One of my friends from the university years is now working at what seems to be a pretty good software company. We still see each other every now and then (i.e. once every 2-3 months or so) and about an year ago when he started working there he offered to refer me for a position within his department. I didn't want to apply then, but I'm seriously contemplating it now.

The problem is that I'm a bit of a shy when it comes to these things (and not only) and I don't want to take advantage of the fact that we know each other. I'm also not very sure that I will be able to become a good hire there so I don't want to damage our friendship by asking for a referral, but I'm interested in listening to some more details he can share about his work and besides I feel somehow obliged to tell him that I will be applying (i.e. it will be awkward if he sees me at the interview). He is at a relatively high position within the company, so most probably when the HRs do a background check on me they will notice that we know each other and will pick his opinion about me anyway. What (and how) should I tell him? I don't want to ask for a referral - only for some internal information and don't want to seem like someone who is taking advantage and make things between us awkward afterwards.


Take your friend out to lunch. While at lunch, tell him you're considering applying for the XYZ job at ABC company, and ask him what he thinks -- nothing more.

By asking for his opinion, you're telling him you're interested in the position, you care about what he thinks, and you're not explicitly asking for a referral.

Since he is "at a relatively high position in the company", he will definitely let you know if this position isn't right for you. He'll also let you know if it is a good fit, and may even know about a few positions that haven't been advertised yet.

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    Good answer. I like to be more direct lol. Just tell him you're looking for work and was interested in the company he works for and go from there. – Noah Jan 24 '17 at 21:18

Don't be afraid to do this. I ask some people I know if their company has job openings. Keep in mind that your friends may know of unadvertised openings and can put in a good word for you.

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