I am currently interviewing for a full-time position in a big company named A. A asked me for "professional references". Since my previous experience was an internship at another big company B, similar and in competition to A, it would be natural to put my manager on the top of the list.

However, I turned down the full-time role that my manager offered me at the end of the internship. Then, it will be very delicate for me to ask him to refer me for a very similar role at another company. Especially since if I am not hired at A, I would like to come back to B.

On the other end, if I don't put any professional reference from my internship at B, it would seem strange because this is approximately my only one professional experience (or, at least, by far the most relevant for the position I am applying).

I see 3 solutions:

  • Do not put any professional reference from B on the list
  • Ask my manager.
  • Speak about this with my recruiter at A.

What do you think please?

  • 1
    Are you still working at B? It sounds like you're not. – thursdaysgeek Dec 4 '14 at 1:00
  • No I am not. This year, I study at the university. The full time offer from B was for next year (2015). – Arnaud Dec 4 '14 at 1:20

Speak to your manager at company B about it. (Indeed, you should always ask permission before listing anyone as a reference or referee.) Assuming you declined the offer professionally and amicably, most managers would happily give a correct and fair reference. People turn down job offers or resign from companies all the time. It is not personal, it is business.

  • Also, my manager at B will probably guess that if I am not hired at A, I will come back in his team. Don't you fear that he will give a bad feedback about me just for the purpose of me getting rejected from A? – Arnaud Dec 5 '14 at 13:27
  • @Arnaud You know the manager at company B better than everyone here. Only you can make that specific decision. Generally, thinking about managers I have dealt with in US, India and Australia, most will keep it professional. For example, you assume the position you want at Company B will not try to fill that position since you turned it down. – akton Dec 6 '14 at 0:37

Please talk with your recruiter for A and know below things

  1. Can you give reference other than manager?
    Some times your colleague at the same level, your senior or mentor also eligible to given reference. Please check with A, you can give other than your manager. If the answer is positive then please give some one you are comfortable and you trust

  2. When they will contact the reference that you have given and why?
    If they are going to contact before confirm offer and checking references is mandatory to release offer, then honestly explain the situation and convey them the fact that you are interested in Company A and quote the reasons as well. One Caveat here is don't say any thing negative about Company B. If they are going to contact the reference after you join with them, then you can give your manager and have inform your manager at B before you leave company B. I am assuming your relation with your current manager is good and you don't have any conflicts except turning down the offer.

  • 1. My manager is really the obvious reference to give in my case... I was with him all the time, while I had limited contact with other colleagues. 2. They will contact the reference before giving an offer, and I think it is part of the interviewing process. – Arnaud Dec 5 '14 at 13:28

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