4 Best Questions to Ask Professional References

To better understand whether a candidate may be an excellent fit for a role, you need to talk with their professional references. Because these people worked with the candidate, they can attest to the candidate’s work ethic, hard and soft skills, achievements, strengths, and other pertinent information. You can gain insight into projects they worked on, how they interacted with team members, and whether they would excel with your organization.

Here are four questions to ask a candidate’s professional references.

How Would You Describe the Candidate’s Reliability and Dependability?

Find out how strong the candidate’s reliability, dependability, and related soft skills are. Determine whether they prioritized activities, maintained a consistent schedule, and were relied on as a source of accurate information. Discover how well the candidate collaborated, made themselves available for help, and followed through with commitments.

What Was One of the Candidate’s Most Memorable Accomplishments While Working with You?

Determine which achievement made the candidate stand out for a previous employer. Perhaps the candidate took the initiative on a project or showed leadership in finishing an activity. Find out what the outcome was and how it benefitted the company.

Which Type of Work Environment Do You Think the Candidate Would Be Most Likely to Thrive in, and Why?

Uncover whether the candidate would thrive in your work environment. If the reference discusses an environment different from yours, talk further with the candidate about your culture. Assess whether they’d be comfortable working in an environment different from what they’re used to. If not, consider other candidates who may be a better fit.

Which Skills Would You Have Liked to See the Candidate Develop to Reach Their Full Potential?

Discover gaps in the candidate’s skill set that are relevant to the position. Ask whether the reference believes the candidate may be willing to develop the necessary skills. If so, use this information to help create a plan for the candidate’s professional development. If prior development of the missing skills is required for the role, consider looking for a more qualified candidate.

Always Check References

Always check a candidate’s professional references. Know whether their hard and soft skills will help them excel in the role and your organization. Be certain that the candidate’s previous accomplishments can be built on to attain successful outcomes for your company as well.

For help filling your accounting and finance roles, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We’ll identify six candidates for an opening, then narrow it down to three candidates for your interview and selection process. You choose which candidate to hire. Get started with us today.