T.A.P. Q#289 – I Don’t Want Them to Call My Former Colleague!
September 14, 2009 by sparktalk
I interviewed for a job and the conversation turned to the company I worked for a few years back. We started the ‘name game’ and the next thing you know, the hiring manager tell me he knows a woman at my old employer that I CAN’T STAND. We didn’t get along and even had a blow out one time. She’s still at that company. I didn’t say that she and I didn’t have a good relationship, I just smiled and said I knew her. The hiring manager then told me she was a good friend of his family and that he would call her for a reference. What should I do? She’s going to trash me to the hiring manager and I really want that job. Suggestions?
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Q #289 Answer: Dig deep. If possible call the ex-coworker to indicate that you spoke with the prospective employer, who highlighted their relationship. Note that you had your differences, but always respected him/her for her [insert here: honesty, directness, hard work, diligence – whatever descriptor that would be apt AND make it hard not to reference your good work skills].
Trying to avoid blow-ups and interpersonal issues is best if possible, but if not, make your peace when leaving a company. Alternatively, try not to link yourself to anyone who might not help you. Of course, any employer would call someone who worked for a company you also worked for to find out what they can, whether they tell you or not…