A reader writes:
I am in the midst of applying for a new job. I have interviewed three times with a prospective employer and have been told that I am one of the final candidates for the position.
The HR rep contacted me and asked if they can contact my current manager/supervisor for a reference. I explained that I would prefer they not contact my manager, since it may jeopardize my standing with my current employer. They keep insisting that they speak with my current manager, but I am afraid that if they do, my current employer may let me go in layoffs or attempt to force me out of the job somehow (i.e., re-assign, transfer, etc).
Am I obligated to provide the reference to the prospective employer? I feel that their insistence is unprofessional and inappropriate. What if they contact my employer and end up not offering me the job? Or what if I don’t accept the job offer? What is the best way to handle this without losing either job?