14 Questions You Should Ask When Checking References

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To the list of things that people either love or hate — cats, brussels sprouts, Taylor Swift — we can safely add reference checks. Fans see them as a surefire way to uncover candidates’ abilities and to learn if they’re likely to be a phenom or a fiasco. Haters, on the other hand, find them to be a complete waste of time.

One of the reasons reference checking can feel unproductive is that many companies put no structure in place when asking candidates to list references. Predictably, they end up with the contact info for the prospective hire’s work buddies, who

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