Here are some of the most common reference check questions:
1. How do you know this person? Expect that the person performing the background check wants to verify your connection to the reference, and will want to make sure that all the information you provided matches up with what your references will say.
2. How long did you work together? This is often asked to get a sense of how you perform as an employee. A reference that you’ve worked with for a long time will have different insights on your work habits and skills.
3. Can you describe the quality of this person’s work overall? This can possibly do more harm than good to your candidacy, especially if your references share something negative about you. Receiving an unenthusiastic answer like “he was okay” can generate doubt.
4. What are the person’s biggest strengths? It’s important to match your skills with the job criteria to make it clear that you are a good fit for the position. Make sure your references are aware of what job you applied for before listing them as a reference.
5. What areas could this person use more help improving in? Instead of asking about your weaknesses, good reference checkers will rephrase the question to get more information about you. References may hesitate to give a negative answer about your weaknesses, so checkers will make the weaknesses angle sound less negative.
6. Why did she leave her job with your company? Make sure you and your reference have the same answer to this question. Though the person performing the background check may have an idea why you left your previous job, it is important for he or she to verify that the information in hand matches up with your reference.