Interviewer calling current employer for reference?

So I've been applying places to try and find a new job before I quit my current one. I pretty much have no choice but to provide my current boss as a reference.

The problem is that the boss is unaware that I am searching for new work. If he gets a call from an interviewer then he is most likely to forward the call to my direct supervisor because she works with my every moment of everyday.

Biggest problem here is that my supervisor and I share an office - so if she gets a cold call for a reference for me she will need to give it while I am sitting in the room with her (unless she thinks to find a different phone to use). I know she has plenty of awful things to say about me because we don't get along anymore. My boss would be the one to give me a glowing reference

I have no idea what to do, I have interviews starting next week. I feel I am not close enough with my boss to tell him I may be leaving soon and to expect reference calls... I particularly wouldn't be able to request he give her reference personally and not have him transfer them to my supervisor.

I really cannot bring this up to my supervisor because she'll likely set me up to be fired before I have a chance to find a new job. I also don't want her to prepare an awful reference and hope that being taken by surprise would cause her to only confirm I am employed.

Should I inform them that my boss is unaware I am looking for work? Should I request they give me warning if they are going to call?

1 Answer

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all, you do not need to give your current supervisor/boss as a reference. In the professional world, this is very common. If they specifically ask for a current supervisor, it is acceptable to respectfully decline and say that you haven't officially stated to them that you are seeking other employment and would prefer if they didn't contact them. Anyone worth working for will respect this, as it isn't unheard of for employers to fire people who are job-hunting or to give bad reviews on purpose so as to keep their employee.

    That being said, many people do choose to give current supervisor contact information if they know their bosses are understanding (generally these are more entry-level positions) and can provide a good reference. Since it seems that your supervisor may not give a good reference, you should avoid giving out their contact information at all costs. If you must use them as a reference, be sure that you speak with them about it and your concerns. Be honest and straight-forward. Never surprise them!

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