I hope to get some insight for my dilemma. So I was interviewed with a national level firm in Canada. The whole interview process was smooth and fast. HR lady always informed me the time line and followed up the same.

Within 10 day, 3 interview later, I was offered position a conditional job offer letter. Condition was reference check.

I provided my references gladly, but now its been a week and they have not contacted them yet. Now my references are asking when they should expect to be contacted and I have no answer :(. (BTW my conditional start date is 2 months from now).

I hope some expert can shed some light. It is my dream job and its difficult to be in uncertainty even after receiving an offer letter.

  • 3
    Have you contacted the HR lady to find out what the story is? Jun 29, 2018 at 15:27
  • I asked her to inform me when my reference will be contacted, She said its a regional HR person, that will be contacting my references, The regional HR person then sent me first day information and other formal documents to sign but didnt reply on whats going on with references,
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 15:32
  • you mean you start working there 2 months from today's date?
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 29, 2018 at 15:59
  • Yes, I am writing CPA final in 2 months and they let me took 2 months off before my start date.
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:02
  • 1
    I just provide their contact information and if you need anything else, Please let me know.
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


After just 1 week I would still not worry, and give them more time to respond; perhaps their interview processes are fast but the BG and reference check is slower.

I suggest you tell your references to expect to be contacted "any time soon". You already know the upper bound for the waiting time (2 months), but I would say it will happen sooner than that.

Based on you comments, it seems that you still have to hand out your resignation and notice period. I strongly suggest to do that after you get a confirmation of this job offer. Just to be sure, I would keep my options open to other possible offers until getting that confirmation.

Edit per comments: Perhaps if they don't respond after some reasonable time (1 more week?) it would be best to contact them and politely inquire/remind them about the reference check (so you are able to give your notice period smoothly). One phrasing I can think of is:

Hello [HR lady]. I'm writing you to see if there are any updates on the reference check, so I can inform my references about when they should expect to be contacted. Also, if there is any thing else you need me to provide feel free to let me know so I can hand it to you. [salutations and signature]

  • True that, I also need to hand in resignation to my current job, so they can have enough time to look for replacement, I guess I will just have to wait. No point of being panic.
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:07
  • Do hand your resignation after they confirm the offer, for your own sake. Have you any notice-period stated in contract? @PrashantBorda
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:08
  • Its usually 2 weeks, However i took time off from work, so its not like i am going back. but its fair to them to give advance heads up to look for replacement.
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:10
  • @PrashantBorda I see, then perhaps you should be a bit more insistent with the HR lady, so you are able to be professional with your current employer and honor your notice period.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:15
  • So would it be ok, if i ask HR lady that when my reference would be contacted? Is it acceptable practice?
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:17

In my experience, references is not always contacted. It is left to discretion of the potential employer to do so. Perhaps they just needed it for your file.

  • This is also common, as sometimes asking for references is just a formality or part of the application requirements. However, given that the offer is conditioned to reference check we can conclude that most likely they will check for the references.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 29, 2018 at 21:13
  • Thanks for the input. I will have to contact next week to HR. so far in my experience, the only time HR acts swiftly is reference check, but here everything all for swift until offer letter and now no movement.
    – Job Seeker
    Jun 30, 2018 at 0:58
  • @JobSeeker I know it's your dream job, but dont rush or panic. Some things take time and while hasted they seem like they take an eternity... just be confident, keep your options open, and carry on. They will surely contact you soon enough
    – DarkCygnus
    Jun 30, 2018 at 7:59

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