February 25, 2024 at 3:26 pm

His Niece Asked For A Job Referral, But He Declined After Giving Her A Random Intelligence Test

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

Anyone who has ever had to look for a job (so, pretty much all of us) knows how hard it can be to even get your resume in front of a hiring committee.

So, it makes sense that a young graduate would ask an older relative (who works in the same field) for help.

OP’s niece is getting ready to graduate and is starting in the field of computer science.

I am a senior software engineer and work at a local software shop. We aren’t super big but we are profitable and make a b2b SaaS web app. It is a small company and everyone knows each other really well.

I was recently having diner with my sister whose daughter graduated in CS 2 years ago and was a junior programmer. She worked for iRobot but got laid off recently.

When she/her mother asked him for a referral, he gave her a “simple” problem to solve.

We were talking about tech related topics while we were having diner and she seemed like someone passionate about the industry so I mentioned that there were openings at my workplace. She then inquired about job referrals.

Since we never really worked together, I told her I could do so but I´’d like to ask her a question to gauge her knowledge and would only refer her if she passed.

I asked her a problem I knew of the top of my head on dynamic programming to use CS concepts to maximize the amount of coins by opening boxes, which is quite similar to a popular problem on bursting balloons (on leetcode).

When it took her longer than he deemed worthy, he refused to give her the referral because it would “look bad” for him if she failed.

She failed to produce an efficient answer within 45 minutes and only finally got it after an hour and a half after a hint so I said I could not refer her but she was free to apply on her own.

My sister is now upset at me and called me an asshole and said I should still try to help her and that it was unfair to test her on the spot.

The thing is I don´’t want to take any risks as if I did refer her, she would probably get hired as our interviews are very easy and almost all refereed candidates get hired.

But then if she performed badly after being refereed it would reflect really badly on me.

I know the question I asked is not related to the job but I still think it is a good way to test ones intelligence.

Reddit, I think, is ready to pounce.

The top comment says he’s behaving very arrogantly.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person, who works in a similar position, doesn’t understand OP’s line of thinking at all.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this fellow engineer says the question was stupid, too, but he would be cautious about referring someone he hadn’t worked with.

Source: Reddit/AITA

They say a referral and a recommendation are different things, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

It’s really not that deep.

Source: Reddit/AITA

It would have been iffy if he’d just refused.

But his gauging her supposed intelligence was definitely a jerk move.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.