References must be checked before a job offer can be made. Please make sure that if you want to be able to offer the job to a candidate at the end of an in person interview that you have called their references prior to that interview.
Check references by phone not email whenever possible. If you must email, ask for a time to call or for them to call you. Try to talk to the applicant's direct supervisor.
Questions should be used to verify job-related information.
What were the dates of his/her employment with your organization?
What were his/her job title and primary responsibilities?
Was he/she able to meet your attendance and punctuality requirements?
How well did h/she get along with coworkers?
What were his/her strongest skills as an employee?
How would you describe the quality and quantity of his/her work?
How would you describe his/her work style?
How would you evaluate his/her technical skills?
How would you characterize his/her interpersonal skills?
Would you rehire this applicant?