references

we hired without checking references … and it went badly

A reader writes: We recently interviewed some one who seemed okay but I had reservations. We didn’t have many good options, so we asked for her references. She has 10+ years of work history and we could not get in touch with anybody. When we went back to her asking for help, she provided references […]

Read the full article →

should I give a bad reference for a nightmare employee?

A reader writes: I used to serve on the board of a small nonprofit, which I left a year ago. During my time on the board, we had to hire a new executive director. The new hire’s references were stellar and he had a great resume, but there were problems even before he had fully […]

Read the full article →

my interviewer wants a reference from my current boss

A reader writes: I have been at my current job for about six years and have a good relationship with my manager. But for various reasons I have decided that it’s time to move on and have been looking for something new. My manager doesn’t know about my search. Recently, the recruiter for a job […]

Read the full article →

a terrible employee asked me for a reference

A reader writes: I have received a reference request for one of our former employees. I had told this student that I was not hiring her back because she wasn’t reliable. She would cancel her shifts at the last minute, not making an effort to find a replacement. She wouldn’t do anything unless I told […]

Read the full article →

we offered someone a job — and then he got a bad reference

A reader writes: We recently offered a new employee a job, with a job offer email that included the following line: “The position is permanent and will be subject to a three-month probationary period and reference check.” We made the offer contingent on references because one of his references was his current employer and he […]

Read the full article →

what to do if your references aren’t available

A reader writes: This question mostly applies to people working at small businesses where there is one manager and a few employees. I’ve always been told references should be whoever you reported to and/or whoever can evaluate your work. How can I provide a reference to potential future employers when the boss isn’t available or […]

Read the full article →

my interviewer contacted a reference I didn’t approve

A reader writes: I recently started a job search, and I reached out to various people on LinkedIn to see if they knew of any open positions. One of those people was an old coworker, and he had me get in touch with the CEO of the small company he currently works for. I emailed […]

Read the full article →

what to do when a potential reference turns you down

A reader writes: How do I respond to a rejection email from a potential reference? I am a graduate student and requested a reference from a professor I know well. I was shocked when she responded, “You can use me as a reference, but I would have to be honest… if they ask me about […]

Read the full article →