Sample Reference Check Questions - Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
2199 Addison Street, Room 192
Berkeley, CA 94720-3540
The form below is intended to be used as a guide and can be modified to meet your particular
needs. Remember to give candidates advanced notice that you will be checking their references.
Use the following guidelines when you are conducting all telephone reference checks, whether
the candidate is an internal employee or an external applicant:
• Introduce yourself and state the purpose of your call
• Confirm that it is a convenient time to talk
• Briefly describe the position for which the applicant has applied
• Confirm the relationship between the person giving the reference and the applicant
• Verify basic duties such as job title, duties, salary, dates of employment
• Be consistent! Ask the same questions about all final candidates and weigh the
information equally; what disqualifies one should be the basis for disqualifying any
SAMPLE REFERENCE CHECK QUESTIONS
Candidate's Name: ____________________________
Reference Check provided by: ___________________________
Phone Number: ______________________________
1. What was the nature and length of your relationship with the candidate?
2. How would you describe the candidate’s institutional and personnel leadership skills?
3. Please describe the candidate’s political acumen and ability to work with senior leadership?
4. Why did he/she leave the position? (if relevant)
5. In stressful situations, describe how the candidate reacted. Be specific.
6. Additionally, how does s/he handle difficult people? What is his/her conflict resolution
7. From your observation, has the candidate mainly been in the role of an implementer or
initiator of projects and proposals?
8. How independently does the candidate work as oppose to checking in with stakeholders
9. Does the candidate always conduct his/her dealings with others in a tactful manner?
10. What are the candidate’s key accomplishments or impact on the organization?
Sample Reference Check Questions - Berkeley PDF
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