Once you have gotten through the first interview, you will most likely need to provide a list of references. These are people who can vouch for your abilities and your skills. They may be a key component in whether you receive a job offer. For this reason, you should be sure you have a list of references that are the right fit for each new job opportunity. It’s a good idea to prepare a list if you’re asked for an interview so you can produce the list quickly. It’s important to remember that potential employers use references for a variety of reasons; one is to validate what you said during the interview. 

Ask These Four People to Vouch for Your Skills and Abilities 

  • Past or current employers: Your past or current boss is in the best position to talk about your work ethic. If you’re looking for a job while currently employed, you may not want to ask your current employer for a reference unless you want them to know you’re looking for a job. Consider past employers with whom you had a particularly strong working relationship and who can speak directly to your past successes. If you helped a past company achieve a particular goal, that employer can speak directly to that accomplishment. 
  •  Professors or teachers: Depending upon how long it has been since you were in school, professors and teachers are an excellent resource as they can speak directly to your work ethic. Your ability to finish tasks on time and to take a leadership role in the classroom can help potential future employers decide if you’re a good fit in their business. 
  • Volunteer positions: No matter what your age, doing volunteer work is satisfying and helps give back to the community. Consider whoever was supervising your volunteer work as a reference as they can speak to any leadership positions you held while doing volunteer work and your ability to quickly learn new skills. 
  • Colleagues: Do not discount asking colleagues for a reference. They can often speak to your character, ability to complete tasks and ability to take on leadership roles within the company. 

Don’t Make These Mistakes as They Can Cost You Your Job 

You may have chosen just the right people to endorse your skills and work ethic, but if you didn’t do it in the right way those same people can cost you a great job. Unfortunately, some consider references as an afterthought and are not well prepared by the time they reach the interview stage. Here are several mistakes you’ll want to avoid. 

  • Mistake #1: Forgetting to ask permission from the person first. They may have said yes, but when caught off guard by a potential employer, they may not present your abilities in the best light. 
  • Mistake #2: Assuming you’ll get a glowing review. You may have thought your relationship with your reference was on solid ground, but your opinion may be onesided. If you are unsure of what your reference might share, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask what they are going to say about you. 
  • Mistake #3: Forgetting to send a thank you letter. This round of interviews is likely not the last time you’ll be job hunting. If you have any thought of asking someone for another reference or keeping them in your network, it’s important to send a brief note of thanks for their time and effort on your behalf. 

Stellar Staffing Solutions Can Help! 

The interview process can be overwhelming and nervewracking. Call our professional recruiters at Stellar Staffing Solutions today. They can help you prepare every step of the way! 


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