Last post we discussed why references are more important than people believe. Today we will look at how to choose who should be your reference.
Choosing the right references is important. When a hiring manager interviews a reference, they are not only looking for information about your candidacy. They are also looking for subtle clues about how great an employee you really were.
It is against the law for a reference to speak poorly of you to the interviewer, but references that don’t give you a glowing recommendation will seem apathetic to your employment, possibly because they do not think that highly of you.
When you choose a reference, they must meet all of the following criteria:
- They must be energetic about helping you find employment.
- They must be energetic naturally, both in their speech and mannerisms.
- They must be knowledgeable of your tasks at your previous job.
- They must be prepared, and know that the job will be calling.
- They must be in a position that gives them authority.
All of these must be true. That means that if your old boss loves you and wants you to find a job, but also talks like Ben Stein, you may want to find someone else. Employers are going to listen to that person speak about you in monotone and assume they don’t care about you or your hard work.
Also, make sure that they have something to say – especially the tasks relevant to the position. A boss that only knows one or two of the activities you did during your employment is not a good enough reference.
Evidence suggests that hiring managers do call references, and that many applicants are turned away for either “lying” on their resume or for having a reference that doesn’t speak about them in a glowing fashion. Yet this can easily be because the reference simply wasn’t good enough at informing the hiring manager about your hard work or tasks. Make sure the reference you choose will not have these issues.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Choose energetic, informed references.