Recently I've applied for a new position as a network systems administrator, and I've also already had a short phone interview with a recruiter from this company I applied to.

At no point during this process have I ever been asked for job references from my previous jobs, and I'm a little surprised as this has never happened before. Since i'm fairly young (23 years old) I suppose I don't have too much experience with occupation changes but I found this rather odd. Previously references I've given were on the initial application, but I've already gone through the first interview and it hasn't been mentioned.

My question: Is this a new style that companies are taking on or should I expect to at some point give previous job references?

closed as too broad by gnat, gazzz0x2z, carrdelling, Rory Alsop, Snow May 29 '18 at 7:45

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Is there something specific about this employer that makes you label them a "new style" and wonder if this is a "new" tactic? – dwizum May 25 '18 at 18:23
  • The company itself is not new, but it's culture tells me that it is more modern in the way it does things. Casual dress code, very open workspaces for easy team collaboration. My current workplace has cubes and departments separated by doors that require proxy keys for entry, very secure. It sounds like the new company I applied to is nothing like that – cet51 May 25 '18 at 18:45
  • This is not "new" - some companies have done it forever – Rory Alsop May 29 '18 at 7:31

You said you have only gone through one interview. It could very well be they are interviewing many candidates and do not want to spend time checking references until they have narrowed the field down. Reference checks can take time. HR has to call the company, confirm start and end times, confirm the supplied reference was the candidates supervisor, and time has to made to speak to that person.

  • This is also a great thought.. Good response there @Keltari – cet51 May 25 '18 at 19:35
  • 1
    @cet51 Sometimes the most difficult questions have the simplest answers – Keltari May 25 '18 at 19:43
  • I've marked this as the answer because I believe it is the most likely to be correct ....and if I didn't mark one as an answer now I would probably forget (: – cet51 May 25 '18 at 19:49
  • @cet51 When something is important to their life, such as employment, it is common for people to overthink and incorrectly perceive a problem that isnt really there. There are a lot of questions on this site that have simple and obvious solutions, but the poster just isnt in the right frame of mind to see them. – Keltari May 25 '18 at 21:56

I don't think the use of references has changed.

Since college I have worked for 5 companies. I was only asked one time to provide references beyond name of previous employer and name of supervisor. Some employers were huge with tens of thousands of employees, other were small less then two dozen employees. Some companies had been around for a century, others only a few years.

The only one that required references also had to prove to the customer that their employees really did have the required level of education and experience. The company had been caught overstating skill levels. The company didn't ask for them until after my start date.

It is possible that companies that never made me an offer would have asked for references, but the ones that made offers that I rejected never requested formal references before making an offer.

  • Thanks for your thoughts @mhoran_psprep, I guess this was just something that made me feel a little uneasy for some reason – cet51 May 25 '18 at 18:47

I have been in the software industry for over a decade now. Every company has their own approach to verifying your work experience, educational background and references. Some companies never once asked me for a reference and others that required 3 references to even apply.

For the US, I find references are most common when working with educational. government institutions or other entities that accept federal funds.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.