I’ve been involved in taking up references a few times in the last few weeks, so I’ve looked been looking for some advice on the subject. DRG have a great guide entitled “Ten Critical Questions To Ask When Checking References” which has (as the title suggests) a list of ten questions which I will summarise here:
- What were the responsibilities of the position the candidate had while working at your company?
- Do you think the candidate is qualified to assume these responsibilities? Why or why not?
- How would you describe your management style?
- How did the candidate perform with regard to________?
- Is this person a team player or does he or she excel by working alone?
- What was the candidate’s attendance record? Was the candidate on-time and dependable?
- What areas of development were communicated to the candidate and how did he or she respond?
- What are the candidate’s three strongest qualities?
- What was the candidate’s reason for leaving the position?
- Would you rehire this candidate?
I would recommend reading the original article for context if you’re thinking of using this!
The only addition I would recommend (from a JobSearch article on the same subject) is:
- Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to share with me?
Real conversations will probably end up covering a good portion of this without too much prompting – but I like to have a check list in front of me to help me make sure I cover everything before the conversation ends, and to give me prompts if all goes quiet!