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    • inglorius
    • By inglorius 3rd Oct 17, 5:56 PM
    • 74Posts
    • 5Thanks
    inglorius
    No job offer after reference check
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 5:56 PM
    No job offer after reference check 3rd Oct 17 at 5:56 PM
    I was looking for some advice please, I recently was invited back for 2nd interview by a large American organisation for a managerial role. At the end of the interview with the European Operations Director he said he was going to instruct his deputy to seek job references from my previous employers.

    A week later and the HR function chased me to say that none of my referees had responded yet; when I contacted my referees again they all said no one had been in touch but they would be expecting contact. A week later HR phoned again to say that my application was not going to be progressed as they had decided that I didn't have as much experience as they wanted in an aspect of the role as the job requirements had now changed.

    Am I right to be deeply suspicious about this; I asked HR why they had asked to contact my references after 2 interviews knowing my job experience from the beginning and why suddenly my experience was deemed to be invalid. HR stated that the decision wasn't based on the feedback from my references and that they hadn't ultimately been able to make contact with them; they couldn't explain why they would ask for references and then not bother to use them.

    Any thoughts on this please would be gratefully appreciated
Page 1
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 3rd Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 2,774 Thanks
    Hedgehog99
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    I'm job-hunting at the moment and have found that some employers don't seem to have liaised between departments to decide what they really want from an applicant.

    Sometimes and ad will ask for skills x and y, plus a bit of z, but when you get to interview, it turns out the job will be mostly z with occasional if any x and y, so anyone who applied thinking the ad reflected the job on offer now doesn't fit the employer's requirements.

    I do wish those who will be the job holder's actual bosses would talk to HR about what they want, that HR would tell the bosses the requirements HR have and that whoever writes the advertisement is someone who actually understands the role and makes sure the ad accurately describes the role and requirements.

    Although your scenario could be viewed as suspicious, if you have a good relationship with your referees and have no reason to believe they'd say anything unfavourable, I'd be more likely to believe the potential employer was just disorganised in its recruitment process and that yes, they did change the job spec at the last minute. Maybe they missed something from the original job spec or maybe another candidate had a skill they hadn't originally considered, but they realised they could add it to the job spec?

    SWSWSWN!
    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Oct 17, 6:12 PM
    • 13,650 Posts
    • 14,098 Thanks
    zx81
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:12 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:12 PM
    Am I right to be deeply suspicious about this;
    Originally posted by inglorius
    No. Requirements change. Plans change. Additional thoughts enter the mix.

    They may have pursued two or three candidates and then made a final decision.

    You didn't make the cut this time, but there will be another time.
    • inglorius
    • By inglorius 3rd Oct 17, 6:24 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    inglorius
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:24 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:24 PM
    No. Requirements change. Plans change. Additional thoughts enter the mix.

    They may have pursued two or three candidates and then made a final decision.

    You didn't make the cut this time, but there will be another time.
    Originally posted by zx81
    It was fedback that I was the only person in the process. What makes me suspicious is that I was interviewed against the same job profile I was subsequently told had now changed. My belief is that they received negative feedback from a referee but is less messy to admit that and proffer another reason.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 3rd Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    • 2,863 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:30 PM
    Maybe it was just one person playing bad cop and haltering plans. Could you SAR them or least find a 'professional mate' to contact your previous employers?

    I'm finding an awful lot of jobs sadly re-advertised myself (proper jobs, we're not talking min wage types or the quick start varieties here either but ones that involved some thought) that I know I only saw end of June/July time. It's all very bizarre.

    1 job advertised in June with it's '3 week panel sift' alone now appears to be 2k more even now with same job description what just 4 months on!
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 3rd Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 374 Posts
    • 550 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    It was fedback that I was the only person in the process. What makes me suspicious is that I was interviewed against the same job profile I was subsequently told had now changed. My belief is that they received negative feedback from a referee but is less messy to admit that and proffer another reason.
    Originally posted by inglorius
    Your belief is nothing without proof, even with proof there's little you can do. A SAR won't help you, if anything negative has been put forward you can bet it will not be included in their response.

    You've nothing to gain by pursuing this. Time to let it go.
    • inglorius
    • By inglorius 3rd Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    inglorius
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    Your belief is nothing without proof, even with proof there's little you can do. A SAR won't help you, if anything negative has been put forward you can bet it will not be included in their response.

