References

Comprehensive reference checking is strongly encouraged once you progress to offer stage with a preferred candidate. It is good practice to speak to two or three work-related references.

If the candidates’ current employers do not know they are seeking work elsewhere or you require a reference prior to offering the candidate, we recommend speaking to previous employers. It is important that you obtain consent from the candidate to contact their references and ask employment-related questions.

All questions should be job-related and legal. You cannot ask questions during a reference check that you are prohibited from asking during an interview.

Whilst it is important to tailor questions to your organisation, the following example questions may prove a useful starting point:

  • In what capacity were you associated with the applicant, and since when?

  • In what capacity was the applicant employed, and what were their job responsibilities and salary?

  • Was the applicant successful in fulfilling their duties?

  • What was it like to supervise the applicant?

  • Was the applicant a valuable member of the team?

  • What unique skills did the candidate bring to your organisation?

  • What were their strengths?

  • What were their development needs?

  • Did you ever find it necessary to reprimand or discipline this person? If so, what were the circumstances?

  • Considering the job being applied for, do you think the applicant is suitable?

  • Would you employ the applicant again?

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?