I recently referred a friend and school mate to a job within my department at work. At the time I thought she would be a great fit, and I still do.

Our office has this matrix management style where the manager of your team may not be your manager in paper. The managers all work together but your paper manager is still the one who has final say about performance reviews and development within the team and department.

When I referred my friend the job opening was under my own manager who is great, but he just hired someone to fill the slot. They are still interviewing her but now, even though she would work on the same team, she would have a different manager. And I would have never referred her had I known the job was under him.

He is the manager in the saying "people join companies and quit managers". The worst of office politics. A former developer who moved up but still tries to write code and then passes it off to others to finish. His nicknames include Mr. 80% and Mr. It works on my machine. This year alone he has had 3 of the 8 people under him leave.

I don't know if I should tell my friend to just not interview anymore because of it. I would not wish him as a manager on anybody. But she also wants to move back to town to be closer to family and she recently got payed off when her last job got bought out and everybody was laid off. And I still think she would be an asset to the team.

Any advice, anecdotes?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's asking for advice on a specific choice and asking advice on how to dissuade one's friend would be an Interpersonal Skills issue as opposed to a workplace one. Sep 2, 2017 at 8:56
  • I changed the title of the question to more align with what I think I am actually asking. Really the question is more if you should tell someone, especially a friend about the fact that their new manager, if they are offered and take the job, will be horrible. Sep 2, 2017 at 13:44
  • How do you know they will make her an offer? How do you know for sure that she will end up with that manager? What if what you say affects her interview performance when she might be willing to give the job a try? Also you have never worked with that manager have you? So how can you be sure about how she will like him? I don't doubt that there are managers that are ridiculous but I also know there are people in their team who just don't care so much to quit or be bothered
    – smith
    Sep 2, 2017 at 19:23

3 Answers 3


Your friend is counting on you. You are involved in this because you referred them based on a set of information about them and the position. Both the company and your friend moved on this with some level of reliance on you. That original information is no longer accurate and there is nothing (e.g., legal) that prevents you from sharing what you know about the new situation. I would say ethically, you should want to share the new information with your friend.

What you don't want to do is make a decision for them. No, you do not want to "tell my friend not to interview anymore".

Why don't you just email them a link to this post? It pretty well states the situation.


A former developer who moved up but still tries to write code and then passes it off to others to finish.

Sounds like one of my ex-bosses.

Guess what, one day I was fed up, so I shoved him out the office and talked to him, to the tune of, "You're my boss now. You put me there to manage the guys who write the code. Stop *** micromanaging. What I want from you is interface with the higher-ups, act as a buffer, if some idiot on top of the company comes back from their ski weekend with a stupid feature that you know is useless, your job is not to tell me about it."

After this, everything went smoothly.

Once he told me "Yeah, but I kinda miss coding."

"You were in the train three days last week," I replied, "international contracts and shit."

"Yeah. But I still miss the coding."

"Want me to hire you back as a developer?" I asked. "The pay would kinda suck."

His nicknames include Mr. 80% and Mr. It works on my machine.

I used the above anecdote to point out t a fact: most developers will feel a sense of loss when leveling up into management. Some will deal with it, and grow into excellent managers. Some will not, and grow into micromanagers.

A micromanager thinks you're his compiler, basically. Run.

I don't know if I should tell my friend to just not interview anymore because of it.

You say she is your FRIEND. So, yes, you should tell.


If you tell her she might decide to look for something else; or put up with the situation (assuming she gets an offer) for a few weeks or months, in order to move back to town with some revenue secured, while continuing to explore other options.

Whether you tell her or not, she might also change team or her manager might get the boot shortly after she gets the job.

There's probably no right or wrong answer on whether to let her know. Personally I'd likely let her in on how the context changed, because I believe friends don't let friends get lured into bad jobs. But another could just as validly offer that she can make up her own mind and judge for herself.

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