Important Questions When Checking Professional References

You have a candidate who seems perfect for the job. The only step to take in the process before making an offer is checking references. How can you ensure that you go about it properly to ensure you don’t make a hiring mistake?

Your first step is to always conduct them. Some hiring managers rely too much on a resume or an interview only to wind up with a candidate who can’t perform the job. To make sure the candidate you’re thinking of hiring truly has what it takes, confirm their skills and abilities with people who have worked with them in the past.

When you’re checking references, here are a few questions that are important to ask:

What were the candidate’s title and employment dates?

These are basic yet critical questions. If the candidate lied about this or misrepresented themselves in any way, then it’s a big red flag for you. So ensuring that these details are correct should always be your first question, helping you weed out dishonest candidates.

What were the candidate’s job role and duties with the company?

You’ve confirmed the title, but that can mean different things at different companies. It’s important to dig a little deeper and get specific about what a candidate handled while in a particular role. This will once again confirm for you that they’re honest and also that they have the experience to perform your job.

Did you ever have any performance problems with this candidate?

Of course, you want to find out about serious issues, like lying or cheating on the job. However, perhaps there was something like a bad attitude or a critical nature that made it difficult for that person to collaborate or interact with peers. It’s important to find out this information too. This will help to ensure that you hire a candidate who has more than just skills but the right personality to mesh well with your culture.

What were their biggest strengths?

Asking this question can help you uncover some assets or areas that a candidate didn’t highlight during the hiring process. It can also ensure that what they’re able to offer you in terms of their abilities is in line with your needs.

Do you think the candidate is qualified for this job?

Give the person you’re talking to some details about the position and the expectations and goals within it. Then ask them this question. If all you get is a “yes” or “no” answer, be prepared with follow-up questions related to your particular position, and the skills needed to perform it well.

Would you hire this candidate again?

This is the million-dollar question and can truly give you the answer you need in terms of whether or not to extend an offer. If, for instance, there’s an awkward pause, then it says a lot about the employer’s feelings toward the candidate.

If you don’t have the time or manpower to handle all the aspects of hiring on your own, like checking references, turn to the team who can do the job. Murray Resources is one of the leading temp-to-hire staffing agencies in Houston, TX, and can provide the people you need, where and when you need them, giving you a competitive edge. Contact us today to get started.