you might have reservations about someone, and the hiring manager should hear that too. That kind of perspective from someone who knows a candidate personally is really valuable. And it’s in your best interests to provide it, since this is someone you may end up working with.

The key is to manage expectations on your friends’ sides.

A good line to use with everyone at the outset is, “I know they’ve had a lot of applications for the position and they expect the process to be really competitive.” Sometimes saying that helps people remember that just because they feel well qualified, that doesn’t mean they’ll be the best qualified (something that candidates lose sight of a lot), and it can help them temper their expectations from the start.

With someone like Jon who’s upset that you didn’t do more to promote his candidacy, you can say, “Since we’ve never worked together, I was limited in how much I could advocate for you, but I know they’ve been talking to a lot of people who they felt were really strong.” Or, “I felt like I needed to recuse myself so I didn’t appear to be biased since we know each other, especially since we’ve never worked together.”

With someone like Arya who’s asking for frequent updates, those really aren’t yours to give if you’re not the hiring manager or otherwise authorized to give out that kind of information. (And if I were the hiring manager, I wouldn’t be happy to find out that you were feeding information to a candidate through unofficial channels!) It’s okay to explain that. You can just say, “Jane is in charge of the process, and she’s making decisions and getting back to candidates.” If you’re pressed for information on timelines or so forth, you can say, “I’m really not sure. I’m not a decision maker. Jane is really the one who’s managing all of that.” And you definitely shouldn’t tell her she’s out of the running or even give her feedback about her her candidacy has been assessed unless the hiring manager specifically authorizes you to do that — that’s info that’s typically considered the hiring manager’s to control.

Regarding your larger question about how much it’s appropriate to push for a friend who would be good at a job … I wouldn’t push at all unless you’ve actually worked with the person and can vouch for their work. If you just know the person socially, you can certainly pass along or flag their application, and you can say something like, “My friend Lucinda applied for the llama midwife position, and I think she could be excellent. We’ve never worked together, but I can tell you that she’s smart, great at connecting with animals, and passionate about llama birthing rituals.” But that’s it — you can’t really advocate beyond that, because you’ve never worked together and thus your perspective on the person’s work abilities is limited.

If you have worked with the person, like with Arya, there’s room to say more. But even then, you still wouldn’t really push for the person unless you’re on the hiring committee, because the hiring manager presumably what she’s looking for, knows the rest of the applicant pool better than you do, and is better positioned to see if your friend really is (or isn’t) the best person for the job. Your role is more of a connector (flagging the application and sharing your perspective on the person) and then being available to answer questions if the hiring manager has them — but you don’t want to see yourself as a friend’s advocate for the job, because that gets into conflict of interest territory, or at least may appear that way to others.

{ 77 comments… read them below }

  1. Roscoe*

    The one thing I’m curious about. If your company is notorious for being bad about communicating with candidates, is it still wrong for you to tell your friend if you know they are no longer being considered? I had a friend a while back apply here. He didn’t get the job, but as a courtesy they told me, but not him (at least for a while). I think its a bad process in general to just leave people hanigng, so I told him what I knew. Now when it comes to timelines and things, I can see how you wouldn’t want another person telling that, but if you know for a fact they aren’t being considered anymore, is that really a bad thing to tell your friend?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’d try to clear it with the hiring manager first. You just don’t know what info they may have that you don’t and they’re the ones running things.

      But there’s a point where it’s gone on so long — like where they’ve hired someone else — that it’s reasonable to say to the hiring manager, “My friend keeps asking me where things stand. I feel like I need to tell her that we’ve hired someone else, so I plan to do that this week.”

  2. Snark*

    “My friend Lucinda applied for the llama midwife position, and I think she could be excellent. We’ve never worked together, but I can tell you that she’s smart, great at connecting with animals, and passionate about llama birthing rituals.”

    /brb dead

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I got bored with teapots :)

        Plus, I noticed that the frequent teapot references were confusing some newer readers. Llamas will never confuse them.

            1. Cherith Ponsonby*

              I have never met a llama, but now that I know their scientific name is Lama glama, I love them too.

