Top Tip: Reference Check Questions

Reference Check Questions

The reference check stage of the recruitment process is a crucial stage for an employer to obtain vital information about a candidate and corroborating that what they have said on their CV and in their interview is factual and true. By speaking to references, you can gather more information about the candidate’s work ethics and personality traits that might not be apparent during the interview.

Factual Reference Check Questions:

Factual questions are important to ask to confirm information the candidate has given you regarding their previous role is accurate. For example:

  • Can you please confirm the candidate’s dates of employment?
  • Can you please confirm the candidate’s job title?
  • What was your working relationship with the candidate?

Behavioural Reference Check Questions:

By asking behavioural questions you can gain a better insight into the candidate’s personality and work ethic. For example:

  • Can you please describe the candidate’s attendance and timekeeping?
  • Can you please describe the candidate’s job performance?
  • Can you please describe the candidate’s relationship with their colleagues and also with management?

Hypothetical reference Check Question:

There is one hypothetical question that is important to ask at the end of each reference check:

  • Would you re-hire the candidate in the future?

This question can tell you a lot as there is a big difference between “No I would not”, “Um…maybe” and “Yes, I wish they were not leaving”.

Hiring the wrong candidate can be extremely costly for any organisation so ensure to always complete reference checks with at least two referees and ideally with a manager or superior.

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