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Sample Report 7:  Employment Reference Doesn't Want to Be Bothered

Summary:  This reference didn't say anything negative about you; however, he wasn't willing to talk at length about your employment history.  It was very difficult for me to get in touch with this particular reference.  I tried to reach him directly numerous times for an entire week, but he was always out or on the phone.  I did leave two messages on his voice mail stating I wanted to discuss the employment history of a former employee.  He never returned my calls.  Note that I didn't mention your name when I left the voice mails, so it wasn't a personal snub.  Although he didn't say anything bad about you, I got the impression that he didn't want to be bothered with giving references for former employees.  This might be because he's very busy or he grew tired of giving recommendations to the dozens of sales associates who have passed through the company's doors over the years.

When I asked him if he would be willing to discuss your employment history with me, he stated very hurriedly: "Yes, he was hired as a sales associate and had very good work habits."  I think at this point he wanted me to say, "Thank you very much and goodbye."  But I pressed on:

Q:  I know you're a busy man, but could I ask you a few more questions?
A:  (Long pause)  Yes.

Q:  His resume reads that he worked for your company from March 2006 until October 2012, does that sound correct?
A:  Yes.

Q:  He was employed for such a short time, was he fired?
A:  No, he quit.

Q:  Was he an effective sales associate?
A:  Yes, he was a good worker.

Q:  How would you rate his overall job performance?
A:  Good.

Q:  Was he able to get along well with coworkers and clients?
A:  Yes.

Q:  Would you comment on what you considered to be his major strengths and weaknesses?
A:  (The tone of his voice changed and I could tell this question really annoyed him so he passed the buck.)  Actually, I only recruited him.  (Name of person) would know more about his work than I would.

Q:  Was this person his direct supervisor?
A:  Yes.

Q:  So you couldn't provide me with anymore information about his job performance or work habits?
A:  No, you need to talk to (name of person).

The tone of his voice told me he had lost patience with me completely and that I shouldn't ask another question, so I ended the conversation.

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