Work Search and Hiring: Emphasis on Candidate References and Job Interviews

Hiring the most suitable person for job openings could be a difficult task even for a seasoned HR professional. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible thing do for as long as you can effectively learn the craft, you can always obtain the finest among the job candidates.

Fundamentally speaking, the hiring process takes multiple steps and each one is essential to obtain the perfect person for the company. Nevertheless, there can be two steps in which a hiring consultant should emphasize and consider in the said pursuit. One is about the candidates’ references and two, the interview portion.

Jobs Hiring: The Candidates’ References

When hiring the best candidate, it is very important to gather as much information as you can. Probably, one would say that it can be obtained through the candidate’s resume or during the interview portion. Indeed, it is! But for this matter, the candidate reference is going to be one of the most recommended options to look at also.

Candidate references actually verify everything that an applicant’s saying or enters in his or her resume. It’s a form of a background check strategy which uses persons or company to gather info about the job seeker that would be useful for the hiring endeavor. It could get rid of hiring bias that may occur in hiring agencies and managers, as well as, screens out every person who aren’t really qualified. Sometimes, the work experience and skills of a candidate would really seem captivating. But “looks (referring to the resume) can really be deceiving as they say, for when a hiring representative checks with the candidate’s references, it could be found out that either there’s no truth in everything that’s written on it (resume) or the references can’t even tell one good thing about the candidate.

Many hiring managers know that checking out the candidate’s references isn’t that simple. Basically, you can’t just ask any question simply because it has to be purposive and well-thought about. Moreover, if you really want to extract the truthful info, you need to plan out questions not answerable by only yes or no alone. Below are some of the most effective suggestions to throw on the candidate’s references:

Inquire about the Candidate and Reference’s Professional Relationship

This question is great to establish further and related question. Let’s say, if the reference is the candidate’s supervisor, then possibly your follow up question would be on the candidate’s engagement with the company. On the other hand, if the candidate’s reference is his or her senior co-worker, then questions about team work might be the most appropriate.

Verify the Candidate’s Job Title and Responsibilities

You can check if an applicant is fit for the job by verifying the job title and responsibilities with the references. For instance, if the candidate is applying a managerial position, you would further know that a candidate is qualified if the references would tell you that he or she has been managing people in the company. Likewise, you can cancel out the applicant if you will learn that a regular employee i.e., without the experience of handling a team would apply for an execute job thereby avoiding a bad hire.

Ask about a Candidate’s Work Performance and Sense of Professionalism

Most of the candidates would try to impress the hiring manager by putting high personal evaluation of their work performance and sense of professionalism. By asking this question to a reference person, you can validate that everything the candidate is saying is absolutely true. You can ask about the candidate’s accountability, strength and weaknesses, and perceived candidate personality in this part as well.

Ask about a Candidate’s Chance to be Rehired in the Company

A good employee is always welcome in the previous company anytime re-application is decided unless contraindicated by the company’s hiring rules and policies. Or if the employee is leaving the current job position, the company would do everything in its power to let him or her stay for a longer time. But either way, these are cues of a potentially positive hire that any HR manager should put in mind. Yet, as mentioned earlier paragraphs, never be satisfied with a yes or no answer. Always ask for the reasons why.

The Interview Portion: Hiring for Smarts in the Emotional Level

Learning about the skills of a candidate is good but knowing how they would handle emotional stress brought about by the activities in the company is better. In essence, being smart in the emotional level is a vital part in the overall success of the company. For that reason, obtaining info about the emotional intelligence (E.I.) from the references becomes a top priority. But how will you do it? Take heed to some recommended interview questions in the succeeding sections.

Ask the Candidate about the Object of Inspiration

This interview question will give you a glimpse on the priorities of the candidate. And for that, you will somehow see if the job candidate has the tendency to include your company or the job as among his or her top main concerns.

Determine How a Candidate would Handle Family Issues and Job Challenges

The family is one of the most important reasons why a person works hard. While each kind of job has its own challenges, it is crucial for every employee to know how to handle family issues for this may affect job performance. Thus, ask the candidate during the interview session how he or she can wisely separately these two important entities.

Know the Ways that a Candidate can Set Apart Personal Work Values from the Culture of the Company

It would be recommended that the candidate’s values would in line with the ways of the company. But sometimes, this doesn’t always happen and most problematic hires are accounted from conflicting values. Therefore, even though a candidate would fit for the job in terms of knowledge, skills and experience, it is a very crucial idea to consider knowing his or her personal work values before the actual selection and appointment phase. Although there might be no applicant that would seamlessly match with the culture of the hiring company, the HR professionals would still be able to evaluate if the difference wouldn’t be that significant or if it can easily be fixed.


Whether you received online job applications or collected it directly from your company office, it is good to know the value of gathering details from the candidates’ references and the interview portion. The candidates’ references which solidify the claims of the applicants and knowing how emotionally wise they are during the job interview are crucial factors for the future of the hiring company.


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