INTERVIEW REFERENCE QUESTIONS


Many job seekers are caught off guard when asked interview reference questions. If you are on an interview and are asked about references, you need to be prepared.

For most interviews, you will be asked to fill out an application and list job references that can be contacted. However, some interviewers will ask you for references to contact during the course of the interview.

When you are asked interview reference questions, the interviewer is looking for references that can evaluate your performance. They are not interested in your friends or coworkers. They want to speak with your supervisors.

You need to have a reference list prepared prior to the interview. It should include 1-2 references from each of your most current positions. You want to provide the persons name, title, company name, phone number, and email address. Having this prepared in advance makes you look more organized and professional.

It is very important to inform your references that they may be called. It’s considered professional courtesy. One additional benefit of informing them is that they may know of job openings that may be of interest to you.

Ask them if they will give you a positive reference. Most supervisors will be honest with you. If they won’t, or your just not sure, don’t use them. Find someone that you know will give a positive reference.

Interview reference questions

Many job seekers wonder about interview reference questions. It’s one major part of the job search process that’s totally out of your hands. The following are typical questions that are asked of your job references:

Can you please tell me your overall impressions of John Smith?
Was John a good worker?
Was he reliable / did he have any attendance problems?
What were his job functions?
How was his performance?
Did he get along with his coworkers and with management?
Were there any problems, personal or professional, that affected his performance?
Do you think this person will perform well in our company as a (job title)?
Can you confirm his dates of employment?
What was his salary when he left your company?
Anything else you would like to share with me about John Smith?
Would you rehire him?

While some interview reference questions might be more detail oriented, these are the most commonly asked questions. We suggest that when you forward your resume to your former supervisor, you also send them a copy of this list. Let them know that these are the type of interview reference questions that they may be asked.

Interview reference questions are very important. It is also important to make sure that you do a thorough job search. The following resources will help you get more interviews.

Important resources:




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If you have any questions about the interview reference questions, please contact us. For any other job references issues, write to us.


More than the interview reference questions on our job interviews page

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