Conducting Reference Checks

Conducting a reference check is an integral part of the overall hiring process. Reference checks are generally conducted on a top candidate(s) after campus interviews. This allows the applicant to be evaluated based on the information and qualifications presented during the interview, in addition to the information presented in his/her application and resume. References should be made to those individuals, generally supervisors, who can comment on the individual’s work performance.

Reference Check Questionnaire (12 Questions)

Reference Check Questionnaire (7 Questions)

The above questionnaires and following guidelines are intended to assist you in conducting reference check of a candidate.

 1. Questions used for checking references must be related to the requirements of the job and may include:

    • Dates of Employment,
    • Job Titles,
    • Job Duties,
    • Length of Service in Each Position,
    • Promotions, Demotions,
    • Attendance,
    • Reason for Termination or Separation: and,
    • Other Information Which Validates the Information Provided by the Candidate about their Experience, Capabilities and Skills.

2. It is sometimes more effective to ask a reference to rate the candidate on various job-related factors on a scale from 1 to 10 and to elaborate on the basis of the rating.

3. Subjective information or information that could be considered discriminatory should not be part of  the discussion; if this type of information is offered, ignore it

4. Information gathered through reference checks is confidential and should be communicated only to those who have a business need to know

5. Two reference checks are generally conducted on a top candidate(s) after campus interviews. The hiring supervisor must obtain a minimum of one successful reference check from a supervisor or someone in a position that can speak to the candidate's work performance.

6. If the candidate does not wish to have their supervisor contacted, you should explore the reasons thoroughly to determine next steps and consult with Recruitment Services with any questions.

7. Each reference check should be appropriately documented.  If a person contacted for a reference(s) does (will) not provide any information beyond dates or employment and salary or title, document the information received and that no additional information was provided.  An additional reference should be contacted.