How To Question Employee References

questions to ask references

Performing a throughout check on a potential employee is part of a staffing company’s due diligence. Knowing which questions to ask references means you can obtain a full understanding of someone’s ability to complete the necessary work of a new job.

Topics To Discuss

Apart from identifying yourself and the position an employee applied for, you should also inquire how the reference knows the candidate so you can verify the information as a professional reference rather than a personal friend. When you are conducting reference checks, you should always ask about the following aspects of the potential employee:

  • Work ethic
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Listening and communication skills
  • Reason for leaving the previous job
  • Potential in the new job

It’s also a good idea to ask what the employee was like as a co-worker and whether the employer would consider re-hiring them. This can provide an overall visual of how that person might fit into another company and what they are like as an employee in general.

Preparing for Your Phone Call

According to the information found on, there are certain questions to ask references, as well as ways to go about doing this, that help you get a better feel for a potential employee. Asking these questions can help you make an informed decision about whether a candidate is a good fit for the job description and company in question.

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