In today’s market, recruiting and retaining employees is more critical to business success than ever before. An organisation can work more effectively to save time, money and resources by recruiting the right person, the first time.

After the interview process, an organisation will determine which candidates they believe have successfully met the selection criteria and can perform the job.

Prior to making a job offer, a prospective employer will verify the references with the candidate’s previous employers. This is conducted to confirm the correct choice, cultural fit and suitability of the candidate.

Majority of employers will only advise basic information such as: confirming start and end date of employment and/or salary information. Some may be willing to discuss the candidate’s job performance, work ethic, attendance, attitude, interaction with staff and other criteria that are important to a company when deciding on whom to offer the job.

Make sure your referees are updated with your work movements and advise them they may be contacted in the coming days to provide a reference on you. You both need to be on the same page when it comes to your work history, skills and attributes and email you referees an update copy of your resume, so they are prepared.

These are the type of question your references will expect.

  • What was (name) main job title and duties?
  • Could you confirm the start and finish dates with the company?
  • Why did (name) leave?
  • How did (name) interact with the staff?
  • How did (name) handle conflict?
  • How did (name) handle pressure and stress?
  • Please describe (name) time management skills?
  • Was (name) able to work autonomously?
  • What would you consider to be (name) main strengths?
  • What areas does (name) need improvement in?
  • What was (name) biggest accomplishment whilst working for your company?
  • What was noted as needing improvement during (name) performance review?
  • Would you re-hire this candidate if the opportunity arose?
  • I’ll describe the position we are hiring, could you describe if (name) would be suitable for the position?
  • Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to share with me?