What Does It Mean If a Job You Interviewed for Is Checking Your References?

Does it mean you got the job? Not necessarily.

Does it mean you are the only one they are considering? No. Although you might be.

Does it mean they are close to making an offer? Maybe.

So what exactly does it mean?

First let me explain where I got the idea for this post. I was checking my stats (don’t we all) and saw that someone got to my blog using a search engine and the words “What does it mean if a job is checking your references”. Basically, all you can know for sure is that it means they are interested in you.

Usually, when a company starts checking your references, if the references are good, you will get an offer. But there are times when they have more than one candidate and are using the references to decide…and you might not be their final choice. Or they may not like what they hear from the references. Or they may not get enough information to resolve any doubts they have and decide to continue advertising and/or interviewing without turning you down yet. Or they may even get glowing reviews and still wind up going with someone else for any of countless reasons.

But in general…if they are checking your references and your references are good, it probably means you will be getting an offer soon.

If you are in this situation whoever you are out there my fine Googler friend, I hope this answers your question. And I hope you get the job.

Good luck!

~ Ronnie Ann


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Hi Susan

    I had an interview for a job 2 weeks ago with two partners and the HR Manager. It was for a position I heard about by word of mouth, and had not been publically advertised. The partners both really liked me, and said they would let me know their decision by early/mid following week. They also called my references a couple of hours after my interview. I followed up with thank you emails to everyone, and was warmly replied to by everyone I had emailed (one partner even said he would follow up with HR and that it would be great to have me at the firm).

    I then received an email from HR mid week saying the partners had not made a decision on my application this week, and they would let me know next week. Shortly after sending this, they publically advertised the job for the first time. Am I out of the running, or do I still have a shot? I initially thought I’m out but could it be that they just want to see what else is out there as they haven’t publically advertised?


    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Hi Gen,

      This doesn’t feel like it’s going in the right direction, particularly advertising the job. But it’s very hard to tell.

      It does feel like PERHAPS something happened – one of the references shared something that made one of them nervous or one of them is a little uncomfortable about something (human “chemistry” is tricky but important). Hard to tell.

      Or everything could be fine, and they feel like they are crazy not to advertise the opportunity to see if the 150% perfect candidate is out there waiting to be found.

      Get back in touch with them AFTER next week if you haven’t heard from them.

      And keep job hunting!

      Good luck with your job search!

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