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Questions Employers Ask During a Reference Check

Author Tillie Fabbri

Posted Mar 6, 2023

Reads 9.7K

Questions employers ask during a reference check are an important part of the recruitment process. Employers use these questions to gain insight into a job applicant's work history, skills and abilities, as well as their overall fit for the job. During a reference check, employers typically ask critical questions about the candidate's experience, capabilities and qualifications for the role.

The answers given by references can help employers make informed decisions about hiring new employees. Reference checks provide employers with an opportunity to evaluate applicants based on more than just their resume or interview performance. This is why it is essential that employers ask the right questions during reference checks in order to get accurate and meaningful responses from references.

Knowing what questions to ask during a reference check can be difficult, but it is essential if you want to find out if an applicant is truly qualified for the job they are applying for. This article will discuss some of the most important questions employers should ask when conducting a reference check.

Questions Employers Ask During a Reference Check

When it comes to hiring a new employee, employers need to be sure they make the right decision. Checking the references of a job prospective employer is one way they can get more information and make an informed decision.

Crop anonymous female filling questionnaire when applying for job sitting in employer office

The 2019 Accountemps survey reports that over half of all employers ask questions during a reference check. The most common questions asked by employers are related to job performance, attendance, and attitude. Good news for job applicants is that employers are also likely to inquire about a job application’s strengths and weaknesses and potential as an employee.

Reference checks are an important part of the recruitment process, providing employers with additional insight on job applicants. It’s important for job seekers to be aware of the types of questions employers might ask during their reference check so they can provide accurate details about their skills and experiences when applying for jobs.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to questions employers ask during interviews, prospective employees should be prepared to answer questions about their skills and experience, performance issues, team player mentality, and references that include both personal and professional contacts. Employers want to ensure that the answers they receive match up with the job description, so candidates should be sure to practice common interview questions before their big day. It is also important for job seekers to know what kinds of questions employers are asking so they can better prepare for the interview process. Being familiar with the types of inquiries employers have can help applicants create more accurate responses that reflect why they are a good fit for the position.

Uncovering the Answers with Sample Reference Check Questions

When hiring for a new position, employers need to be sure they are making the right decision. One way to ensure that is by doing reference checks. By asking the right questions of previous employers and colleagues, employers can confirm starting and ending employment dates, job responsibilities, job titles and more. Here are some sample reference check questions to help uncover the answers needed to make an informed decision.

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First, employers can ask about job description match. This includes confirming whether or not the candidate’s job title and description at their former workplace matches what they have provided in their application materials. In addition, questions can be asked about their ending salary and if they met their performance expectations while working there. Finally, employers should also inquire about any special projects or initiatives that the candidate may have participated in during their tenure as well as any additional duties outside of stated job responsibilities.

These sample reference check questions provide employers with a resource for finding out important information about potential hires and making sure that they are meeting all qualifications for the position. It is essential for employers to ask these types of questions in order to verify that the candidate is a good fit for the job before extending an offer of employment.


Questions Employers Should Ask During a Job Interview The interview process is an important part of the hiring process and employers should be asking questions to ensure they are finding the best candidate for the job. Questions that might be asked include inquiries about locations employers have worked, salary due requirements, their understanding of local legislation, if they have been frequently late in previous positions, and job performance. In addition, employers should ask about how well the applicant works with support co-workers, whether they have ever had to supervise someone else, their management style when it comes to handling conflict situations, and how they handle pressure and stress. Lastly, employers can inquire about any weak points they may have or anything needing improvement during a performance review or when an opportunity arose.

Reaching Out To References the Right Way

Reference checks are a fairly simple part of the background check process when it comes to questions employers ask. Small businesses usually have to navigate the hiring process on their own, including how to properly collect references and contact them. An important pro tip is to specifically request contact information from a previous supervisor or other references you intend to reach out to. This helps ensure that you're collecting quality references that can help when making your hiring decision.

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Conducting reference checks is an important part of the job application process. Many times, references listed on a job candidates' application will be contacted directly by HR managers during background checks. When reaching out for blind reference checks, it's important to stay within legal requirements and avoid questions related to federally protected categories outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - this includes asking about a candidate's medical or genetic information. Additionally, try avoiding specific questions that may yield vague answers; instead create carefully curated questions that reveal insight into their past jobs and duties in order for you to make an informed decision based on facts rather than assumptions.

When checking employee references, make sure you keep track of date and time of each phone call and treat every candidate equally with a consistent approach throughout the reference check process. It's also important that employers familiarize themselves with state laws as some states have legal restrictions when it comes to checking employee references; employers might unknowingly overstep those boundaries without being aware of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What questions do you ask an employer?

Some great questions to ask an employer include: What are the key responsibilities of this role? What do you enjoy most about working here? What challenges have past employees faced in this position? For more information on the best questions to ask during an interview, visit our blog.

What are typical reference check questions?

Reference check questions typically involve inquiries about the job candidate's qualifications, work history, and character, such as asking for further details on job responsibilities or examples of successful projects. Read more to learn what other questions you should ask during a reference check.

What can you not ask in a reference check?

Reference checks should focus on a candidate's skills, experience and qualifications. Asking questions unrelated to the role - like age, marital status or religious beliefs - is not only inappropriate, but could also be illegal in many jurisdictions.

What are good questions to ask during a job interview?

When going into a job interview, it is important to ask questions that show you are informed about the role and motivated to succeed. Good questions to ask during an interview include: "What do you like most about working here?", "What challenges have past employees faced in this role?", and "How will my performance be evaluated?".

What employers should ask in an interview?

The top 5 questions employers should ask in an interview are: 1) What experience do you have that makes you the best candidate for this job? 2) How do you handle challenging situations and stressful environments? 3) What is your greatest strength and how will it help our organization? 4) Why did you choose to apply to our company? 5) What makes you unique and sets you apart from other candidates? To learn more, check out our comprehensive guide on what employers should ask in an interview.

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Tillie Fabbri

Writer at CGAA

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Tillie Fabbri is an accomplished article author who has been writing for the past 10 years. She has a passion for communication and finding stories in unexpected places. Tillie earned her degree in journalism from a top university, and since then, she has gone on to work for various media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and online publications.

Her pieces range from hard-hitting investigative reports to lighthearted lifestyle topics. As much as Tillie loves researching and creating content, she also loves engaging with her readers through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. When she isn’t working on articles or connecting with her fanbase, Tillie enjoys reading mystery novels and spending time outdoors biking or hiking.

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