Appendix E - Sample Reference Check Questions


Thank you for agreeing to speak with me about Ms./Mr./Dr. NAME. I am part of a University of Arizona search committee charged with filling a position of JOB TITLE in a department that is responsible for MISSION. This job is PROVIDE A SUMMARY OF DUTIES. Ms./Mr./Dr. NAME has applied for this position.


(Use questions that are relevant for the type of job being filled.)

  1. When did NAME work for your institution/organization/company?
  2. Could you confirm starting and ending employment dates?
  3. When did NAME leave?
  4. Why did NAME leave the company?
  5. What was her/his position? Can you describe the job responsibilities?
  6. Is s/he eligible to be rehired by your institution/organization/company?
  7. Did you evaluate NAME’s performance? Can you speak to his/her strong and weak points? What was noted as needing improvement during this performance review?
  8. What were the areas of concern you had with NAME’s job performance?
  9. Did NAME supervise others? If I spoke to those individuals, how do you think they would describe NAME’s leadership style?
  10. Can you describe a time when NAME experienced a conflict with another member of your team? How was it resolved?
  11. Can you describe NAME’s experience working as a member of a team? As a leader of a team?
  12. What did graduate students say about NAME’s willingness to providing coaching and guidance?
  13. How would describe NAME’s writing skills? What types of communications did NAME write (formal/informal, expository/persuasive, memos, letters, project implementation plans, position papers, analysis/reports, etc.)?
  14. From your perspective how well "connected" is NAME and how does s/he form strategic relationships with others?
  15. Describe NAME’s ability to communicate, coach and work with others.
  16. Describe NAME’s flexibility and ability to when presented with new ideas or assignments?
  17. How did NAME’s keep current with changing trends in your industry/discipline?
  18. How would you describe NAME’s skills working with quantitative data (is good with numbers, detecting trends/relationships, overall picture as well as details)?
  19. How would you describe NAME’s
    1. work ethic?
    2. commitment to the job and organization?
  20. How would you describe NAME’s communications style with
    1. Students
    2. Graduate Students
    3. Staff Colleagues
    4. Academic Colleagues
    5. Clients
    6. Peers
    7. Supervisors
  21. What were NAME’s greatest professional contributions to your organization?
  22. Would you rehire NAME today?
  23. Is there anything else you think I should know about NAME’s skills, abilities or job performance?