Job Interview Question & Answer: Do You Know Anyone Who Works for Us?

How To Approach the Question

The interview question, “Do you know anyone who works for us?” often requires some critical thinking. At first glance, applicants may feel inclined to simply state “Yes” or “No” and move on with the interview. However, the question often serves as a way to test for character. Candidates in the running for work should take time to prepare responses to the specific question prior to attending job interviews for best results.

Make Time to Review
Reviewing company policies on spouses, friends, and relatives in the workplaces represents an ideal place to start. Workers should possess a full understanding of the rules and regulations in place regarding family or friends as coworkers. Assuming a company only holds rules in place for spouses, significant others, or immediate family members, such as brothers and sisters, may prove preemptive. Many company hiring policies restrict working alongside cousins or even distant cousins due to the potential for personal issues spilling over into professional workplaces.

What’s in a Name?
Whether or not an applicant knows someone working for a particular, sought-after company also serves as a clear tell of character. Use discretion when responding to “Do you know anyone who works for us?” Only mention friends of high regard and character. Most employers stick by the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Friends who offer referrals may seem like upstanding individuals outside of the workplace; however, the same best friends may also stand responsible for ongoing and consistent behavioral or procedural infractions on the job and may end up hindering odds of employment instead of helping.

What about that One Friend?
If a friend with a questionable employment history serves as a sole reference and the company allows friends to work together, applicants should still pursue the job but answer the interview question with personal interests in mind. If possible, show the differences in character the friend possesses and personal philosophies or track records. Backing up claims in neutral manners with specific examples from past jobs or other life lessons may calm any fears employers may feel about taking chances on referred friends or family of questionable repute. Avoid speaking negatively about the person or persons. Hiring managers severely look down upon talking negatively about others.

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