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Reference checking

I'm not a dishonest person, in reality or by reputation. But I do have the occasional dishonest inkling. For instance, a former co-worker, sometimes friend of mine is being considered for a job in the armed forces which requires a security clearance. Part of getting this clearance involves someone from the DoD interviewing references.

As I said, I'm not dishonest, but seriously, if anyone has ever been denied clearance or a position through the interviewing process, who are they and what, exactly, kind of idiot are they? I'm not following the thought process that makes someone provide the name of a potential deal-breaker in a list of people they know is going to be asked about the candidate's past.

Candidate: "I know, I'll tell them to talk to Ryan."

DoD Badge-Flasher: "Ryan, is Candidate trustworthy?"

Ryan: "Oh, hell yeah. Candidate's been holding my stash for a while, you know, until the heat dies down. Wait, if you're asking, does that mean Candidate's not? That's what you think, right? Damn it! I knew it! What happened to my stash?!?"

Not that I sunk my former co-worker, sometimes friend. For what I knew, a stand-up all-around All-American kid. But the process itself makes you wonder how someone, somewhere justified this.

Of course, I'm probably missing some depressingly simple aspect (like body language, eye movements and the like) that are "tells". If that's the case then I probably blew it. I long ago stopped reacting like I'm supposed to to questions. It really throws people off. Tell them the truth but then look all around. Really throws off people who have read certain books.


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