Skip to Content
California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Telephone Reference Check

Techniques to Get More Candid References

People are more cooperative with people they like.

To encourage references to be candid with you, it's wise to be friendly when you speak with them.

If possible, try to find out something about the person you're about to contact for a reference. You may find you have a few things in common the same hobby, same sport interest, same area of residence, same school, same business.

One way to find out this information is to ask the candidate, during the interview, to tell you something about his or her boss. It could give you some important insight into the kind of person your candidate worked for, and would provide you a ""break the ice" opening when you call for a reference. If you cannot find out any personal information about the reference, chat about the weather or current news for a moment or two. Speak with a "smile" in your voice, and quickly get to the purpose of the call.