Most job-seekers understand that the application process requires them to provide potential employers with a wide variety of details about their education and work history. Applicants are also typically asked to provide the names and contact information for several references that the hiring manager or recruiter can call to learn more about the potential hire.
Have you ever wondered what types of questions hiring managers and recruiters ask when they call your references? It’s an important thing to know, to ensure that you only list references who will provide answers that boost your chances of getting hired!
(By the way, keep in mind that you shouldn’t list references on a resume. More on this below).
Your potential employer really doesn’t know all that much about you. Resumes and interviews do provide some insight, but they’re no real indication of how well you might perform in the actual job setting. After all, applicants are typically so well-rehearsed these days that it’s only natural for hiring managers to want to learn more about you from other sources. By calling your references, that hiring manager can learn more about your real work history and record of accomplishments.
Of course, references are not always called. Some companies almost never call your previous employer. Others always make that call. That’s why it’s important for you to always assume that the references you list on your application will receive a call.
So, make sure that you include accurate contact information to ensure that the hiring manager can connect with any of those references he or she decides to call.
You should familiarize yourself with some of the most common questions asked by hiring managers, so that you only list references who are most likely to give favorable responses.
While there can be a great deal of variance in the actual wording of the questions that get asked, most hiring managers and recruiters are seeking information about three main areas of interest:
As important as those questions might seem, their importance pales in comparison to the answers that your references provide. After all, answers that paint a negative impression of your work record could be devastating to your chances of getting hired for that prime job you’re seeking. So, how should those references respond to these and other questions? That’s simple: you want your references to provide positive answers about your time with their companies.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, right? At first glance, it might seem as though you have few options available to you when it comes to managing the reference process. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. There are some steps that you can take to ensure that the references you provide work in your favor, helping you to lock down that job you so desperately want. Always remember to do the following:
Although there is no grantee that you’re going to get hired – it is a good sign. It usually means they’re seriously considering making you an offer and they’re just trying to verify a few things before they do.
In short, never take the reference portion of your application process for granted. Solid reference responses could make all the difference in the world when it comes to helping you win the job of your dreams!
As we mentioned before – Never include references on your resume. You should instead have a separate references pages ready should the employer ask. We wrote a good post with a references page template you could use.