I found a couple questions such as this one that ask what a job-seeker should do when they use a reference without permission, but I find myself in the opposite situation. I was just contacted for information about someone because they used me as a reference unbeknownst to me. I know of the person, but not enough that I could endorse them when asked about their character. There's not a way for me to get in contact with this person anymore either.

It was definitely a mistake on the applicant's part for putting me down as a reference without 1) me knowing them well and 2) contacting me, but I would hate to sell them out if they were otherwise suited for the job, provided real references aside from me, and then jotted down me because they were put on the spot in an interview.

Should I just ignore the request for information and let their other (potentially real) references do the work, or should I be up front and tell the company I don't know the person well enough to provide any information? If the former, would one of the references not responding affect the hiring process at all?

  • Were you ever this persons manager? Some applications ask for "references" and "previous managers". Could you have been listed as a previous manager for this person? Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 15:26
  • 1
    Close enough of a question to answer mine. Thanks @puzzlepiece87. I've flagged my own question as a duplicate.
    – Drudge
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 15:27
  • @ThomasOwens More like a roomate from a while ago
    – Drudge
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 15:28
  • @Drew Look how unlucky you were. If you had asked this same question two weeks ago, you'd be up 275 rep and some badges right now :P
    – user43144
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 15:31
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    @puzzlepiece87 I had my luck over on Worldbuilding a couple days back :) Anyway, I'm still glad I posted this 2 weeks later because it may make finding the one you linked easier if a searcher isn't looking for questions about recommendation letters.
    – Drudge
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 15:39


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