The Top Questions to Ask a Candidate’s References

The hiring process is notorious for being time-consuming. However, making a hasty decision that leads to a bad hire is costly in the form of resources and time. You should always know who you’re hiring. A resume, cover letter, and an interview will only give you part of the picture. Asking for references may seem like just a formality, but it is so much more. When deciding between your top candidates, it is well worth your time to talk to references.

Candidates choose what to share during the application and interview processes. This is your one chance to gain an outside perspective on your candidates. Which questions should you ask? Here is a list of the top questions to ask your candidates’ references.

Quick Note on Etiquette

When calling a reference, first be sure to introduce yourself properly and explain why you’re calling before you dive into questions. It is also worth mentioning that any off-limit topics during an interview (e.g., race, religion, gender, etc.) should also be avoided when talking to references.

Bonus Tip: A staffing agency near me can guide you through the hiring process.

Top Questions to Ask References

1.     What Was the Candidate’s Job Title and Responsibilities?

This question is a great way to verify the authenticity of the candidate’s resume.

2.     Why Did the Candidate Leave the Job?

There’s a big difference between a candidate leaving for a better opportunity and leaving over a disagreement.

3.     Would You Rehire the Candidate?

If a former employer would rehire a candidate, it is very telling. It’s a great sign if an employer would hire a candidate again. After all, hindsight is 20/20.

4.     Do You Think the Candidate Will Be Successful in This Position?

Whether the answer is yes or no, be sure to ask why. You will be amazed at what you will learn.

5.     How Does the Candidate Work with a Team and Supervisors?

No matter how good a candidate may be, it isn’t worth much if they can’t get along with others.

6.     Please Describe Your Experiences Working with the Candidate.

The answer to this question will give you a glimpse into what it will be like to have the person on your team.

7.     What are the Candidate’s Strengths and Weaknesses?

No one is perfect. It is essential to know where your potential hire excels and areas of needed improvement.

8.     What Advice Can You Give Me If I Hire this Candidate?

It would be helpful to know how to manage a potential hire best if they join your team.

Get the Complete Picture

Contacting references will give you the complete picture of a candidate and as much information as possible before making a decision. Stack the deck in your favor even more by partnering with California and Michigan’s leading staffing agency. Arrow Staffing is dedicated to finding the perfect candidate to fit your personnel needs. Let us do the heavy lifting. Request an employee today!

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