Best Questions to Ask Candidate References

As a staffer, it’s second nature for you to follow up with the references that your candidates provide. Finding qualified and competent candidates is your duty to your clients, and sometimes you have to ask the hard questions to get real answers from real people who have experience working with your applicants. In this article series, we’re going to review the best questions to ask your candidate’s references to get the best grasp on their work ethic, skill, and personality. As we explore these questions, ensure your operation is protected with a Staffing Liability Insurance program.

Question #1: Can you describe the applicant’s work performance?

Creating a flamboyant resume packed full of claims is easy for any candidate to do, but an objective reference can confirm or deny these claims. The reference’s answer to this question can give you a gauge on how well they did their job, their competence level, and their skills.

Question #2: Can you tell me some of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses?

No one is perfect, and this is a tricky question. However, this will help you as the staffer determine whether the candidate will be easily trainable (if the client provides it) and if they have the necessary skills needed for the position you’re placing them in.

Question #3: What’s it like to work with _____?

This open-ended question leaves a lot of room for an honest response. This line of inquiry helps hiring managers determine whether a candidate is a good cultural fit for the organization. It can reveal the candidate’s personality, communication skills, how well he or she takes direction and if the person is a team player, explains Entrepreneur.

This is also a good time to note if the reference mentions anything negative or questionable about the candidate such as timeliness, attendance, or attitude.

Question #4: Would you rehire this candidate?

This straight forward question will give you a better understanding of the person and the manner in which they left their previous role. This is an important question to determine whether the previous employer had a positive experience with this candidate and if he or she would be willing to rehire them.


About World Wide

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.