Can someone please tell me of a way to find out if potential employers are getting bad information about me without my knowing?


You have to create some fake HR departments who will pretend to be interested in hiring you. Have them call your references and former employers.

Get friends and relatives to make the calls, using your scripts, while you listen in. You can't make the calls yourself because someone would recognize your voice.

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  • People have cited this as a possibility, but I haven't ever read an account of someone doing this for real. It would be interesting to see but expect that it is rarely done. – teego1967 Feb 28 '19 at 1:44
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    Also, consider the ethics of doing that, and how it's going to look if it ever gets back to your former employer. – Matthew Barber Feb 28 '19 at 2:23
  • "I haven't ever read an account of someone doing this for real" maybe not impersonating an HR department, but it has been known for someone to impersonate his own (non-existent) publicist :-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Feb 28 '19 at 8:45
  • @MatthewBarber, I think it's ethically perfectly acceptable for someone to find out how they're being characterized by others to potential employers. I suppose one could pay a service to get a background check for one's self. Employment evaluations are (or should be) sort of like a credit scores-- something that you should have a right to now. I guess this isn't usually done because people who aren't in HR don't know who to approach, what's an acceptable price, who to trust and what to expect. – teego1967 Feb 28 '19 at 13:10
  • @teego1967 I'd think that if you're going to do anything like this, get a recruiter at an agency to make the call on your behalf. They'd have a professional reason to make such a call, and it's also in their interest to get you placed so they're much more likely to pass on if you get a negative reference. – Matthew Barber Feb 28 '19 at 21:34

There are some good suggestions in the links DarkCygnus provided. If you find you're being ruled out of job applications at the reference stage (usually after you've accepted the job offer), you could certainly ask the prospective employer - but they may not tell you.

If you're being ruled out before the job offer stage, a more likely explanation is that another candidate looked like a better fit. I've been on both sides of this, and while it's easy to wonder about what you might have done "wrong", in most cases it's just that someone else was chosen. (Though I'll agree that leaving the other candidates hanging is plain rude.)

There are also some other suggestions which genuinely surprise me. Trying to fool people is never a good approach - if you don't already have a bad reputation, that's one way to get one.

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    I've twice been ghosted at the references stage recently, for what it's worth. If you're on good terms with your referees (and if not, why are they your referees?) you should be able to ask them how it went and, quite often, nobody will have even tried to contact them. I even managed to land a job once without anyone calling them, although that's presumably a rare occurrence. – Matthew Barber Feb 28 '19 at 21:52

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