I've just got a new job which I start in a couple of weeks. However, a colleague has decided to apply at the same place but I don't want her to follow me as I find her to be intimidating due to her bad attitude would there be a way I can stop this without coming across as being nasty to my new employer. For instance if I actually said something to my new manager about her applying for a position at the new firm I am going to work for would you say what she's like ie she has a bad attitude or would you just leave it alone


3 Answers 3


There is a possibility that your new boss asks for your references about her. That said:

  • Do not volunteer such info if not asked. After all, your new boss barely knows you; if the first thing he knows about you is that you are badmouthing a coworker, that will give you not a good impression about you.
  • If asked, be quite more professional. Saying "I find her intimidating" just shows a fault from your part (who are not able to cope with her). Saying something like "we did not get along" or "we had some missunderstandings" is more neutral. Also, I think it is usually better (softer) to express the criticisms subjectively ("I think she is rude" instead of "She is rude").
  • Grow up. You are going to work with people, and usually you will not chose with who. There is a minimum of good manners and respect that should be expected from your coworkers, but except for that everyone has his or her own character. They are not going to change who they are just because that makes you uncomfortable. And the bosses are not there to "weed out" those people who you do not like. So learn to be able to act professionally with anyone who is professional, even if you do not like them.
  • 2
    +1 for "Grow up." If you want control over who you work with, start your own company. Other than that, learning to work with difficult personalities is a career skill and you aren't going to get very far if you don't develop it. You can say "we've had a bit of a personality conflict in the past and I'd rather not work directly with her if we can avoid it"... but The Needs Of The Business may leave few options. It's unprofessional at best to try to sabotage her before giving her a fair chance; she may be easier to work with in this context, or she may not be working directly with you at all.
    – keshlam
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 4:22
  • 1
    One of the hardest skills to learn in business is dealing with people you don't mesh with. It's one thing to say something if a person is a poor choice of employee. (unprofessional, lacks necessary skills, etc) but if your personalities just clash it's YOUR problem to handle it on your end. We all deal with crappy people in our lives from time to time. To be successful though you need to find a way to make it work or at least mitigate the issue, because cutting and running or black balling people will just make you into the bad guy. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 21:55


You can't stop anything if this person you know gets hired. However, DON'T agree to be a reference (politely refuse by telling your boss that you aren't in a good position to do so, which is true) and DON'T do any bad mouthing.

Whatever happens from that point will never point back to you. That's all that's important.


Don't let it get to your head. If you are uncomfortable discussing this directly to your professional network (workplace), then try to assess the situation by yourself or with your close friends. After you are certain about whatever it is that you want out of this "change" (going to the new place), then I think you can answer your own question and become confident.

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