          1. blackcat*

            Unless you don’t like spit. Or to be kicked. I have had unpleasant experiences with camels, llamas, alpacas, and vicuña. They are not the most friendly family. Perhaps guanaco are more friendly, but given that they are wild, I am doubtful.
            Herding camelids clearly requires skills and patience I do not have.

            1. Sutemi*

              When I was 5, my sister and I had matching yellow gingham dresses and we wore them to the zoo with our parents. The llama tried to eat my dress. I’ve held a grudge against llamas ever since.

            2. Anna*

              There’s a hilarious meme about how to tell the difference between llamas and alpacas. Under llama is says things like, “Listens to Norwegian Death Metal, Has a knife in its fur, probably.” I love it.

          2. Free Meerkats*

            There is no safe space within about 5 feet around a llama. They can (and will) kick in any direction with any leg, without warning. And nothing better to start the day than a huge wad of llama cud dripping down your collar.

          3. Kathleen Adams*

            Llama breeders tell me (why yes, I do know llama breeders – need you ask?) that llamas *usually* spit only when two or more males meet. Apparently it’s an “I’m a tougher camelid than you are” thing. I’m sure there are exceptions, but that’s what they tell me.

            Now, what a llama will definitely do is investigate pretty much anything in a very intrusive way. They will stick their heads in your car, they will attempt to masticate the strap of your camera bag, they will stick their faces right in your face. Which can be pretty startling.

            Camels, on the other hand, are simply surly all the time. I don’t know first hand about spitting (though I don’t doubt it for a minute), but they bite, stomp and kick regularly and with enthusiasm. I had one breeder (yes, OK, I also know one camel breeder – you wanna make something of it?) tell me “Don’t ever turn your back on them. Ever.” So I didn’t.

            1. Mad Baggins*

              Please tell us more about your life. (Maybe we can hear more about camelid breeders as an interesting job?)

            2. Casper Lives*

              I wish to hear all about this (the only judgment you’re getting from me is that it sounds like you’ve got an interesting life & fun friends). Maybe on the Friday open thread?

            3. Kathleen Adams*

              LOL. Aren’t you sweet? I’ll try to remember to post something in the open thread, but the short answer is that I work for an agricultural association, so I know all kinds o’ farmers. Even llama breeders. I actually haven’t seen the camel breeder in a long time, so he may not still be in that particular line of business. I mean, it wasn’t like he was a big fan of camels (“Don’t ever turn your back on them. Ever.”), so it could be that he’s moved on to something else.

        1. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

          I do feel impelled to inform you that llamas actually give birth really easily and seldom need assistance. Or so sayeth Google.

          Also, brand new baby llamas standing up for the first time are ridiculously cute and long legged.

        2. Jessab*

          I don’t know about llamas but have you heard of Cody the Teeny Tiny Alpaca. She was born prematurely and at three is still smaller than the baby Alpaca on her ranch. She lives in the house and gets carried upstairs to bed because she’s too fragile to live in the barn. She’s a goodwill ambassador for her ranch and goes on meet and greets. She has a FB page and all. And raises money for her care with a book about her to teach children that it’s okay to be the different one.

  3. AdAgencyChick*

    As someone who has made this mistake a few more times than I care to admit…

    Never, never *recommend* someone for a position unless you can wholeheartedly endorse their work *from having worked with them*. It’s not enough to have a friend whom you know has lots of experience in the field but whom you haven’t worked with. You can certainly pass on an application from such a friend, and you can always tell the hiring manager, “Fergus and I are friends, and I know he has a lot of experience in teapot design.” But then you must qualify with “I haven’t actually worked with him, though, so I can’t speak to what he’s like to work with.”

    There was the new acquaintance who wanted to get into graphic design at an ad agency, and who assured me that she’d been doing it for years at her current job. I said I’d recommend her. I got her portfolio and it was a mess. Clearly not up to the standard of any agency I’ve worked at. Yet I felt obligated since I told her I’d recommend her. I bet that hiring manager wondered whether I had any ability to judge a good art director whatsoever.

