Reference Checking Guidelines
- Check 2-3 professional references (current supervisor/previous employers).
- Contact reference(s) by phone.
- When contacting the reference, identify yourself, where you work, your position,
the nature of your call and the identity of the candidate.
- Inquire if this is a convenient time for them to respond to reference questions.
- Assure the reference that all discussions will be held in strict confidence.
- Outline the requirements and duties of the position for which the candidate is being
considered so that the reference can organize their responses.
- Be consistent, ask the same questions of each reference.
- Disregard any information that is not job related.
- If you receive a negative reference, evaluate the information carefully: is it job-related?
- Ask the reference if you may call back if you have additional questions.
- Thank the reference for their time and cooperation.
Sample Reference Check Questions
- Is reference in a position to evaluate candidate's performance?
- What are the dates of employment?
- What position(s) have been held?
- What are the requirements, duties and skills of this position?
- How would you rate the candidate's performance (excellent/satisfactory/poor)
- What are the candidate's strengths? Weaknesses?
- How does this candidate interact with peers?
- Can you provide examples of how this candidate is self-motivated and/or
- Can you provide an example of how the candidate used time effectively?
Were assignments completed on time?
- Can you describe the candidate's oral and written communication style?
- Would you select this candidate to be part of a team to assist with critical projects?
- How does this candidate handle pressure/stress?
- How would you rate this candidate's computer/technical skills?
- Can you please comment on any additional job-related information of which we
should be aware?
- If applicable, why did the candidate leave?
- Is the candidate eligible for rehire?