I'm a software engineer, and am in the interview process for a project that I like. The project is outsourced - we'll be working for Company-A, writing software for company-B. Company-A is waiting to Company-B's OK on me to proceed - I was on a meeting with the hiring manager of Company-A just now. The thing is, I haven't done a very good job on the test.

Company-A had asked for my references in an earlier email and I'd said something like "maybe should wait for test results.."

The Company-A manager I spoke with today asked without asking, or rather, implied in context that it'd "speed up the process doing it on the background" that I could give him my references in the meantime. He didn't ask for my references and the implication wasn't a clear one.

Should I give my references at this stage? I can

  1. wait till I hear from them still
  2. give references with something like "just to eliminate the extra round.. when all ready at your end.."

I'm actively looking for a project. My only concern is wearing out my references. But then I like option (2) - might help boost things with Company-B's decision.

I've seen Reference request right before offer stage, but I still could use opinions.


I did 2 and not regretting it.

The worst that can happen is they call my references, I don't get the post and my references get called again for the one after. I don't think this is such a big deal. (?)

  • 2
    Are your references going to say positive things about you? If yes, you should give them as soon as possible. If no, then why the hell would you have them as references in the first place?
    – Kaz
    Jun 15, 2021 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


If they're asking for your references, there's really not much reason to delay in sending them over. Not handing them over upon request makes you look a bit more suspect as opposed to a sterling candidate.

Besides, if you're looking for a job, then you've already informed your references that there's a chance they'll be contacted and they've accepted that as an risk, so it isn't like you'll "wear" them out, necessarily.

  • 1
    One reservation I would have (if I was in this situation): I wouldn't want my references to be bothered if the likelihood of being hired is near-certain. Having said that, I'd probably still send them over, since they specifically asked for them.
    – zmike
    Jun 15, 2021 at 23:41

There is little harm in giving written references, however, when giving contact details for verbal references, I would certainly wait until asked.

An important reason is so when you hand them over you can ask WHEN they will be making calls so you can make sure your verbal reference is available to take the call. Also, it's a last chance for you to withdraw using a reference if things have gone a bit sour.

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