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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Telephone Reference Check

Discover the Real Reason for Leaving

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Find out the real reason the candidate left each of the jobs. This is difficult, because the word "fired" is rarely used. It's often couched in different terms such as, "We agreed to disagree."

It is estimated that some 80 percent of all working people have been fired at one time or another. It could have been from a first job delivering newspapers. It could have been as a result of a company going out of business, or being merged with a larger company thus making a person's job redundant. Therefore, if employers won't hire these people who have been fired, they are eliminating some 80 percent of the job market candidates. In any event, to do thorough reference checking, you should know if they were fired, and why.

Here are a couple of good reasons for leaving that a reference may give you, and good responses on your part:

Reference: "He wanted more money."

You: "Why didn't you think he was worth more?"

Reference: "She did such a good job she effectively made her job unnecessary."

You: "You mean you couldn't transfer such a good employee?"