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Asked by Tanya on August 21, 2015

Would it look bad if I asked an interviewer not to contact my current employer?

Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on August 21, 2015

Not at all.  Just be up front and explain that your current employer is not aware that you are searching for other employment and that you would appreciate it if they did not reach out to them at this time, as it may create some tension if would not receive an offer for the position for which you are interviewing.  I would offer that the interviewing company could contact them for a reference after you have accepted an offer, but you prefer that they not be contacted until then.  Another alternative would be if you have a trustes personal reference from your current company that could be contacted.

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Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on August 21, 2015

Not at all! It’s quite common and understandable. Every potential employer will understand that you would like your job hunt to be discrete. Once you have secured your new position and have given your 2 week notice would be the appropriate time to for your new employer to verify your previous employment. Best wishes!
-Nell

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Answered by Shara, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on August 21, 2015

Absolutely not! Employers will understand, especially for those that are currently employed, that your search may be confidential for various reasons. Simply state that you prefer they do not contact your current employer at this time. Employers will definitely understand and respect that. Good Luck!

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Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on September 23, 2015

Many times candidates for a position at a different company than where they are currently employed are content in their current role and aren’t necessarily looking to leave but are open to hearing about opportunities, and therefore don’t want to risk the relationship they have in their current role. Because this situation happens frequently, it is not unheard of for a candidate to request that their present employer not be contacted. In the event that the candidate receives and accepts an offer from the new company, the human resources department may still want to verify dates of employment at your current employer.

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