    A few years later, older and (I thought) wiser, I recommended a friend who had a lot of mobile design experience for a digital graphic design job. Turns out he knew a lot about the user experience, but not how to make his designs aesthetically pleasing — and we were hiring for the graphic design side, not the UX side. He ended up getting fired at the end of his probationary period. I felt awful, because he had a steady job that he quit to take the job at my agency. Granted, the hiring manager should have done a better job evaluating his portfolio — but I still felt awful about it.

    Anyway…if you’re a good employee, your *recommendation* will carry a lot of weight — so use it only if you’re sure.

    1. Tuxedo Cat*

      I’ve seen this issue except the people actually did have a good track record in academia (e.g., good publications). Everyone was surprised how unable these people were to do basic research. What we think happened with them is that they received a lot of support and had a limited skill set.

    2. MK*

      Even if you have worked with your friend before, it can be tricky. One is usually still biased in their favor; time and again I have heard people sing their friends’ praises, and the friend can turn out to be pretty mediocre. I don’t think it’s deliberate deception, just a heavily partial view.

    3. Artemesia*

      I once promised to recommend the wife of my husband’s business partner and when I actually received her resume and saw the scattered work history I was appalled that I had been so stupid . I probably had enough influence to get her an interview as a courtesy to me, but I was unwilling to spend that chip so I passed it along with a bland ‘this is someone I know but have never worked with who is interested in the position; she has done some work with X in our field.’ She was quite put out with me that she didn’t get an interview and I told her ‘I guess I don’t have that much leverage.’ And I vowed to be more careful in the future.

  4. Triangle Pose*

    “I haven’t seen the other candidates, but she seemed like a strong contender to me.”

    I’ll never understand this. If you haven’t seen the candidate pool, then you have nothing to compare her to and thus she can’t be a “strong contender.”

    Alison’s scripts are good.

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      Disagree. If you know the responsibilities of the role and you’ve worked with the person, you can certainly guess that someone would be good or bad at the job — and if you believe, based on your experience, that the person would do the work well, that *should* make her a strong contender. After all, you have personal knowledge of *both* the company’s specific needs *and* the candidate’s specific strengths and weaknesses. That sort of knowledge is priceless to a hiring manager (at least, if your judgment in hiring can be trusted — plenty of people, myself included, are nowhere near as good at assessing candidates as we are at our everyday work).

      1. Triangle Pose*

        “if you believe, based on your experience, that the person would do the work well, that *should* make her a strong contender”

        Nope, disagree. It shouldn’t make her a strong contender if there are other candidates who would do the work better. That’s the whole point. There is only straong and weak as compared to other candidates.

        1. Koko*

          Yeah, I think maybe some are getting tripped up because you could use the word strong in a non-comparative sense – like, “She’s a strong writer,” or, “He has strong design skills.” But appending it to the word “contender” puts it in an inherently competitive context: a strong contender is someone who is strong relative to other contenders.

          1. Triangle Pose*

            Yes, exactly. I think this is an important distinction. You cannot know someone is a strong _contender_ for the role if you don’t know anything about the candidate pool, even if you know the listed qualifications for the role. You CAN know they are a strong writer/speaker/teapot washer/whatever qualification listed in the role.

    2. hbc*

      I think we’re looking at the difference between “I know this person can run a 4 minute mile” and “I know he’s the fastest runner we can get.” Usually a reference should be for the former, and you should be pretty darn sure that he’ll be hitting those times if he gets hired. You shouldn’t be talking about the latter unless you have a lot of information about the other runners, or he’s the reigning world record holder or something.

      1. Roscoe*

        Exactly. You may not know that she is the best person out of who has applied for the job, but you can know if she can do the job at a high level.

    3. The New Wanderer*

      I would just skip any comparative language. A college friend just referred me to his company’s HR. He’s never worked with me so he just said (paraphrased) “My friend is smart and talented,” indicating that my application is worth a good look without saying I’d be a great fit or contender or anything that he couldn’t know.

    4. OP*

      OP here. I guess what I meant was that I had a good idea of the level, experience, etc., of the person we were likely to hire, and what the role requires. My experience with her was her work, on those metrics, was off the charts good. (And from what I’ve seen of the finalists, she was strong; something obviously went wrong along the way.)

