Skip to body

Human Resources

Guidelines for Reference Checking

The reference check process is an important step in gathering information about the candidate's ability to perform the essential functions of the position. Supervisors may review personnel files of current employees in consultation with Human Resources.

Questions should be developed using the candidate's professional background and/or credentials learned during the screening and interview process and specific knowledge, skills and abilities that are required to perform the position. Questions and information received, along with all other search-related information, should be kept confidential.

Telephone reference checks, or a review of letters of reference, may be conducted in the following manner:

  • For the top/most competitive candidate, by the appointing authority/department head.
  • For the top 2-3 candidates, by the appointing authority/department head.

Click here to view sample reference check questions.

Discriminatory inquiries are prohibited: WAC 162-12-130.

Prohibiting Discrimination and Establishing Affirmative Action and Work Place Diversity Policy: EXECUTIVE ORDER 91-06.