If my company has a referral bonus clearly I benefit financially in the short term from getting my own referral hired. That said, I'm genuinely not interested in referring people I wouldn't want to work with, so I'd be judicious in who I refer. But the question remains.

Even though I would not be interviewing my own referrals, I know what kinds of questions are likely to come up, and the personalities of the interviewers (my coworkers). None of this is particularly strategic or company secret information, per se, but it could give my referrals an advantage over an equally qualified "walk in" candidate.

I'm trying to decide if the fact that I already know the person and personally believe them to be a good choice for the job is sufficient to offset the possible unfairness of giving them another edge besides my recommendation (implicit in my referral).

3 Answers 3


Of course - if he is a good fit.

If you truly believe he'll be an addition to the company, I see no problem in you giving out non-confidential information. Explain the company structure, what you do, what your company's core values are, how they work. Explain the interview process, who he'll see, what they'll look for. Tell him about your own interview and the feedback you got.

But make sure he's honest and enthusiastic. "Yeah, kojiro told me all about your company and I'm really looking forward to working here." will sail much better than "He prepped me for the interview to gain advantage over other contestants so he could get his referral bonus.".

Good applicants always prepare for an interview. They look up info, online, use their network. If they know someone who works there, they'll always ask about the company - it would be a bad sign if they didn't.


It is not ethical to give information about the kinds of questions are likely to come up, and the personalities of the interviewers (my coworkers).

In the companies I have worked till date, company expects me to tell referrals about

  • Information like what company expects from candidates including the technical skills etc
  • Information about the working culture in the company.

Because this way you are helping company and the candidate to choose the right one.

But not the below.

Questions in screening test or an interview.

It is something like this, if I am doing an interview, I should not ask the candidate about the questions asked in the screening test or previous level of interview. Screening test question paper will be very confidential and that to HR team only knows that.

What i mean to say is that companies want to maintain the confidentiality in the recruitment tests/interviews.

So it is not ethical to do against the interest of employer/company.

  • There's a difference when a company is explicit about not divulging certain information. Hopefully, they're not asking trivial or guessing-game questions.
    – user8365
    May 6, 2016 at 19:13

I don't see how its unethical to coach referals or even assist People you want to work with.

Now this does Sound weird, but how can you work effeciently with someone you don't want to work with? If and only if your recruiter is that easily swayed to hire someone he just met you might want to change recuiter or atleast ask why he hired them because they looked equally qualified.

This should not interfere in your relation if you push it in as a hard dicision instead of the fact that you pushed someone in the right directions unethical or not, but this is the Internet and you should always think twice before you act.

In the end you should do what you want. Its the Company that should Monitor if the financial Bonus is being abused and if "odd" People are being hired.

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