      1. NW Mossy*

        I wouldn’t conclude that something “went wrong,” but rather that there are aspects to the decision-making that you aren’t necessarily a party to. Maybe she’d be excellent at the technical part of the role but her style wouldn’t mesh well with that of the prospective boss/teammates. Maybe the boss is looking for someone to balance out the team in some aspect that’s not directly technical, such as wanting a relationship-oriented person to join a team that’s overstocked with task-oriented folks. Maybe it’s just that one of the other candidates really clicked with the hiring manager.

        Plenty of well-qualified candidates don’t get hired, and it’s not because they or anyone else did something wrong. It just means that it wasn’t a match at that time.

        1. Artemesia*

          I have seen so many bad hires over the years that I am willing to agree with the OP that something went wrong here. Haven’t you ever been amazed at who got hired when you know the other good people who applied?

          1. OP*

            I meant more “I really had no idea what they were looking for, I guess,” because in what I thought the role is, she’s a better candidate than the finalists — which makes me think they were not looking for the qualities I assumed they were! Or that something literally went wrong — blew an interview, didn’t get along with the manager, etc. Doesn’t mean the process was wrong, and I’m sure whoever we hire will be fine.

  5. Snark*

    Anyway, on topic….I feel like Arya needs a slightly stronger response. “Arya, I did what I could to flag your resume and I shared my knowledge of you with the hiring manager, but my role is over. I can’t be your back channel. You’re asking me for information I’m not authorized to share.”

    1. Merci Dee*

      That’s pretty nice wording, actually. Lets your friend know that you’ve done all you can, but that you’re not involved in the hiring decision and that you don’t have any more information about it than she does. Good phrasing to get her to give you some peace without, you know, being a jerk about it.

    2. TootsNYC*

      I agree with this. Because it’s also a nice way to tell Arya that she’s kind of out of line to be asking this.

      Maybe “I understand how antsy you are, but I really can’t tell you anything more. It’s not just that it would be inappropriate–because it would, actually–but I don’t even know.”

      And OP, please note: Both Jon and Arya were out of line. YOU were fine.

      1. Antilles*

        Yeah, this is a key point. OP handled everything about as well as possible.
        >Jon wasn’t a good fit, so you professionally recused yourself. This is probably the best way to handle it. You can’t lie and strongly recommend him. But if you were part of the decision, even mild uncertainties about his fit would torpedo his candidacy (you’re his friend and you’re nervous about it…) which is probably a bit too powerful given the uncertainty in the letter.
        >Arya you felt strongly about and advocated for as best as you could. But you’re not in charge of hiring and you’re not the hiring manager, so providing insider info isn’t really something you can fairly do. It’s not your decision to make, one way or the other. You said your piece and that’s about all you can do.

  6. Parting Shot*

    I recently had a similar experience to the first scenario. I’m pretty young but thought I had a good handle on professionalism and appropriate scripts: how to flag the resume of a friend I hadn’t worked with myself without pushing inappropriately, explaining to the friend that I couldn’t be part of the interview process but I hope it went well, etc…I mean, heck, my field has a perceived nepotism problem already so I naively thought he would appreciate how careful I was being to make sure nobody thought he got to the final stage undeservingly. Silly me; when he didn’t get the job I heard via the grape vine that he thought I’d damned him with faint praise.

    Communication has been…cool since then. I’m still a bit miffed.

    1. Merci Dee*

      Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know! My parents recently went on a vacation out west, just so that my dad could see all those inspiring monuments he’d read out in his favorite Louis L’Amour books (Devil’s Monument, Old Faithful, etc.). They reported that, as they were driving in the area around the northwestern edges of Yellowstone, they happened to pass a pasture that was chock-full of llamas. I’m pretty sure they’d be looking for a reputable llama midwife.

      And if llama midwifery doesn’t float your boat? No problem! In the very next pasture was a herd of . . . alpacas!

      Llamas! Alpacas! Take your pick!

      1. Specialk9*

        I did love some of the old L’Amour books, especially before he started phoning it in. Most all of the Sacketts, especially Echo the expert shot (was that the only girl protagonist, instead of a love interest?), and Last of the Breed about an American escaping from a Soviet POW camp and escaping across Siberia.

