The following is taken from "Reference Review Guide" and other HR reference materials.
The following general questions are provided as a resource for selecting appropriate, job-related reference questions to assist you in recommending an individual for appointment.
The suggested questions are categorized into these areas for your convenience: work experience, administrative/managerial style, motivation, and job-related personal qualities.
It is also suggested that approximately 6-8 questions be carefully selected which will constitute a 20-30 minute telephone interview with the reference.
1. What is your relationship to ----- ?
Purpose: Allows you to put reference information in perspective. Information received from the direct supervisor would be more meaningful than from a co-worker who worked with candidate occasionally.
2. Could you describe ----'s duties/responsibilities with your organization?
Purpose: Let the source describe the responsibilities to verify information candidate has provided. If different, probe those areas.
3. Would you comment on the ability of ---- to do the job I have described.
Purpose: Gives reference source an opportunity to comment on specific information.
4. What do you feel are ----'s strongest point(s)? OR Why do you feel ---- was successful in his/her work?
Purpose: Provides insight into reasons for candidate's success or failure in context of the previous job; confirmation of skills; and opportunity to align skills with position requirements.
5. What do you feel is ----'s weakest point? OR limitation?
Purpose: Every person has strengths and weaknesses and it is important to understand in what areas the candidate needs work. Sources will usually give a candid response if this is explained.
6. How well did ---- perform in the following areas?
a. (skills or areas of importance specifically related to the position)
Purpose: It is important to gain specific information about necessary skills of your position. Past performance is a predictor of the future.
7. Would you describe ---- as a "big picture" person, or a "detailed" person, and why?
Purpose: This question provides information about how the individual views the work of the position as well as the work of the department/university.
8. Provide an example of a creative or innovative idea that he/she was able to implement, and how he/she went about it.
Purpose: Give an example of the person's ability to bring an idea to fruition.
9. How readily does he/she accept new ideas?
Purpose: The question is important if transition is expected or underway, and provides insight into ability to work as part of a team.
10. How well does he/she respond to direction?
Purpose: A useful question when there is a clear need to conform to specific procedures or standards.
11. How well does he/she coordinate the efforts of others? OR How would you describe ---- as a leader?
Purpose: Gather information on management or project leadership skills.
12. What would you say is his/her working style? (hard-working, methodical, easy going)
Purpose: Questions will give insight into "fitting in" with organizational style.
13. How does he/she respond to pressures...
a. from heavy work loads?
b. from clients, constituents?
Purpose: Often behavior patterns change while working under pressure. Response will show if that is constructive such as giving greater effort, as compared to giving up.
Note: Only ask "how," not "how well."
14. How effective does he/she handle many projects or multiple priorities simultaneously?
Purpose: Gain information about organizational skills, delegating, etc.
15. Can he/she function as a troubleshooter? A mediator?
Purpose: Identifying problems/recommending solutions and bringing people together are very important skills for many positions.
16. Could you give us an example of when he/she did something that others thought was really outstanding? For example, solving a difficult technical problem, completing a complex project, or saving money for the organization.
Purpose: May be used to separate the average performer from the achiever. An average performer will not generally have made significant contributions, an achiever will.
1. How well does he/she communicate ideas?
Purpose: Management positions require effective communication skills.
2. How would you rate his/her written communication skills?
Purpose: Same as #1, above.
3. How would you rate him/her as a manager of...
b. projects, technical work, etc.
Purpose: Makes a distinction between technical and technical management which is often important in a management position.
4. How would you characterize his/her managerial style? How would you rate the effectiveness of this style in your organization?
Purpose: Necessary to assess 'fit' with the position, work unit(s) or institution.
5. How well does he/she prioritize the workload and use effective time management?
Purpose: Inquiry makes it difficult to conceal weaknesses in a candidate. References usually more comfortable answering questions about specifics, as compared to questions requiring judgment or evaluation.
6. How would you describe him/her as a leader? Why?
Purpose: Important managerial skill. Reference may provide different reasons from what the candidate has said.
7. What points do you think ---- needs to work on to reach his/her full potential?
Purpose: Variation of "greatest weakness" question, should get like response.
1. What do you think motivates ---- in his/her work?
Purpose: Open questions provides indication of candidate's goals/objectives, commitment, past work relationships.
2. Compared with others you have worked with (supervised), how would you rate him/her in terms of self-motivation?
Purpose: To gain a comparative perspective.
3. How hard would you say ---- works in relation to others around him/her?
Purpose: Comparative, perhaps rating against others doing similar work.
4. Did you ever have to use extraordinary means or take special effort to motivate him/her?
Purpose: Direct probe will elicit direct response.
5. Is he/she easily distracted or discouraged?
Purpose: Information regarding follow-through, failures, guidance required.
6. Does he/she work better alone or in a group?
Purpose: Concerns candidate's ability to function as part of a team.
It is imperative that you ask the entire question in this section. If the question is asked out of a job-related context, it is illegal.
1. How often does he/she need feedback or praise about his/her work?
Purpose: Provides information about the candidate's work style or personal needs in the workplace, guidance required, ...
2. Does he/she have any issues or problems which would interfere with performing the job we have described?
Purpose: Gather information regarding handling conflict, respect for authority, other work-related characteristics that candidate has not mentioned.
3. This University is (briefly describe the environment as it relates to the position, i.e.,., in budget reduction, going through major changes...) and the department, work unit, office is (describe the work environment). In your opinion, would ----- have any difficulty performing the job in this environment?
Purpose: Same as above.
4. If you had the opportunity, would you rehire ----- for a similar position? OR, If you had the opportunity, would you promote ---- to a position such as ours?
Purpose: Look for unconditional response. If not, ask for an explanation.
After consulting with Cabinet, President Gaudino has authorized a one-time payment of 3% of gross waCabinet To Review PDP Completion Rates As Of December 31, 2013
CWU supervisors are required to develop an Initial Performance and Development Plan (PDP) and assess2013 FSA Participants Have Grace Period Through March 15, 2014
Currently enrolled participants in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2013, have a grace period