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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Telephone Reference Check

Planning: A Key Part of Successful Reference Checking

Make the most out of each reference contact.

First of all, there's not too much sense doing detailed reference checking unless you're seriously considering hiring the candidate. Or, if several candidates appear to be equal, you may want to choose the one with the best references.

It's important to plan the general questions you will ask the references of all candidates applying for the same job. But include specific questions that will help clarify possible problems you perceive with each of the different candidates.

Planning is important because you must respect the time of the cooperative reference. If you ramble on, the reference may cut the conversation short before you get the answers to your main questions.

Remember, when you ask for a reference, the person you talk to is doing you a favor. Always be polite. And, always place the call yourself.