        Though I suspect if I read them now, I’d see less of the adventure and heroism I loved as a girl, and more -isms than I’d be comfortable with. Just a theory.

        1. Clumsy Ninja*

          I loved Last of the Breed, as well! And did you ever reach The Walking Drum? That was a more medieval tale, as I recall. I also enjoyed a lot of the short story collections.

      2. Artemesia*

        We used to drive from Nashville to Chicago regularly and somewhere along the way is a giant llama farm.

  7. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

    Oof. I am in a variation of this situation. I recommended a friend and former coworker and am one of her references. She will be amazing for the position and (since I will be working closely with whoever is in that role) I know she and I work wonderfully together. My boss wants me to review the applications, help select finalists, and be on the interview panel. I am definitely biased because I really want my friend to get this job, so I told my boss that I should probably remove myself from the interview process, but my boss said that I can’t. I feel like I am not going to be able to give a fair shake to the other candidates no matter how hard I try. It is definitely no fun.

    1. JulieBulie*

      Look at it this way: Perhaps meeting the other candidates will actually reinforce your recommendation for your friend.

      1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

        Oh thus far they are and that is kind of my problem. I think I am being harsher on the other applicants than I would be if she hadn’t applied. We have 3 slots filled (friend & 2 OKish candidates), so I just need 2 more realistic candidates to interview…..

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      My advice is to evaluate each of the other candidates as if your friend weren’t in the running at all. Put her completely out of your mind.

      1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

        I am definitely trying to do that, but I am not doing as well as I would like to. I can’t help having the thought, “Brienne would never start her resume with a 2 page synopsis of her past 14 years worth of employment without saying where she worked until pages 3 and 4”

        It might help if the other candidates had read AAM and didn’t have resumes that looked worse than my cat’s most recent hairball

        1. Kimberlee, Esq.*

          Hahaha, the key is to stop comparing them to Brienne! Think of it this way: the hiring manager might just have an instance personality clash with Brienne and refuse to hire her. You have to have other candidates to advance as well, then, right?

          When you’re at a point in the process where you have to start ruthlessly cutting candidates, then I think it’s helpful to compare them to your #1 if there’s an obvious #1, but before that, you should start with just separating people who clear a minimum bar from those that don’t.

          If your task is to find 5 people to recommend advancing to finals, just focus on filling those 5 slots with people who should be advanced. Brienne can only fill 1 slot!

          1. Danger: Gumption Ahead*

            True, true. I am cart before horsing. We just need to get 5 people to interview. Brienne is on the list as are Podrick and Sam. So 2 more to go, but I’m not seeing anyone in the stack we have now. Who knows, though? Someone amazing might still apply since it has only been 2 weeks or so.

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yeah, you need to stop thinking about her altogether. Pretend that she dropped out of the process for some reason and you have to hire from the other candidates. (Then you can put her back in at the end if she still belongs there.)

  8. LAI*

    In general, is it ok for someone to be on the hiring committee when a friend is applying? I’ve seen this happen twice now – after people were hired in my office, we found out that they were friends with someone on the hiring committee. In both cases, I actually think it turned out well – the people hired were both well qualified and ended up being great coworkers. But they were at a disadvantage at the beginning because I was a little suspicious of how they got chosen, especially since the friendship wasn’t disclosed in advance either time (at least not to the office at large, maybe it was to the hiring committee).

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I think it depends. If it’s a close friendship and the person can easily recuse themselves, they should. But sometimes there’s no practical way to do that, because they really do need to be part of the process. In that case, you’d want to ensure there are at least one or two other people involved in the process whose opinions will carry real weight (and who are aware of the potential bias of the other). And it’s good to call out the potential for bias explicitly.

      1. OP*

        That was my position. It was pretty easy for me to recuse myself from Jon’s process completely, because there were plenty of people who could evaluate him. I’m going to work quite closely with the person in the role Arya is getting, and I appreciate being asked to sign off on the hire, so I couldn’t really back out of that one politely.

        1. Jessab*

          True but maybe you could come back in at the end. They whittle down the field and you help choose after.

  9. Justin*

    I think it’s a good process to, if you know them, make it absolutely clear and explicit you are offering a personal rec rather than professional one. Professional is far more important but personal can help. Just be clear you’re not speaking for things you don’t know.

