Reference Checks at Your Current Job |

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Jeff Altman , The Big Game Hunter discusses how to respond when a potential employer asks to check references at your current job.

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Today's question involves a reference situation. The question basically translates into, "So, let's say there interested in hiring me and they want to check a reference with my CURRENT employer, the one I'm still working for. What do I do?"

There is a real simple answer that question. You politely say, "It's too soon for you to talk to my current employer. After all, you're probably checking references on a few people. At the end of the day, you may choose to select 1 of the others. Then I left in the awkward position of returning to an employer who knows I was trying to leave them. I'm happy to provide you with references from previous employers but it's way too soon for me to offer one for my current employer."

As always, it's not just what you say but how you say it that's most important. You don't want to sound nervous; you don't want to sound frightened. You just want to speak very certainly about that not be acceptable to you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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2 Responses
  1. Kent Moxley

    Let them reference your middle finger. The only reason to be polite and what Jeff recommends is gold is obviously to make a good impression and get hired. Remember, these hiring manager are absolute slimeballs, HR is filled with fat lonely women who eat donuts all day and the interviewers are all obese. Play the game folks, but remember in this current era we work in , they don’t care about you, always put yourself first and remember hiring managers are slimy snakes, and Hr is a job for losers without STEM degrees who the company wants to hide.

    1. Jeff Altman

      I can’t agree with your remarks when they get personal. Yes people should play the game but they don’t have to get nasty about it. Job search is frustrating. I understand that. And it’s important to maintain your humanity, even if they don’t.

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