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Best way to tell interviewer that you're not comfortable contacting management references?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 20th, 2020 2:59 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 29, 2012
1413 posts
314 upvotes
Vancouver

Best way to tell interviewer that you're not comfortable contacting management references?

I haven't had a job for a year because of my brain injury, which i'm still suffering severely from - anxiety, vision, severe memory issues, neurofatigue. I did good in an interview recently, at least I think. And then they asked me to provide two manager references.

I don't really feel comfortable contacting my previous boss. He was really annoyed that I left to try go to school because I had a key position. And we were not close, he worked in his office, and I worked on the floor. Should I just tell the interviewer that "Hello, I've decided i'm no longer interested in this job position." And then... i'm not sure if I should state that I don't feel comfortable with contacting my employer.

I had already provided 3 co-worker references from that company, but she called me and said she wants 2 management references.
27 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1177 posts
1019 upvotes
Why don’t you just say that your boss no longer works there and you don’t my have his/her contact info?
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2008
1027 posts
384 upvotes
Markham
how comfortable are you fudging your managerial references?
Deal Addict
Oct 12, 2006
1799 posts
301 upvotes
Alberta
I thought most places are at the point where thy won't give "references" in the classic sense, and just confirm that you worked there.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
3860 posts
2649 upvotes
"Hello, I've decided i'm no longer interested in this job position." 

If you're willing to give up that easily why not just be honest and tell them you're not comfortable using him but would be happy to provide other references?

Or why not use another manager you had a good relationship with ?
Before responding to someone (online or offline) ask yourself: is it true? is it helpful? is it kind? is it necessary? This comes from an old Sufi adage that is so relevant today.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 1, 2001
942 posts
289 upvotes
Toronto
Chingyul wrote: I thought most places are at the point where thy won't give "references" in the classic sense, and just confirm that you worked there.
That's what mine does
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2013
189 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto, ON
SquirreI wrote: Should I just tell the interviewer that "Hello, I've decided i'm no longer interested in this job position." And then... i'm not sure if I should state that I don't feel comfortable with contacting my employer.
Sorry to hear about your injury.

But definitely don't turn down a position for a reason that's within your control. Why? Because you don't learn how to deal with another potential employer who may have a similar request.

It's understandable that you may no longer have any contact with this particular boss. But do you have contact with any previous managers? Just give her 2 of those. End of the day, they just want to know if you're reliable and trustworthy, so they're looking for someone senior to you who can provide a good report about what it was like to manage you and your work. (Coworkers don't count as they could've been drinking buddies.)

And if you get this gig, remember to always establish/maintain contact with your boss(es) or senior folks (if your direct boss sucks).
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 29, 2012
1413 posts
314 upvotes
Vancouver
raywired wrote: And if you get this gig, remember to always establish/maintain contact with your boss(es) or senior folks (if your direct boss sucks).
how do you do that though. my boss and i weren't close and it's been a year and two months since i worked with him. and my previous boss i worked for was 4 years ago i think. in the hierarchy, i was directly under my boss, my job was auditing, managing and training people, and managing each department. the only person i reported to and was under was the actual manager.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
2342 posts
1139 upvotes
Ottawa
SquirreI wrote: how do you do that though. my boss and i weren't close and it's been a year and two months since i worked with him. and my previous boss i worked for was 4 years ago i think. in the hierarchy, i was directly under my boss, my job was auditing, managing and training people, and managing each department. the only person i reported to and was under was the actual manager.
I don't think you need to maintain contact. It is better sure but you can use them as a reference regardless. Just write them a note asking for a reference and maybe remind them of your role and achievements. Certainly crazy to give up the job rather than do that. Good luck!
Jr. Member
May 23, 2020
122 posts
46 upvotes
SquirreI wrote: how do you do that though. my boss and i weren't close and it's been a year and two months since i worked with him. and my previous boss i worked for was 4 years ago i think. in the hierarchy, i was directly under my boss, my job was auditing, managing and training people, and managing each department. the only person i reported to and was under was the actual manager.
If you have any goodwill with the other folks, maybe ask them if they’d be happy to be a reference for you. And before giving up all hope, you can try to ask your manager. Before giving up on the job, why not give this all a shot?

Good luck.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
11246 posts
3499 upvotes
Toronto
Not understanding why the company you applied for has to be so strict with 2 management reference.
Most HR staff understand that applicant is not comfortable giving out direct manager's info for reference. We don't want to tell our boss that we are sick of him/her and want to leave.

I worked in a big top 5 bank, all they did is a criminal check and that's it.
Some other jobs, I provided my co-workers reference and they are good with it.

Your future employer is just not accommodating. A reference from a former manager is not always guarantee anything anyway,
Just said you are out of work because of an injury since over a year and the manager you last worked with no longer with the company and you do not know any other managers that worked with you.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
1393 posts
1293 upvotes
Am I the only one that feels really strange contacting an employer that you havn't spoke to in years to be a reference?
Wallet safe :rolleyes:
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
32878 posts
6499 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
You’re willing to give up the job? Then you have nothing to lose

Give them the manager’s names

Best case, they give you a good or neutral review and you get the job. Worse case, they rate you poorly and may still get the job or you lose it. If you lose it, you’re no better off than you are today
Newbie
Mar 22, 2013
69 posts
101 upvotes
BC
Did you tell the company you're apply at about your existing brain injuries?

They are probably trying to asses "how much of a burden/liability" you were at your previous place of employment.
Jr. Member
May 23, 2020
122 posts
46 upvotes
Gee wrote: You’re willing to give up the job? Then you have nothing to lose

Give them the manager’s names

Best case, they give you a good or neutral review and you get the job. Worse case, they rate you poorly and may still get the job or you lose it. If you lose it, you’re no better off than you are today
But contact your manager first.

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