Reference Check

Following is a list of Critical Questions To Ask When Checking References.

Before you begin, modify and/or add to this list depending on your particular job opening. Make certain that all of your questions relate to the position for which you are hiring, and that you follow the same procedure for every candidate. In order to obtain an objective reference, try to keep your perceptions to yourself. Before implementing any hiring procedure, including reference checking, please consult with your attorney.

To begin, advise the person from whom the reference is sought of your objectives. In other words, identify yourself and your company. State that you are seriously considering the candidate for employment and that you would like to ask a few questions to validate your perceptions about the candidate’s qualifications. Ask whether this is a good time to engage in a discussion or whether you should call back at a more convenient time. If the person is agreeable, proceed with your questions

Sample Reference Check Questions

  • When did (name) work for your company? Could you confirm starting and ending employment dates? When did s/he leave the company?
  • Why did (name) leave the company?
  • What was her/his starting and ending salary?
  • What was her/his position? Can you describe the job responsibilities?
  • Could I briefly review (name’s) resume? Does the job title and job description match the position that (name) held?
  • Did (name) miss a lot of work? Was s/he frequently late? Were there any issues you are aware of that impacted her/his job performance?
  • Did s/he get along well with management and co-workers?
  • Was (name) promoted while with your company?
  • Did (name) supervise other employees? How effectively? If I spoke to those employees, how do you think they would describe (name’s) management style?
  • How did (name) handle conflict? How about pressure? Stress?
  • Did you evalute (name’s) performance? Can you speak to his/her strong and weak points? What was noted as needing improvement during this performance review?
  • What was (name’s) biggest accomplishment while working for your company?
  • Would you rehire (name) if the opportunity arose?
  • If I describe the position we are hiring for to you, could you describe how good a fit you think (name) would be for the position?
  • Can you describe this person’s experience working as a member of a team?
  • Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to share with me?

 

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