Reference check questions
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Reference Check Protocol and QuestionsFor(candidate name)
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Vacancy
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Date of requesting/obtaining reference(date)
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Title of Referee and Company name (at time the he/she worked with job candidate
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Explain the company and the job description/profile (briefly). Clarify the purpose of your call: you would like to ask a few questions to validate your perceptions about the candidate's qualifications. (if a phone call) Ask whether this is a good time to engage in a discussion or whether you should call back at a more convenient time. If the person is agreeable, proceed with your questions.
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Change/add to these as per the job description you are working on. Use the same questions and form for each candidate to ensure you get a comparable outcome for each reference check. Pick only the top maybe 8 or 10 questions that would help you make a hiring decision.
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Yes/NoComments - ask "can you tell me more" if someone only gives a yes/no answer and you need further information
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Establish context
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What is your relationship to the job candidate?
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How long did you work together?
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What was his/her main role at that time?
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Did the role he/she was in require supervision of others? (How many)
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How much customer interface did he/she have?
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What was the geographic reach of his/her role? (in terms of direct responsibilities)
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Did he/she has financial targets to achieve in this role?
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Was he/she recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in some specific area?
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Was he/she part of a leadership or management team?
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General questions
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General approach to setting goals and achieving them?
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Are there memorable examples of impacting customer satisfaction?
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What do you see as his/her top strengths?
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How would you describe his/her communication style?
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In what way did he/she add value to the team/the organization?
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Did he/she have specific performance goals to achieve?
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What key skill or experience areas helped him/her succeed in that role?
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In which areas would you consider him/her to have key knowledge that greatly contributed to the tasks at hand?
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Did he/she have to overcome any major challenge or obstacle during the time you worked together?
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Leadership/Management (if applicable)
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What are the most notable leadership/management outcomes you can share?
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How would you describe his/her management (or leadership) style?
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How would you rate his/her presentation skills (if applicable)? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is "far exceeds expectations of others" and 1 = "did not meet expectations at all"
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Did he/she mentor others during the time you worked together?
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How would you describe his/her career drivers?
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Closing
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Why did he/she leave the company?
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Would you rehire him/her?
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Name of person obtaining the reference:
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Date when this record needs to be destroyed (As per privacy laws, if applicable):
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