Shawnee Love •
February 9, 2010
Many managers think the only reason to reference check is that you can verify the candidate told you the truth. That is definitely one reason, but it doesn’t have to be the only one. I also use references to learn how to effectively manage a new employee and what their blind spots and strengths are. Thus, my reference checks seek to validate and identify ways in which I can be effective in managing and growing my employee. When doing reference checks, questions I like to include are:
- Questions that verify and validate the candidate’s answers to my interview questions like:
- When was John employed with you?
- What were his achievements during his tenure?
- What were the secrets to his success?
- Questions that help you learn more about managing the employee like:
- How does John like to receive feedback?
- In what type of environment does John work best?
- What style of leadership does John respond to?
- How would other team members describe John?
- If you could give John work or career advice, what would it be?
- Questions that help you make the decision to hire like:
- What role would you say he is best suited for and why?
You will want to add in any questions that might have come up throughout the recruitment process as well. I often ask referees questions about the context of a candidate’s achievements to get an understanding of the culture and environment and the candidate’s fit for my organization.