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Sunday, February 01, 2009

SOUND OFF: `LET'S TALK ABOUT YOU'

You're a reference for a friend who is applying for a job. He's a serious enough candidate that you get a call from the prospective employer. In the course of the conversation, however, the discussion turns from your friend's qualifications for the job to your own.

Is it OK to pursue this line of conversation, even if you suspect that you might be offered the job rather than your friend?

Post your thoughts here by clicking on "comments" or "post a comment" below. Please include your name, hometown, and state, province, or country. Readers' comments may appear in an upcoming column. Or e-mail your comments to me at rightthing@nytimes.com.

You can also respond to the poll about this question that will appear on the right-hand side of the blog until polling is closed.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of The Right Thing, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," The New York Times Syndicate, 500 Seventh Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10018. Please remember to tell me who you are, where you're from, as well as where you read the column.

c.2009 The New York Times Syndicate (Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Friends don't let friends drive drunk. Friends don't steer a conversation about a friend's references to their own qualifications for the job. And don't say this "friend" didn't steer the conversation. The qualifications being discussed were clearly those of the job applicant. Just how did this supposed "friend" insert his or her qualifications into the conversation? Accidentally on purpose? Feeling jealous? Wanting to brag? Looking at 30 pieces of silver?

Maddy said...

It is possible the prospective employer wants to know if you are qualified enough to judge your friend's qualifications. If you get asked about the job, you simply say "no, thank you. I'm satisfied with my current employment"