Know what Your References are Going to Say about You

Know what Your References are Going to Say about You

Before attending an interview, you should have your references lined up and ready to 

provide to the interviewer when asked. More than just writing down 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 there is positive, you don’t know how you were remembered or what will be 

said unless you ask.

Your first step should be to contact everyone that you are considering using as a 

reference. You will want to confirm they are working for the same company and if there 

The phone number is the same. If a boss has moved to another company, you can still utilize 

them as a reference provided you can track them down.

When you reach a potential reference, don’t assume they will remember you and 

everything about you – remind them. Things you say during your conversation can have 

a positive outcome on what they have to say about you later on. Ask them if they are 

comfortable providing you with a favorable reference and if there is any feedback they 

have for you. If you are very comfortable you can flat out ask how they felt about your 

time working with them and what they would say about you if someone called to ask.

If you are not comfortable with providing a direct supervisor or boss you can use other 

employees in the company that old a supervisory position. Think of people you have 

worked closely with on projects or such – they are valid and reputable people to provide 

as references too.  

But if you have made it through the interview process, a reference would have to go quite 

badly for it to affect a possible job offer.

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