8 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Candidates Before Reaching out to References

Contacting references during your search adds time to the hiring process, but it can stop you from extending an offer to someone who really isn’t reliable or a good fit. Whether you’re calling someone a candidate provided or contact you know is a mutual connection, asking the right questions can aid in your decision-making process and give you additional insight. Before you know the right questions to ask the reference, you need to ask your candidates these eight questions.

1. Who are your references?

Even if the application features a brief description, you want to be sure who they are so when you follow-up with them, you’re asking the relevant questions to their relationship. It can also help you gauge their relationships with previous employers, especially if all their references are all colleagues or mentors.

2. What was your role at your last job(s)?

In order to accurately talk about their experience with references, you want to know what they did in their previous positions.

3. Why did you leave?

Again, you want the candidate’s answer before asking references, so you can verify for accuracy.

4. Did you get along with your co-workers and managers in your previous role(s)?

By finding out their perception of their work relationships, you can compare with references to learn how others felt about this candidate and if they were polite and relatable.

5. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

While it’s likely they will list different items than their references, you can pay attention to glaring misaligns, like if a candidate says something is a strength that a reference claims is actually a weakness.

6. Have you experienced conflict at work?

Understanding how a candidate interacts with co-workers and managers is critical, especially when conflict inevitably arises. By asking them about a specific situation, you can talk in more detail with a reference or compare notes to see if they’re being truthful in the manner they handle conflict.

7. How do you respond to delays and/or setbacks?

Because things won’t always go right, you want to know how they will deal with setbacks or even failures. Learning from the candidate and reference can help you determine the accuracy of the claims.

 8. Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this position?

This can provide different pieces of information, whether it’s experience from another position or a personality trait. No matter what you learn, you can go back to a reference, describe your open role, and ask why they believe the candidate is a good fit.

An Employment Agency With You in Mind

At Workbox Staffing, we know hiring can be stressful. That’s why we do the heavy lifting for you. We take the time to verify candidates and follow up to make sure you’re getting a reliable worker, not just a warm body. Find a Workbox Staffing agency location near you today!

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