/ Asked by Amanda
If you know someone that used to work for a company, but did not use them as a reference, is it appropriate to mention them in an interview?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Sunday, June 24, 2018
I always like to take stock of the who, what, when, where, why of an issue.  That seems like a pretty sound method to use in this case too.  Who is the person you want to mention, but didn't choose as a reference?  What was the reason they left the company?  When did they leave?  Where does this fit into the context of the conversation you are having with the interviewer?  Why is it relevant?

Work your way through some, if not all, of these questions and you should arrive at the answer that makes the most sense for the situation.  The interview is about you, but networking and connections can potentially positively impact your situation. 

Last comment, before you head off to have a great interview...You are there because your resume, experience, first meeting etc. made a good impression.  Spend the time you have in the interview focusing on why you are going to be awesome in the job!
Answered by Jennifer, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Hello! That is a great question. If that comes up in the interview, then you can answer appropriately; however, I would not volunteer that information. I would focus more on yourself & what skill sets you bring to the role.
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Regardless if you use someone as a reference or not, I would recommend being cautious of name-dropping during an interview. This can be perceived by interviewers in different ways so you want to be cautious of how you approach the situation. I would not willingly mention that you know someone who used to work there unless it comes up in conversation. For example, if the interviewers ask why you want to work for the company, you could mention that you knew someone who worked there and you always heard great feedback on the company. (I would ensure you have other reasons as well.) Also, you should understand why the person left the company and if it was on good terms. You may not want to mention someone if they were fired or left the company under less than ideal circumstances.

Regardless of all of this, I would keep in mind that you are in the interview to discuss your experience and qualifications. If you are granted an interview, the interviewers want to hear about you, not someone else. Good luck!
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