Job interview went well...but I left someone out
September 23, 2014 4:43 PM   Subscribe

I had a job interview last week that I think went pretty well. However, I've realized in my online application I didn't put down a reference that I probably should have.

The interview is for a position with a local city government. My last position was also with a local city government. I felt like the interview went pretty well, but there is one component of the job that I feel like I didn't speak about enough, and I completely forgot to discuss the class I took in said component, though it is mentioned on my resume. I probably should have put down my teacher as a reference, as he told me I could if I ever needed to.

After the interview I sent a thank you email to the interviewer, with a few PDFs attached demonstrating some of my previous work related to the job requirements. I also learned from talking to my previous boss that they have already spoken to him and he gave me a glowing review. However I regret now not including my teacher as a reference, and I'm tempted to send another email with his contact info so they could speak with him.

However, I don't want to pester the people I'm trying to get this new job with! I guess I'm also a little paranoid because during the interview they mentioned they still have several more interviews to conduct and I'm wondering what else I can do to give myself the edge.

Do I need to just relax or would it be worth it send out this reference?

Thanks mefi!
posted by ajax287 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Relax. They'll probably check references only to determine that you worked at a particular place.

They just don't do much with references any more.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:51 PM on September 23, 2014

Best answer: I wouldn't worry about it. Generally employers only do reference checks as a "sanity check." If your previous boss gave you a glowing review it sounds like you're on the right track.
posted by radioamy at 4:58 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Relax. Just leave it be.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:07 PM on September 23, 2014

Best answer: I'd calm down and not do this.

We all can second guess interviews.

I did an interview recently, got back to my car, thought, "I nailed that!" reached up, and there was a giant leaf in my hair. I thought, "Oh god, I did that whole interview looking like I was turning into Groot!"1 This got me thinking, "Oh no, they asked me why I wanted this job and all I told them was all the shit I hated about my last job! I'm screwed!"

I thought of all kinds of things I could have said, should have said. Rather than, "Well, I hate my commute." I could have said, "I miss working in education." Rather than, "I am tired of the stress of call." Should have said, "I have done all I can here and need new challenges."

Nope. Instead I was leaf guy who hated his job.

I got the job.
1. This was before I knew Groot existed, but this was a primordial feeling that transcended time.

posted by cjorgensen at 5:09 PM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]

Best answer: Interviews are only barely about qualifications. That's what resumes are for. Interviews have three reasons:

1 -- Is this person the same person described on the resume? That's about 10 percent of it, to make sure that you're not faking what you say you've done.

2 -- Would this person be a good fit? That's about 90 percent of it. Would they like working with you? Are you a complainer? Are you the kind of person who melts down under the pressure of an interview?

3 -- Sometimes, even though they all know that Stu (the current deputy to the job they're interviewing for) is going to get the job because he already works there and everybody likes Stu, but they can't just promote him without going through the motions, including interviewing two other people to satisfy their internal hiring rules.

You passed #1. You can't do anything about #3. If you made it past #2, then one more reference won't matter. If you didn't, then one more reference won't matter.

Leave it alone. And good luck.
posted by Etrigan at 5:30 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

I agree with Etrigan. You're qualified or they wouldn't have interviewed you.

At this point it's down to whether or not they liked you and they think you are a good fit.

Hitting them with an And another thing! email won't help your cause.

In fact, I would suggest it would hurt it.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:46 PM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Don't give them a reason to think you are a crappy candidate. Let them make that decision for you.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:15 PM on September 23, 2014

In my experience (as an interviewer), it's common to not check provided references at all unless you've been selected as the best candidate for the job; at which point it's almost more of a formality than anything. If they get to the point of checking references there's a good chance you've already got the job, providing that the references you did provide are positive.

I would certainly not follow up with an additional reference. You don't want to come across as desperate, nor do you want to show them that you're prone to forgetting stuff. Just let it go.
posted by SquidLips at 10:19 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

As someone who does a bit of hiring, I'd echo what others have said: I only do the reference check when I have my top candidate and I'm 95% sure I want to hire the person. Things may work differently in local government (so don't assume that you're about to get an offer) but the point is, references just aren't usually super-important.

Also, it's usually better to use former employers as references than professors/teachers.
posted by lunasol at 4:52 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well after looking at everything here and thinking about it for a day I feel a lot better about leaving it alone and seeing how things go from here. I guess I had a moment of self doubt because I'd love to have this job and I want to do everything I can. But sometimes taking no action is itself the best course of action.

Thanks mefi!
posted by ajax287 at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2014

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