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I used my significant other as a reference and don't know how to navigate it


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Yeah, I know, bad idea!! But I wasn't thinking. We really did work together, and we met 3 jobs ago. My most recent job, I was laid off due to covid-19, and I already spoke with the owner about being a possible reference for me. The job before that, I was fired (for the first time in my life), and while there were actually a few managers that would gladly give me a glowing review, they have unfortunately since left.

 

So, for my new prospective employer, I used my SO as a reference without thinking much of it. I am invited back after my interview for a work-with/shadow, and now I don't know how to navigate questions about my personal life! I'm a bad liar, and the thought of keeping up with a lie for my entire tenure at this place (assuming i'm hired) seems tiring. UGH, any recommendations??

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I wouldn't lie. I don't think they will be grilling you about who your bf is. I'm assuming you will be putting him as an emergency contact, but if they see that after you've been hired, oh well. Just prove to them you were worth hiring. What's done is done.

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So should I maybe just attack it head on and address it? You know, it's funny.. during the interview, as expected, they asked what my weaknesses are. Well, one of them is that I am definitely a bad liar. They could either appreciate my honesty, or say get the hell out LOL

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You listed other references. They are getting others opinions as well. No, I wouldn't mention the faux pas. If it's ever brought up in the future, which I highly doubt, I'd own the decision without apology and be confident about it. I'd just say something like: He knew of my great work ethic since we worked together daily at that company, and I felt he could relay good info about my duties.

 

It's not like you're lying about a college degree or something major.

 

If you're that concerned about it though, you can say: Actually, I realized I shouldn't have given a relative as a reference, and so I'm supplying you with an alternative reference.

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So should I maybe just attack it head on and address it? You know, it's funny.. during the interview, as expected, they asked what my weaknesses are. Well, one of them is that I am definitely a bad liar. They could either appreciate my honesty, or say get the hell out LOL

 

Please do not use that as one of your weaknesses.

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He just asked me briefly about him, then mentioned that he was into different work nowadays. To which I feigned knowledge about, so as to not make it seem like I had some sort of personal relationship with him. (So I already dug a hole) He was listed as a personal reference, I suppose, so I don't think it's illegal for him to ask certain questions. Having been a hiring manager, I know that legally you are only allowed to ask dates of employment and if they'd rehire..but let's be honest. Few people rarely do. I'm just the sort of person to blab about my personal life in conversations, so I'll regret having to swerve from it. Thanks everyone! lol

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So should I maybe just attack it head on and address it? You know, it's funny.. during the interview, as expected, they asked what my weaknesses are. Well, one of them is that I am definitely a bad liar. They could either appreciate my honesty, or say get the hell out LOL

 

No. Nobody needs to know your boyfriend's name, much less his full name. Do your work, be kind, listen more than speak, and avoid TMI.

 

This is NOT a big deal.

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Actually,this could eventually be an issue. I encourage you to take volunteer roles to gain more references. If you have a career that is interesting that warrants you going back to your high school to give a talk on "career day" - you could ask your old teacher for a reference. There are references that you give for employment verification and those you give for character references. Its one thing to use your BF for employment verification if he's the HR person at your old company (though i might disclose that somehow) - but a WHOLE other ballgame as a character reference.

 

I did this in my 20s. I was eventually fired not because of it, but it added to a bucket of things - some not my fault, but this made me look fishy.

It was a small office where people knew the names of spouses and probably met them also, people would ask what your weekend plans were, and "what is your boyfriend's name?" did come up. We also lived together ugh. As you get to know your coworkers, that does not come under "its illegal to ask". Perhaps in an interview it is, but people get to know eachother in the workplace and find out if people have kids to "connect" with things in common, or their marital status.

 

If its a huge company with a big HR department, you *might* be able to slide this under the radar, but if its a smaller establishment, people don't miss things.

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I definitely would not make a joke about being a bad liar and it's your weakness. All of this will come off as immature, unprofessional and somewhat lacking in integrity. It basically shows you will do whatever to get your way...

 

The best thing to do is keep your personal life separate from your work life and share as little as possible. Focus on doing a good job and remaining peofessional with everyone. Crossing boundaries, lying, then making it a joke, insults people's intelligence. And know that if they feel you lied during the interview process, that is grounds for termination.

 

Work on being a person that doesn't need to lie.

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