Friday, 02 February 2018 09:15

If an employer hires you and mentions that one of your references didn't say the best things about you, does that mean they aren't a good reference?

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The responses to this question thus far, are based on assumptions. With lack of supporting data, how can it be otherwise?

The question doesn’t tell us whether the Employer told you which reference was the one that didn’t say the best things about you. It would likely be considered unprofessional if they did.

Assuming they did tell you the identity of the nonsupportive reference, then yes, you would be well-advised to contact the reference to find out why their reference was less than helpful.

If you don’t, you are left with more assumptions. Why would they do that? What exactly did they say? Were they having a bad day when the Employer contacted them?

Everything is assumption, until you validate them.

Perhaps your reference was asked a question that they weren’t prepared to answer. Part of the procuring references process, both professional and personal, is to work with them to prepare them for questions related to your experience for the job you are applying for. They will also likely be asked questions related to your character.

Yes, there is likely legislation in place that limits what and Employer can ask of a reference, but you can’t assume that everybody follows the rules.

You landed the job, which is good. My concern would be, could you see this less-than-helpful reference resurface as part of a future performance appraisal?

There would likely be value in contacting all of of your references to see how things went with them.


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