    You've nothing to gain by pursuing this. Time to let it go.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    Fair comment. My only concern going forward would be that if references were an issue this time then they will be an issue next time, not sure how I can circumnavigate this problem?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 3rd Oct 17, 7:38 PM
    • 9,729 Posts
    • 7,755 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:38 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:38 PM

    Any thoughts on this please would be gratefully appreciated
    Originally posted by inglorius
    Look for another suitable vacancy
    • Sanne
    • By Sanne 4th Oct 17, 3:04 AM
    • 337 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    Sanne
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 3:04 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 3:04 AM
    You assume it was a referee playing bad cop, however, if(!) they heard anything negative (do you have reasons to believe they may have, i.e. is there anything truthful that has happened?) it may not have been a referee but someone else they spoke to.

    Depending on the town/industry it's a small world sometimes - I worked in a city, in three different towns and in different industries but found that, at my last three jobs, someone senior or the hiring manager informally spoke to someone we both knew either before or after the interview. So easy these days
    • zugzwang
    • By zugzwang 4th Oct 17, 3:07 AM
    • 449 Posts
    • 1,156 Thanks
    zugzwang
    Fair comment. My only concern going forward would be that if references were an issue this time then they will be an issue next time, not sure how I can circumnavigate this problem?
    Originally posted by inglorius
    Their HR dept say they didn't manage to contact your referees and your two referees say they weren't contacted. So you must conclude there was no contact and references weren't the problem.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 4th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    • 1,956 Posts
    • 2,909 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Fair comment. My only concern going forward would be that if references were an issue this time then they will be an issue next time, not sure how I can circumnavigate this problem?
    Originally posted by inglorius
    It's thunderously unlikely that you would have got a bad comment from any referee without having any inkling who it was or what it was about.

    So, do you have reason to suspect any of the referees likely to have been contacted (not people you named, anyone likely to have been contacted from your last few years of work history) would have given you a bad reference?
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 4th Oct 17, 8:07 AM
    • 1,956 Posts
    • 2,909 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Their HR dept say they didn't manage to contact your referees and your two referees say they weren't contacted. So you must conclude there was no contact and references weren't the problem.
    Originally posted by zugzwang
    Their HR dept said the referees hadn't responded, not hadn't been contacted.

    Secondly, they may well have contacted other companies on his work history, not his two named referees. There's little point contacting people's named referees; they wouldn't name them unless they were going to be good.
    • inglorius
    • By inglorius 4th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    inglorius
    It's thunderously unlikely that you would have got a bad comment from any referee without having any inkling who it was or what it was about.

    So, do you have reason to suspect any of the referees likely to have been contacted (not people you named, anyone likely to have been contacted from your last few years of work history) would have given you a bad reference?
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I spoke to all of my referees last night, they all said that no contact had been made. You may well be correct, the company could have been in contact with a previous organisation without my knowledge though not sure how prevalent that practice is.

    It still leaves a lot of unanswered questions in terms of why the company would ask for references, chase me a week later to nudge them to reply and then not even try to make contact and not progress my application.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 4th Oct 17, 6:05 PM
    • 4,608 Posts
    • 7,273 Thanks
    Gavin83
    I spoke to all of my referees last night, they all said that no contact had been made. You may well be correct, the company could have been in contact with a previous organisation without my knowledge though not sure how prevalent that practice is.

    It still leaves a lot of unanswered questions in terms of why the company would ask for references, chase me a week later to nudge them to reply and then not even try to make contact and not progress my application.
    Originally posted by inglorius
    Well maybe what they told you is accurate, the requirements for the job changed and you were no longer suitable for the post? Or maybe they just had a change of heart. It does appear that references weren't gained. You'll unlikely to ever find out anything beyond what you've been told so I'd take it at face value and move on.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 4th Oct 17, 6:08 PM
    • 15,941 Posts
    • 39,731 Thanks
    FBaby
    Another possibility: Boss X was on holiday. He comes back and he is briefed about the interview. He asks to review the applicants details. He picks up that that person will need to work on project Z using software W, of which you have no experience. They realise their error, they decide you're not the right person for the job.
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