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References for a Job Interview – Tutorial

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References for a Job Interview - Tutorial: A picture showing the major points from the previous paragraph.

References for a Job Interview: Overview

            In this lesson, we’ll talk about some ways to develop references for a job interview. Let’s start by looking at some good people to consider when developing references for a job interview: Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, college professors, landlords, managers of your volunteer work, and colleagues all make great professional references. It’s a good idea to have at least three really impressive references prepared when you go on a job interview- the more varied the three people are, the better. Spend some time brainstorming- write down anyone and everyone who you think would be a good reference, and then narrow the list down to a few people who will give you glowing recommendations.

            It is very important to get permission from your references before giving their names to a prospective employer. You should develop your references at the same time as you develop your resume. Get in touch with each person individually. First, ask if the person would be willing to provide a professional reference for you as you look for work. This step is very important. Don’t just assume that the person will be willing to be a reference for you. Of course, most people will probably be happy to help. After you get confirmation that a person will serve as a reference for you, have a brief discussion about what you’d like them to say, or not say. For example, if you’re using a former landlord for a reference, you might say something like, “Thank you so much for agreeing to be a reference for me, Mr. Smith. I’m hoping that you’ll share with anybody who calls that I was always on time paying my rent, and that I left the place in spotless condition. If it’s not too much to ask, maybe you could avoid mentioning how I broke the pet rule by getting a goldfish.” Before saying goodbye, thank your new reference again- he or she might get you your next job.

References for a Job Interview - Tutorial: A picture showing the major points from the previous paragraph. "Get permission from your references. Ask if the person would be willing to provide a professional reference as you look for work. Have a brief discussion about what you'd like them to say or not say."

References for a Job Interview – Tutorial: A picture showing the major points from the previous paragraph.

            Thank-you notes have a big impact, and so it can be really helpful to send somebody a short, handwritten note after he or she agrees to be one of your references. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Something like, “Dear Mr. Smith, I just wanted to send you a quick note to say ‘thanks again’ for agreeing to give me a professional reference. It means a lot to me that you agreed to do that, especially since I haven’t been your tenant for almost a year now. I really appreciate your help, thanks again. Sincerely, Mary.” A small gesture can really make a difference. After receiving a note like that, Mr. Smith is very likely to give Mary a glowing reference.

References for a Job Interview: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Develop Great References,” discusses getting references for a job interview. This lesson on developing references for a job interview is from our complete job interview training, titled “Mastering Your Interview Made Easy v.1.0.”

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