Something Surprising May be Keeping You from Getting Hired

This is the third time it has happened. You were progressing smoothly through the first and second round of job interviews and then the callbacks stopped. One possibility is that someone from a previous job is not giving you as good of a reference as you thought. It is often after the second interview that references are checked so the recruiter can winnow down the list of possible hires.

Here, according to the interview skills training experts we asked is what you can do:

    1. Take Charge. The best strategy is to be proactive. Ask potential references what they would say about you and coach them about the best way to speak about you to your potential new company. If there are any unresolved issues or questions, it is better to deal with them on the spot than have them hinder your opportunities in the future.
    2. Double Check. If you are not sure where the problem lies, hire a firm to check your references from previous employers to identify the source of the problem.
    3. Improve and Learn. Assuming the reference (albeit bad) is legal, contact the source and ask why they are giving you a negative (or not so wonderful) report. It is possible you can negotiate more neutral language or ask that they give only start and end dates of your employment without any further comment.

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