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Request references. Does it mean close to getting a job?

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  • Jun 5th, 2010 3:35 am
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Sr. Member
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Dec 18, 2008
665 posts
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waterloo

Request references. Does it mean close to getting a job?

If a potential employer is requesting for references, does it usually mean that I am very close to getting a job?

Reason is that I don't want potential employers to be calling up my references often and end up getting no offer at the end. They are very busy people. An example of this is the Loblaws Grad program (calling up on our references when applicants aren't even considered as getting hired).
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Deal Addict
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Apr 1, 2006
3370 posts
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Usually, yes it means you're close to a job offer (in my experience, anyway). I'd like to hope they wouldn't call references unless they were serious about an applicant, so they can avoid wasting the time of your references.
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Aug 28, 2007
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Depends on when they're asking.

I find that some staffing firms and recruiters are developing a habit of asking for references before actually conducting an interview. Which, IMO, is BS.

But if you've had 2 interviews with an employer and then they've asked for references, it's a pretty good sign.
Sr. Member
Sep 26, 2007
842 posts
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Redguard wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 10:54 am
Depends on when they're asking.

I find that some staffing firms and recruiters are developing a habit of asking for references before actually conducting an interview. Which, IMO, is BS.

But if you've had 2 interviews with an employer and then they've asked for references, it's a pretty good sign.
this
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Dec 29, 2009
297 posts
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TooSoonJr wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 10:56 am
this

I think if employers ask you for references BEFORE your first interview with them, it doesn't mean anything. if they ask you for references AFTER the first interview, then it's likely moving in a favourable direction for you.
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Jul 3, 2008
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lol, i was almost gonna ask the same thing.

one potential employer asked for 3 supervisor references for the interview. I thought it was BS since they only gave me 5 days notice for the interview.

I am crossing my fingers that they dont call my references without good reason > :(
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Dec 29, 2009
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firefly767 wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 11:19 am
lol, i was almost gonna ask the same thing.

one potential employer asked for 3 supervisor references for the interview. I thought it was BS since they only gave me 5 days notice for the interview.

I am crossing my fingers that they dont call my references without good reason > :(

I had to come up with 3 references on a few hours notice for a job interview. Luckily I maintain a pool of references to pick and choose and I keep in touch with them throughout the year so it's easier to give them a heads up in case someone asks for a reference.
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Dec 29, 2009
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Smog wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 11:46 am
Your potential employer told you to bring 3 references before an interview? And did you end up getting the job?

My plan is to walk into an interview with no references. Then tell them that I will email the list of references within a day or so. What do you think about this? It will give me the opportunity to give my references a heads up right after my interview instead of getting a surprise call.

Yes, they asked for references before the interview. No I didn't end up getting the job, so they wouldn't have proceeded to contact them.

If they specifically ask you to bring in references to an interview, then I would do as they ask. Otherwise they may get annoyed if you didn't bring any and tell them you will do it in a couple of days.

You can still give your references a head up before going to the interview, you could say something like "just be prepared in case someone calls you", or something like that.
Jr. Member
Sep 7, 2009
114 posts
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Toronto
This is a pretty good sign and also, it should not be automatic that they will even contact your refrences. I have had a situation where I did well in the interview, they called me for my references two days later and made an offer of employment the next day. They never called any of my refrences. Some places just ask for them as a guideline they must follow
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Mar 7, 2009
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Waterloo
I've refused to give references when asked for them before the first interview. I will only give them if I am one of the final candidates. If everyone did this, employers/recruiters would stop asking for them so early.
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Aug 28, 2007
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Some relevant reading on the topic of references:

http://www.rightattitudes.com/2009/06/3 ... interview/
In response to my previous article on why résumés should not list references, blog reader Ana Maria inquired, “I’ve been asked to provide references before an interview. What should I do?”

Short answer: decline politely. Say, “I prefer to give you a list of references after my interview.” Here is why.

References are relevant only during the later part of the recruiting process, i.e. after a prospective employer has interviewed you and desires to check others’ impressions of you prior to extending you an offer.

As a candidate, you should choose to describe yourself first to the prospective employer in an interview. Your references should represent your credentials only after you and the employer have established a mutual interest. This is the established protocol.

Besides, providing references after an interview is respectful of your references. You would not want to bother your references too often or make public their contact information.

The above guideline holds even if you are interviewing through a contracting firm or recruitment agency. Such intermediaries routinely complete reference checks before they present worthy candidates to their clients/recruiters. For that reason, the recruiting agency may contact your references after an initial interview with a representative of the agency. Subsequently, the agency may forward your references’ opinions to a prospective employer, but should not pass your references’ contact information.
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Jul 3, 2008
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if job application requires that you submit your references along with your resume, can I assume that they won't contact the references UNTIL at least they gave me an interview?

i am a bit afraid my references will be annoyed with the phone calls...
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Aug 31, 2003
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Redguard wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 10:54 am
Depends on when they're asking.

I find that some staffing firms and recruiters are developing a habit of asking for references before actually conducting an interview. Which, IMO, is BS.

But if you've had 2 interviews with an employer and then they've asked for references, it's a pretty good sign.
It happened to me once. Interviewer would like me to provide one of my reference prior to the first face to face interview. I thought that he just wanted to make sure I was not one of those who put up fake info on my resume.

So, if your interviewer asked for reference, it doesn't necessarily mean you're closed to get a deal.
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Jan 20, 2009
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In my case, both my previous and current employers told me they were ready to present me with a job offer pending a clean criminal check and references check. They basically said a job offer is coming assuming you're not a criminal and your references check out. Before that point I had not given either of them references.
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Aug 9, 2004
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Quiggie wrote:
Jan 6th, 2010 2:09 pm
I've refused to give references when asked for them before the first interview. I will only give them if I am one of the final candidates. If everyone did this, employers/recruiters would stop asking for them so early.
I agree. I would find it extremely unprofessional for references to be just checked without firmly deciding that I was a valuable candidate.

I think its fair to say "I can arrange several references for you to speak with, but they are very valuable to me, so out of respect for them I will release them once I have been deemed a short-listed candidate for the position. I'm sure you can appreciate my reasons for that."

A reference is meant to just be a final confirmation that the person being hired is not hiding anything. Not to merely gain entry for an interview, during which YOU may decide you arent interested in the position.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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