Job References

Job references can make or break your job offer.

During the interview process, most hiring companies do reference checks on potential employees.

Some companies ask for written references.  More likely, a company will conduct references over the phone.

When giving a person as a reference, get the person’s approval first.

In some cases, your current or former employer will not give information on your performance.  The employer may have a policy that limits giving employment information to the dates that you worked at their company.

Often the hiring company will speak with specific types of references.  For example, the company will ask to speak with current or former supervisors, co-workers, customers, vendors, or business connections.

In the case of reference checks for inexperienced workers, the hiring company may ask to speak with a neighbor, teacher, or classmate.

Here are common reference check questions.

  • How long have you know this person?
  • Would you hire or rehire the person today?
  • Why did this person leave the last job?
  • What was your relationship with the person?
  • What would you say about this person and how would you describe the person?
  • How well does the person handle conflict?
  • What are his/her strongest points?
  • How does this person work with other people?
  • How does this person respond to feedback and criticism?
  • What were the person’s greatest accomplishments?
  • How would you rate the person’s performance on a scale of 1-10?
  • What area of development could the candidate focus on?

Other helpful articles
How to Receive Job-Winning Reference Checks
Build a Powerhouse Reference List As Part of Building Your Professional Network.


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