    I spoke highly of someone’s character and was clear I couldn’t vouch for him as an employee. He was a successful hire, and I doubt I was the reason but it couldn’t have hurt. It was nice to help as his old firm was closing.

    1. Gandalf the Nude*

      Same. I left Last Job on good terms and recommended a friend to them by saying “I’ve never worked with him, so I can’t speak to his qualifications, but he’s a good guy and would likely be a good culture fit at least.” That ended up working well because culture fit had been the far more difficult challenge for them than finding the right skill set. (Well, it worked well until they had to eliminate his position, but they’d have him back in a heartbeat!)

      It’s good to spell that out to the friend too, though. Too many people just don’t understand it.

  10. em2mb*

    Reading everyone’s comments with interest because I’m curious about how this works in other industries. I work in a very small, niche industry where no one is separated from anyone more than six degrees of Kevin Bacon. We added a new team in January to our organization, but there’s been significant turnover since then. Only one of the people we hired on is still with us. The other three positions have already turned over.

    I’ve made a couple of recommendations for jobs now based on 1) who’s looking right now and 2) who I think would work well under this particular manager, who has pretty exacting standards. I feel I have a good sense of her management style because I worked under her for several months before moving into the role I’m in now. She can be difficult, but she also brings skills no one else has to the table. We always had a good rapport. I generally think my organization makes good hires, but it’s driving me batty that no one is listening to my recommendations, especially since they keep asking me to make them!

    1. Jessab*

      I would be so tempted to say “Enough. Stop asking me for recommendations if you’re never going to use them. It’s a waste of my capital with the people I might recommend.”

  11. Meg*

    I feel like the friends were really the ones who handled this badly. One of my best friends pushed me to apply for my current job (where she worked) and recommended me to the hiring manager. She was explicit that we had never worked together, and mostly just said that she thought I would fit in well with the team. She was also clear to me that she only got my resume to the top of the pile, and only sort of got me a phone interview (that if I was totally unqualified I wouldn’t have gotten a courtesy interview). I found out almost a year later that my friend told the hiring manager that my friend and I had very similar personalities, and I would be quiet until I got to know people better. Apparently that’s the only reason I got brought back for an in-person interview, I was sort of “flat” in the phone interview lol.

    To my actual point, while my friend was clear to the hiring manager how she knew me/hadn’t worked with me, I also didn’t expect my friend to “get” me the job, and didn’t bug her for updates. I don’t feel like it would have been appropriate for her to have pushed them to hire me, or for me to push her to talk me up/get me updates.

    As another caveat, I wouldn’t have considered taking the job if I would be working directly with my friend. It was the ideal situation for me, since she could strongly vouch for the team I’d be working with, and the job didn’t overlap with her job at all.

  12. Agent Diane*

    Neither of your friend are behaving well in bothering you about this. In the latter case, you absolutely must not share information but use Alison’s scripts. To do anything else would be undermining the hiring manager, and may make them distrust you in future.

    I’d also encourage you to ask the hiring manager to excuse you from marking your friend’s application or interview because you are showing a lot of bias. If that shows at interview the other candidates would be writing in to AAM saying “what should I do when one of the panel clearly wants their friend to get the job?”. Don’t be that person.

  13. miyeritari*

    I actually really need someone who’s big into llama birthing rituals, so I’d appreciate if Arya got back to me asap.

  14. RB*

    I had someone recently use me as a reference on an application to my place of work. He didn’t let me know he listed my name until after he had already applied. So that was mistake #1. But I simply told him that I would have to be honest and say that we only worked together for two months, 10 years ago. We stayed friends for awhile after that but if the hiring manager asked me about him, I would only be able to speak to a very tiny part of his overall work history. It was tough for him to find references because he didn’t want anyone at his company to know he was looking for work.

  15. Anon16*

    My former manager referred me to two positions at her office. She just said, “no guarantees” – that was all I needed. I think it’s fine to refer someone but to be clear you can’t guarantee anything. I don’t think it needs language fancier than that, I understood she was happy to make the referral but wasn’t on the hiring committee and couldn’t guarantee I would be selected. And that was fine with me.

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