Reference check has become part and parcel of most job interviews.
The hiring company would want to ascertain if the candidate they short-listed has given accurate and up-to-date information during the interview. This is to avoid costly hiring mistake.
Hence, besides requesting for your resume information and documentation proof of your credential, work related experience and remuneration, they would seek interviewees’ permission to conduct reference check with past employer or present employer for an opinion of you as an employee.
More often than not, they would contact the HR personnel or your past / present superior or even co-workers. Hence, it is to your advantage to always maintain good working relationships with your superior and co-workers in various departments. Do keep those you listed under reference updated of your job search and pre-empt them of the reference check. You should let your referees know which company and what job you have been short-listed for prior to the check. It is worth the effort to ensure you received positive reference check. And touch base with them again after the reference checks both for courtesy purpose and to learn how the reference check went.
Sample Reference Check Questions
1) When did the candidate work for your company? Please confirm the start and end dates.
2) What was his/her last drawn salary?
3) What were his/her position and job responsibilities?
4) How did he/she leave the company?
5) What were his/her strengths and weaknesses?
6) How was his/her relationship with management and co-workers?
7) Would you hire him/her again if you are given the opportunity?
However, if you are not open to it, state it clearly and potential employers will respect that decision. And you should suggest alternatives like testimonials from past employments or conducting reference check with business associates.