Help with job interview issue

  1. Hey everyone,

    I hope someone can help me here. I had a job interview today for a position in a field that I'm trying to break into (training and development). It started out a little rocky because I was so nervous, and this was my first interview in four years. It ended up being really good after I warmed up, though, and I think I nailed it because the interviewers told me I was up against one other candidate. They are going to see if any other resumes come along and I will hear from them by the end of June.

    While the interview went well and the 3 of us had a good conversation, I sensed vibes from the main interviewer and I chalked my interpretation of her demeanor up to nervousness (on my part). While the 2nd interviewer was very nice, the main interviewer had a bit more of an attitude. They are a newly formed department and there are a lot of restructuring issues that are going on at once, and I thought they weren't very good at interviewing because they didn't seem to know how to get the information they needed out of the questions they asked me.

    Anyway, they told me I should send a list of references, and here is where the problem lies. I chose 3 colleagues that could more than adequately represent me, one of whom supervised me on several projects. Apparently, this was not enough for the main interviewer. She wrote back and said that she HAD to speak to a current or former boss, but she didn't want to jeopardize my current job situation, but she had to speak to someone who supervised me.

    WTH?! My current situation at work is so bad that if I tell my boss that she needs to vouch for me, I'm out the door. If I were to give this interviewer the information she wanted, and if for some reason I wasn't chosen, I'd be in deep trouble, anyway. Why would she say she doesn't want to jeopardize my current job and yet ask for the information? I've never encountered someone so pushy before like this. Also, this is my first real job and I've been here for four years, and I don't have any former bosses, outside of part time job or internship positions, who can vouch for me, anyway. I know it's normal for interviewers to want to speak to a boss, but I thought it was after an offer was made and they'd drop the issue if they felt a candidate would lose their current job. And the relationship with my current boss is tenuous as it is, which is why I'm hunting to begin with!

    I did write back the main interviewer and told her I couldn't reveal my supervisor's information unless I had a firm offer in hand, and that the one reference that had supervised my work would hopefully be able to give her the information she needed. Was this the right thing to do? What should I do if another place is this demanding? How does reference checking work? I'm really sad to lose this job if it comes to it, but I won't put up with demanding people, either.

    Sorry this post is so long! TIA!
     
  2. I would give the name of the people who supervised you at internships. Those are supervisors. And most employers KNOW that speaking with your current employer is a big taboo. If you give her 2-3 names of former internship supervisors, she should be happy--especially if your current job is your first "real" job.

    One thing to keep in mind. Watch how prospective employers treat you as an applicant. This is my theory--if they're rude, unhelpful, demanding, etc. to you as an applicant, they're probably worse when you're an employee...
     
  3. I has a job interview last week and I got asked for references. I only gave them for previous jobs, not my current position. Theres no way you have to provide your current job as a reference - you dont want them to know you're looking for a new job so why would they be a reference? You should explain to her that as there is no firm offer from them, you cannot jeapardize your current job by letting them know you are job searching
     
  4. Not sure if she was asking for that specific reference to test how you would gracefully deny her request or if she is a complete half wit. Either way, it is not customary to request a reference (other than a confidential confirmation about your comp. from HR) from your current employer.
     
  5. Yessiree! :yes:

    I've been in the corporate recruiting field for over 12 years...I think this particular interviewer is unprofessional and unrealistic if she is demanding that you give your current supervisor's name & contact info before you have an offer in hand. It is simply not appropriate or professional for a potential future employer to expect a candidate to jeopardize his/her current employment without an offer. I think you did a good job explaining your situation, and offering other individuals who have first-hand work experience to act as references in this "in-between" time.

    Some companies do this: they check references from previous jobs and then deliver the offer, but make it contingent upon a satisfactory reference check from the current supervisor. That way, they have enough information about a candidate's work history and performance to make an offer decision, and can then seal the deal upon talking with the current supervisor, after the candidate has had the opportunity to first discuss his/her plans with the current sup.

    You might consider suggesting this approach if the interviewer is still pressing to talk to your current supervisor.

    And I completely agree with Wicked :yes: ...the way companies treat candidates in the recruiting process is a very good predictor of how employees are treated.

    Good luck and keep us posted!!! :flowers:
     
  6. Thanks, guys. I really think I got saved big time by having this person request what she did of me and I learned so much today. Your suggestions make sense and I don't think I could take another hostile workplace. I'll keep you all updated as my search continues.