I didn’t get a job I had my heart set on. All throughout the interview process I felt I had a good shot at the perfect job for me. Never did I feel to the contrary. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it and I’m guessing that one of my references gave me a lukewarm report. Can I ask him what he said?
–K.S., Boston, MA
Absolutely, call the reference. Tell him you applied for a job you really wanted and thought you had a good chance of getting, and you want to know if he received a call for a reference. Ask him point blank. If he gave you good reference, he’ll tell you. If he did not, it is better to know, so that you don’t use his name in the future.
Should he offer an explanation as to why he had not been more enthusiastic, listen and thank him for his honesty.
On the other hand, if your reference is vague about being asked, don’t probe. As a professional, he really should have the integrity to tell you that he either didn’t return the call or didn’t give you a good reference. Going forward, you are better off knowing how he responded to the call asking about you. Thank him for taking the time to talk to you before cutting off the conversation.
The person who initiates the conversation by making the call, ends the conversation.
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Accepting A Compliment