How to Conduct Reference Checks of Interviewees


Reference checks are an important component of the interview process and it is frightening to know that there are managers who hire solely on what they see on paper and what they observe during interviews. Reference checks are part of a company’s homework when employing someone and allow hiring managers to validate information gathered thus far.


1. It is recommended that hiring managers contact the candidate’s former supervisors rather than personal friends or relatives listed on the application form. Ex-bosses will be able to offer you unbiased opinions of the candidate’s quality of work and job behaviors.

2. For professional qualifications, request for transcripts. If these are not available or provided by the candidate, check their credentials with the institutions who awarded them their diplomas or degrees.

3. Confirm information regarding: 

  1. Dates of employment at previous jobs 
  2. Positions held at previous jobs 
  3. Accuracy of claims of special achievements  
  4. Circumstances under which they left previous jobs 

4. Plan to ask open-ended questions such as:

  1. What was his weaknesses and strengths? 
  2. Can you describe his work relationship to his colleagues and bosses? 
  3. What was his biggest contribution to your company? 
5. Confirm any hunches you have gathered during the interview with the candidate previously. 

Topics: Talent Management

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