Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

Contact the Person Who Last Held the Job

A job seeker recently contacted me. She had an interview with an HR person. The interview went quite well – – – actually too well, too fast. It seems like they wanted to hire her very quickly. While the job sounded interesting, there were a couple aspects of the job duties/responsibilities that were deal-breakers, although possibly negotiable. Also, the person who previously held the job did so for a relatively short time. When the job seeker added this all up, plus a couple other things that popped up during the interview, she was second-guessing whether she wanted to accept the invitation to meet the Hiring Manager.

What would you do in this situation? – – – Here’s a tactic when things ‘smell’ a little strange.

Employers do background checks on candidates. They commonly contact a candidate’s prior employers. Well, turnabout should be fair play. Call up the HR person. Tell him/her you want to do a background check. Ask for the name and phone number of the person who previously held the position. If they won’t give it to you (or come up with a lame excuse why that can’t happen), then you know you don’t want to work for that Hiring Manager / employer.

You may conclude that this is a very risky tactic that will probably lead to losing the job opportunity.

However, you need to balance that risk off with the risk of accepting the job and finding out that the situation was worse than you feared. – – -Or, worse than that, you resigned a good, secure job to take this one that turns out badly.

A bad thing can happen whether you take action or even if you don’t take action. At least, evaluate the risks and the potential gains.

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January 25, 2012 - Posted by | Interviewing

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