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How to approach my current boss about providing a reference BEFORE I have even had the interview. ..

(26 Posts)
PeppaisPink Fri 07-Feb-14 15:07:32

A job I have applied for will require a reference from my current employer prior to the initial interview. But they don't know that I am planning to leave!
The new job is in a school and I understand that this is common practice, has anyone else had this problem and how do I broach the subject with my boss without putting my job in jeopardy if I do not get the other one??

JeanSeberg Fri 07-Feb-14 15:12:46

I've never come across this before and I'd be very loathe to ask my boss for a reference before I'd even been for the interview.

Can you not ask the school to interview you first? What is the purpose of the reference (eg length of service, reliability, time of sick?) Does it have to be your boss or do you have a trusted colleague who could be your referee?

PeppaisPink Fri 07-Feb-14 15:30:30

I have put down my boss and a trusted colleague as my 2 referees and they will need to contact both of them. My bosses at my previous 2 jobs have since moved on so I couldn't put them down. I am worrying about it now as I know it will cause an an atmosphere and if I need to take time off work for the interview it will be blatantly obvious sad
The new job is a new direction in career for me so I am not sure whether I will get it anyway so I could be upsetting everything for nothing!

JeanSeberg Fri 07-Feb-14 16:06:53

Like I say I've never come across this although never worked in the public sector. What is the reason for it?

PeppaisPink Fri 07-Feb-14 16:20:11

It is in a school (support role) it will cover things such as sickness, reliability and generally how I perform at my job I guess.

JeanSeberg Fri 07-Feb-14 16:27:38

I just don't get why it has to be done before though. Have you considered asking if it can be postponed till they know whether you've been successful?

fascicle Fri 07-Feb-14 16:31:29

Have you been invited for interview, or do you mean that references are required prior to selection for interview? (If the latter, obviously that's an even trickier proposition).

I would phone the school and say that whilst you are very interested in the position, referees being contacted at this stage might cause an issue, and ask if there's a way round it. If you have every confidence that your references will be good/free of issues then it might be worth sharing that belief with them.

Mintyy Fri 07-Feb-14 16:34:10

Are you sure they want a reference from your current employer before even interviewing you? That just sounds totally unlikely.

Are you sure they haven't just asked for the names of referees, in case they do offer the job later?

Hoppinggreen Fri 07-Feb-14 16:43:09

Never heard of that.
Are you sure they want a reference and not just names of referees?

PeppaisPink Fri 07-Feb-14 16:55:24

I did double check to make sure, they will contact both referees as soon as the candidates are chosen for the interview stage as the job is classed as a regulated activity. Just concerned that every time I ask for time off in future my boss will be suspicious of me sad

Marn1e Fri 07-Feb-14 16:59:00

never heard of.this and I wouldn't provide references at this stage. are you absolutely sure you've got it right?

fascicle Fri 07-Feb-14 17:01:44

Do you mean double check the application info, or did you speak to the school? If not the latter, then do speak to them, because there might be some flexibility. You can't be the only candidate for whom this would be a problem - it must be an issue for others who come up against this (rather insensitive) policy.

PeppaisPink Fri 07-Feb-14 17:08:07

Yes I spoke to the school, I will find out next week whether I have been selected for an interview I will haveto speakto them to try and find a way around it. Thanks all for your help x

Unexpected Fri 07-Feb-14 20:40:57

It is very common in schools to provide references before interview. However, this is usually teachers moving from one teaching role to another so, just as schools expect to receive references in advance from candidates, the candidates existing schools will expect to be asked for references. It's the way education works and, although odd to others, normal to those in schools. However, it does make life very difficult for those coming from outside the education sector. I'm not sure if they will make allowance for you tbh

fascicle Sat 08-Feb-14 08:03:35

I cannot, for the life of me, think how references before interviews could possibly be a good idea. I don't know if there are industry norms within e.g. education for the format of references, but, since some references provide only the barest factual information, they are hardly likely to be vital prior to interview. This practice is tricky for candidates and also a waste of time for the referees of unsuccessful candidates.

JeanSeberg Sat 08-Feb-14 09:16:12

It's our company policy not to give references so what happens then unexpected?

QueenBoudicea Sat 08-Feb-14 09:22:17

It's a recommendation that came out of the children's workforce development council around safer recruitment practice. By asking for upfront references is supposed to act as an additional barrier to those who may have ulterior motives to work with children.

fascicle Sat 08-Feb-14 15:18:09

QueenBoudicea, how does it make a difference? If a position is subject to satisfactory references, what is the problem with obtaining them after interview but before the commencement of a position? I don't understand how this practice creates an extra barrier.

ilovesooty Sat 08-Feb-14 21:03:27

Yes, it's safer recruitment. A school will always ask for references prior to interview now. There's no way an exception will be made.

fascicle Sat 08-Feb-14 21:29:47

Yes, but why? Is somebody attending for interview considered a potential risk to students during the interview/recruitment process if their references have not been received/validated?

ilovesooty Sat 08-Feb-14 23:04:43

In OFSTED's Safer Recruitment guidelines

to organise the selection process to allow references to be obtained on shortlisted candidates before interview

Section 3.18

JeanSeberg Sat 08-Feb-14 23:06:29

What a waste of time and resource.

fascicle Sun 09-Feb-14 08:44:28

Thanks Sooty. 3.18 mentions the requirement but gives no explanation behind for it (i.e. how it's a safeguarding measure), so I am still completely baffled. Especially since 3.25 says the successful candidate will be required to provide a CRB disclosure. So references are sought prior to interview, but a CRB check is only sought for the successful candidate at job offer time.

ilovesooty Sun 09-Feb-14 12:43:47

It's an additional filter fascicle as I understand it to help to ensure the interviewees are all suitable. Just another hurdle. The DBS is complementary to it.

ninah Mon 10-Feb-14 20:50:25

Often in teaching you are required to accept a position on the same day as the interview so if references are done before it's all steam ahead.

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