It’s critically important to ask the right questions about job applicants when you check their references. First, you want to ensure you get the reference to disclose the key information that will enable you to evaluate the applicant’s qualifications. You also want to be sure you inadvertently ask questions that cross privacy or discrimination lines and could expose you to risks of liability. In each case, how you phrase your questions is crucial to accomplishing each of these objectives.
Here’s a Checklist of appropriate and incisive questions to pose when talking to a reference.