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To try and stop this guy getting a job

(73 Posts)
bickie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:31:29

I admit - this has nothing to do with parenting or children (but I have some!) but I need a quick straw poll. I have just started fabulous new job and someone from my old place is now interviewing here for a very senior position - but for different department. He is lovely guy, but I was never very impressed with his work performance. In fact I was part of the reason he didn't keep his old job as i was pretty frank to our boss (as were others) on his limitations. He knows I had issues with his delivery - but we kept a good personal relationship. I know he is desperate for the job, he has called me and asked me to put in a good word for him. I panicked on the phone and said of course i will (shit) Am I being unreasonable in telling him I will and then saying he is crap - or should I just suck it up and try working with him again?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 05-Mar-13 21:35:57

YABU. Fine to tell him you can't put in a word, fine to say you will and do. Very U to tell him you will then slag him off behind his back. You know that, though. I wouldn't lie to your place of work, it may backfire.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 05-Mar-13 21:36:43

You're stuffed, in other words...

Nanny0gg Tue 05-Mar-13 21:37:35

Will you actually be asked your opinion?

HollyBerryBush Tue 05-Mar-13 21:38:26

I'm a great believer in what goes round comes round. Just remember that that every bad deed is paid back. Eventually.

MoonlightandRoses Tue 05-Mar-13 21:39:19

What MrsTP said.

bickie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:39:58

Oh I know you're right. shit shit shit. I just panicked when he came out and directly asked me to put in a good word for him. The interviews he has had so far went pretty well - so it is going to be obvious when I step in and say he's no good. And he is a really really nice person.

whattodoo Tue 05-Mar-13 21:40:03

Agree with hollyberry

bickie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:40:50

Yes - I will be asked.

bickie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:41:37

Holly - do you think the bad deed is saying something about him - or not?

What Holly said.

Nanny0gg Tue 05-Mar-13 21:42:16

So keep out and let the people interviewing make their decision.

If he's desperate, do you want him not getting the job on your conscience? And are you sure he can't do this job?

Numberlock Tue 05-Mar-13 21:43:18

Why will you be asked?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 05-Mar-13 21:43:26

Can't you just tell everyone you are very concerned and conscious of equal opportunities and don't want to corrupt and defile the independent interview process or some bullshit of that type and get out of it that way?

piprabbit Tue 05-Mar-13 21:44:50

Can you not just say that you don't feel able to comment on his work?

Gosh how two faced are you, you are part of the reason he lost his job yet you have a great personal relationship (I assume because he doesn't know you were part of the reason), then you say you will put in a good word so he gets this job but you plan on going and discrediting him to potential future employers.

At least be honest with him.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Mar-13 21:46:34

If you are asked for your honest opinion, then give your honest opinion.

You would be doing a bad thing if you lie when asked your opinion, you can't be wrong for telling the truth in his this situation.

He shouldn't have asked you to put in a good word for him, especially as you say he knows you had a problem with him before. He's put you in a difficult position, and that in itself doesn't say much for his professionalism.

RapunzelAteMyHamster Tue 05-Mar-13 21:47:04

Wait until you're asked. Are you likely to be?

If you are, play down how much you worked with him if possible, and just fail to give a rousing endorsment, don't be overtly negative. If it's a very senior position, they'll be doing their own checks and if your account doesn't correspond with other things they hear you'll look bad. If you give him a great report, and then he's rubbish, it will reflect badly on you as well.

Unless you're married to him, or related to him in some other way and you haven't mentioned it, your first loyalty should be to yourself, then to helping your new company get the right person for the job. If it's not him, it's not him. It's not your fault he lost his previous role through bad performance.

slambang Tue 05-Mar-13 21:50:27

If you are asked which seems unlikely tell the truth.... and let what you don't say speak for yourself.

Boss: You worked with John. What's he like?

You: Well, he's a really nice guy, friendly, sociable ...

Boss: But how's his work?

You: Well, he's a really great guy...

Boss: And his work?

You: He's great fun, He always brought in cakes on his birthday...

You've put in a good word. They've got the message. Bob's your uncle. smile

bickie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:50:49

I know - I don't know why he has asked me to say something good about him - when I have told him about issues I had with his performance. But this is a great job - and he is very keen to get it. And I guess he thinks the issues are not big enough to stand in the way. As I say - he is senior (as am I).

emsyj Tue 05-Mar-13 21:51:25

If you will be asked, in your position I would:

(a) Say that he is a really really nice person and you like him very much (which you genuinely believe); and
(b) if pressed, say that you know him on a personal level and feel it is inappropriate to participate in decision making about his potential recruitment and refuse to be drawn further.

This will give the clear message that you don't exactly think he's shit hot but you won't actually have to say it. And you can tell him that you have told your colleagues that he's a great guy.

You should have been more careful in the first place and just told him that the decision wouldn't be anything to do with you and that you don't really know the relevant people so couldn't really help him, but it is easy to get swept up in the moment and make promises you can't (or shouldn't) keep.

parakeet Tue 05-Mar-13 21:53:42

It is not a bad deed to tell the truth to your employer about a prospective new colleague. It is, in fact, a good deed. You would be being disloyal to your company if you failed to do this.

OK, so when he asked you would you recommend him, technically you should have said: "No, I'll have to tell them you're shite." I don't blame you for not having the guts to do this. Few people would. Perhaps, instead you should have told a white lie, and said something like: "I doubt they'll ask me." But it wouldn't have made any difference to the eventual outcome - of you telling the truth to your employer, and (possibly) him therefore losing the job.

Finally, if he does lose the job, there's no way he can know it was down to what you said. I know loads of cases where people had positive feedback during interviews but didn't eventually get the job due to there being better candidates around.

RapunzelAteMyHamster Tue 05-Mar-13 21:54:17

Don't feel bad, honestly, however nice he is on a personal level, if he's interviewing for a job that he isn't capable of doing well, then he doesn't deserve to get it. It's not your responsibility to help him get into a situation which could reflect very badly on you.

Iamsparklyknickers Tue 05-Mar-13 21:56:12

If you're asked can you not just say that you know him personally and think it's a conflict of interest to comment in detail but know him to be honest and trustworthy (or generic phrases to that effect) and spin the opposite back to him - they were aware of your personal relationship so didn't ask much past whether he was a decent guy.

That approach means keeping your mouth shut further down the line though, you can't go rolling your eyes to managers saying "I knew this would happen.." if you perceive there to be problems.

The situation in general though YABU, unless you're directly hiring this man is your friend and you know he's desperate for the job. Keep as far out of it as possible. No putting a word in - good or bad.

maddening Tue 05-Mar-13 22:03:07

Don't step in and give any opinion on him.

If he gets the job on the basis of his interview and skills then it is between him and the employer.

Don't get involved at all.

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