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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Telephone Reference Check

Use the Job Interview to Pave the Way

Asking the right questions may give you the right answers.

An excellent way of informing the candidate that references will, indeed, be checked, is to start the interview with, "If we're interested in you, and you're interested in us, we'll be checking your references and, by the way, we want you to feel free to check our references as well."

During the interview it's important to jot down those responses that you consider significant. Then, when checking references, if there's a difference between what the previous employer says and what the candidate said you'll be able to discuss those differences with the employer.

Another useful interviewing technique is to ask the candidate, "What duties did your boss perform?" Then, follow with, "What duties did your subordinates perform?" Later, when you ask candidates to describe their duties, it makes it difficult for them to take credit for the accomplishments of others.

Reference checking remains the most reliable way you have of verifying the impressions and authenticating the information you've gained from the candidate's resume, application and interview.