Having seen my own HR records in the past when they were considered to be confidential, there may have been some justification in job reference secrecy when you consider the actions of some interviewees.
• A candidate was asked to bring his references with him, but said he couldn’t as they were far too busy to come with him to an interview.
• One waiting for an interview was heard phoning in sick to their current employer.
• And seeking a creative answer to the dubiously creative question “How would you lift a polar bear with one hand?” replied “You wouldn’t find a polar bear with one hand”.
I once asked someone why they wanted the job they were being interviewed for: “Only after you tell me why you wanted yours” came the reply – they got the job.