By Selipha Kihagi
Recently a client wrote in an email that his referees made him lose out on a job opening. Asking how this was so, he said that after his second interview with the hiring company he got a call letting him know that the interview went well and all that remained was the formalities. One day later a second call came in saying they had decided to go with somebody else. Why? Because one of the referees spoke negatively.
Not everyone is lucky to get feedback from recruiters about what their referees said about them, but if you have good ones you keep contact with then that’s no problem for you. The referees you include in your CV are as important as your qualifications in the CV that determine if you are the best person for the job or not. For this reason, it is important you familiarize with the role referees play.
Here Are 4 Things You Need To Know About Referees
1. Referees won’t be forthcoming if you don’t tell them you are job searching
While you may be well qualified for a position and even go on to ace the job interview, the referees in your CV could be your own undoing. Just because somebody knew you very well in the job and you asked them to be your referees, to which they said yes, does not mean they will be forthcoming when called by recruiters. They could be caught at a bad time and end up saying they don’t know you.
It is important that whenever you are applying for jobs, you let your referees know about it. This way they are always prepared.
2. Listing your friends as referees could work against you
Not having referees is not a new thing among job seekers but this could lead to you listing friends because the job ad requested 3 entries. While your friends could hold high positions in their respective companies and will never say anything negative about you, they could be caught off guard.
When recruiters call or email your referees, there is usually a list of questions specific to you and your job description; your friend could provide shaky information if they are not familiar with the job. If you must include a friend, make sure they know what you do –a mentor would be best.
3. Recruiters use your referees as tie-breakers
You were called into an interview and did exemplary well, but somebody else did as well as you and recruiters are having a hard time deciding. They can’t hire the two of you. This is where what your referees say about you can disqualify you for a position.
If one of your referees was not fully convinced about your work ethic or performance, it might not matter what the other two say. Be careful who you include in your list.
4. If you told a lie in the interview, your referees will tell the truth
Sometimes you may feel the need to tell a lie during the job interview or give half-truths. While this may work in your favor to pass the job interview, reference checks may come back to bite you. You referees know what you can do and who you are, if they think you honest they will expect nothing less.
So, if you choose to tell a lie in the interview, remember to tell your referees too about the lie. Or you can just choose the truth and let it play out.
Referees play a big part in your being hired for the position or not, especially in the top companies that you dream to work for. Always keep that in mind when choosing your referees.
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