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Useful Personal Reference Questions

Sujata Iyer Jul 22, 2020
Personal reference questions play an important role before the employment of a prospective candidate. Here, we'll share with you some good questions that you can ask while considering the employment of a candidate.
When it comes to the employment of a candidate, a company must be very careful and choose wisely. It is after all an investment that the company is making in terms of remuneration, resources, etc.
And so, when you find yourself impressed with a certain candidate, and think that he or she is absolutely perfect for a job, you need to go that extra mile to ensure that he or she is indeed worth the time and money that you are willing to invest.
For this, you need to conduct a complete background check, which involves asking a lot of personal reference questions. A background check can often be the deciding factor which will enable you to go ahead and either employ the candidate or reject him.
Conducting a pre employment screening and employee background check is a standard and crucial procedure before employing a candidate. For this, at the time of the interview, you must request the candidate to furnish you with a list of references whom you can contact in order to conduct a check.
While conducting a background check on someone, especially for employment, it is important to inform the person that you will be doing so. It may be a simple check using past employment contacts, or a criminal background check for which you may need to make use of available public records, or have a special department do so.
Here are some of the most frequently asked and most important questions that you ought to ask the people you call regarding the prospective employee.
  • How long did (name of candidate) work with you?
  • What post was he or she handling?
  • What was his or her total tenure at your company?
  • What different posts, and responsibilities did he or she handle, during that tenure?
  • What was his or her starting salary, and what was the salary when he or she left the company?
  • Why did he or she leave the company?
  • Can you give me a brief account of how (name of candidate's) behavior was, during his time in your office?
  • Would you say that he is a good employee, from the point of view of teamwork, and leadership abilities?
  • How many promotions did he or she receive, while in your employment?
  • How much importance do you think, he or she gave to personal appearance, as a corporate executive?
  • What is your opinion about him or her, regarding punctuality, and deadlines?
  • Is he or she able to function rationally, and professionally, under stressful situations?
  • Were there any complaints against him or her, regarding the behavior with colleagues, and superiors?
  • Can you brief me about some of his noteworthy achievements at your company?
  • What do you, as an employer, think are his or her strongest and weakest attributes?
  • Was he or she a proactive employee, or a submissive one?
  • As far as communication skills are concerned, how would you gauge his or hers?
  • Did you have any problems whatsoever, with his or her communication abilities, with colleagues, clients, or the management?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how dependable is (name of employee) in terms of projects, assignments, client satisfaction, etc.?
  • We are considering hiring (name of employee) for the position of (name of position). We would like you to give us an objective score to him or her, on a scale of 1 to 10, regarding how appropriate he or she is, for this position.
You can make use of a questionnaire, for a reference check, but a telephonic or face-to-face conversation, are better options. This way, you can be sure that you get the first reaction of the person to your questions, and there will be no room for doubt.