Getting a Good Start

How do you politely decline to show a prospective employer your references before your first interview? Do you think it will hurt your chances for the job by not showing them? I don't want my previous employers bothered every other day when I'm not sure I even have the job yet.


workingmom said...

Have your resume and references on two different sheets of paper. (and keep your proposed job contract separate on a third)

At the bottom of the resume sheet, state "references provided upon hire".

Keep your reference sheet closed up in a folder until all aspects of the contract have been discussed, and a serious job offer has been made/agreed upon.

Lyn said...

I cannot imagine a serious job offer being made WITHOUT having spoken to references. I always mention that I provide my references upon interview. I don't want to give my references personal contact details away before even meeting a person after all. It hasn't been a problem yet. :)

Manhattan Nanny said...

I never give references before an interview. I will provide copies of letters of ref., but not contact information. I say something like;

As my references are busy moms with 2 to 4 children and full time jobs, out of respect for their time, I prefer not to give out their contact information until we establish that there is mutual interest. As a mom yourself I'm sure you'll understand.

Frankly, if they want to call references before they even interview me, I see that as a red flag, unless they are new parents hiring their first nanny.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I see a good amount of childcare wanted ads where the parents say they want you to send them references before the interview. I think this is absurd and if the family is so concerned about safety, perhaps we can meet at a local park or coffee shop instead.

If I speak to a family and they request my references before we meet, I kindly tell them I only give them out after meeting in person....that way I do not exhaust them too much. 99% of the time they understand. It's really dumb to give out personal information to people I have never met yet!

I notice on and, there is an option of posting your references on your profile page. They say it will increase your chances of finding a job, however I think this is a bad idea. Not only will your hard-working and busy references find themselves talking to complete strangers to both them and you, they also may be scammed as well. Their e-mail addressed or phone numbers may be used by others to try and sell something.

Katie said...

I simply tell them that references are available after an in person interview. If they ask I explain it as a safety issue and not wanting former clients to be bombarded with phone calls from strangers.

Most parents are understanding of this once it's explained, and it's usually the anxious first timers that make that mistake.

If not, well tough cookies! Chances are we wouldn't have been a good match.

MissMannah said...

Once or twice I've had parents push back and insist that I give up my reference before the interview but I didn't cave. I didn't get an interview with them but oh well. I figured I wouldn't want to work for someone so pushy and demanding anyway. If they ask, I always present it as protecting my references' privacy.

Susannah said...

Tell them you want to protect your references privacy.

I find most prospective parents appreciate a nanny that's protective of her former clients.

It's also a good idea to contact your references from time to time to see if they're still interested in being a reference, and to let them know they will be receiving a phone call from XYZ.

If you want to have something , keep a letter of reference in your portfolio. Prospectives can get the reference they want, but your still protecting your previous employers.

neverbefore said...

I explain that they're in writing & that Ill bring them to the interview. Sometimes when the interviews over, I decline bc I'm not interested in the position.

Truth Seeker said...

@never before:

Good point. I have had families I interview for ask for my references after our interview. If I think the family is not a good fit, I usually just smile and say I will send them via e-mail. (I am too shy to tell them to their face I don't want to work for them.)

Then I send an e-mail and say after the interview, I determined we just weren't a good match and that I wish them the best of luck in their nanny search.

Phoenix said...

give them your references but one the part where it says phone number say "upon request only"


list phone numbers to your relatives and have them pose as your old emlpoyers.

whatever you think will get you the job

erica said...

Would you really do something that unethical?

MichiganMom said...

As a parent, I don't think it would be worth calling references before meeting a nanny, anyway. What a waste of time (mine and the references') if I then met the nanny and we didn't click. It's completely reasonable to say references available upon request and then when they are requested explain that you would prefer to meet first to ensure your references are only contacted by serious prospective employers. (But, as an earlier poster said, you have to be willing to provide the references before someone decides to hire you or not. References are not just final checks to ensure someone isn't a crackpot; they are key sources of information to help in that decision of whether you want to offer a job to someone).

Phoenix said...

yes I would. If you have past employers who you don't trust you have to do anything you can to protect yourself. If you need to fudge a little because your old bosses just had it out for you, you have to. Even though its unethical for them to throw you to the wolves they will.

Unethical maybe, but if you have to work you have to do whatever to get hired.

erica said...

Fair enough. I suppose some would feel desperate enough to do what they had to in order to land the job, but it just doesn't feel right to me, you know.

I would figure out another way around the obstacle (in this case, the obstacle being the possibility of a past reference giving a shitty review.)