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Old 04-25-2012, 05:05 PM
1,250 posts, read 4,589,983 times
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A couple of quick questions about a future (potential) employer checking my references....

First of all, what exactly should I expect a future employer to ask my current employer?

I've actually been in the position where I was hiring someone and my only reason for checking a reference was to verify that the person was employed during the given period and maybe ascertain a reason for the employee's departure.

However, I'm applying for more professional (though entry-level) jobs and expect the reference check may be a bit more in depth. Is this correct? What will they usually ask?

This leads me to my next question:

My current employer(s) are not native English speakers. They can carry on a conversation well enough in English but once you get deeper than basic pleasantries/small talk and move into more technical details, they may not handle it as well.

I'm most concerned about my immediate supervisor. He has the most exposure to what I do on a daily basis and would be the best reference but he has the most limited English (about 2 years of English speaking) and often gets frustrated when he doesn't understand the English. As completely unprofessional as it may sound (and is) I've actually witnessed him abruptly hang up on legitimate business calls because he couldn't understand the caller.

I would really hate to miss out on a job because of something like this. I plan to let my future employer know about their limited English abilities and give my current employer notice to expect the call but what else should I do in this situation?
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:18 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
39,437 posts, read 70,885,272 times
Reputation: 47894
If it was a small business with no HR department they will likely ask for verification of what you put on your resume in some detail. We do understand when an employer refers us to HR and gives only the dates and title, but when possible try for more. I would put after the previous employer's name something like (limited English native of China) to tip them off. Bigger employers can find a translator in-house if they know the language spoken. We can handle about 12 languages using people within a few cubicles of the HR people that verify.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:49 AM
1,250 posts, read 4,589,983 times
Reputation: 814
Thanks so much for the response Hemlock140.

I do have another question but I'd prefer not to start another thread:

The HR associate called me but I missed the call (this was NOT the interview call) and he left a callback number. The call back number was not the phone number he called from but was the company 800 number + his extension. I've left a voicemail at that number and called a couple of times but no response. Would it be inappropriate to call the number he called me from? It seems like he's not really at his desk very much.
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