Verbal references: What do employers ask?
References are a way to confirm the details of your resume and cover letter pitch. Everybody knows that past behavior is an excellent indicator of future performance. A good reference will show you are trustworthy, reliable, self-starting, cooperative and hard-working.
Ask the Expert
Industry specialists tell all about contacting the reference.
“I ask about the kind of employee
the applicant was, about the specific job tasks and duties they were required
to perform. I ask about reliability, about where they excelled and where they
need to brush up their skills. I also ask if they would be eligible for
-Kate Lain, Human Resources Manager, Pacrim Hospitality Services, Inc.
“What did the employee do for you?
What was their hourly rate? Did you ever have any issues with attendance,
tardiness, work ethic or professionalism? If/when you did a performance review
for them, what did you identify as opportunities for improvement for them? Why
did this person leave your organization?”
-Jason Lessman, Manager of Corporate Recruiting, Boston Market Corporation
“We first want to verify the
information that you have supplied us. This includes your position, pay,
employment dates and re-hire status. For many companies this is the official
information that is shared with other employees. Of course we would like
additional information from your most immediate supervisor. Ideally we want to
know about your work experience, service orientation and interpersonal skills.”
-Randy Goldberg, Executive Director Recruiting, Hyatt Hotels Corporation