What Does It Mean If They Are Checking My References?


An employer will contact the references provided by a job application to validate certain details about the candidate’s performance, character, and employment history. This process is known as a reference check. Reference checks are performed to gather additional information about candidates that may not have been included in their resumes or cover letters in order to assist the company in making an informed hiring choice. Let us know ‘What Does It Mean If They Are Checking My References?’.

What Does It Mean If They Are Checking My References?

What Does It Mean If They Are Checking My References?

When a prospective employer checking your references, it means that they are getting in touch with the individuals you have given as either professional or personal references to find out more about your credentials, employment history, and character. Employers frequently check references as part of the recruiting process to confirm the information you gave on your application or during the interview process and to learn more about your performance in past employment, your work ethic, and your personality attributes. Your chances of getting the job may go up if your references have good things to say about you. But, if your references give unfavourable feedback or voice worries, it can hurt your prospects of landing a job.

Who Is Responsible For Checking References?

Reference checks are often the responsibility of the hiring manager or future employer. It is their duty to check that the candidate’s information is accurate and that they are hiring the best candidate for the position. Reference checks may be carried out by a member of the hiring manager’s or employer’s team, such as a member of human resources or a recruiter. As an alternative, they could decide to contract with a background check business.

In either scenario, contacting the candidate’s listed references and asking them specific questions about the candidate’s past performance, professional background, and character is typically how the reference check procedure is carried out. The hiring manager or employer will decide whether to hire the candidate based on the comments they get.

Who Can Your References Should Be?

1. Past employers and colleagues

Frequently, your old employer and co-workers make the best professional recommendations. They’ve observed you demonstrating your technical skills in practice and discussing how you apply them in the job.

2. Individuals in Your Internship

Individuals from a current or past internship are also excellent references for the workplace. Asking your internship supervisor would be great, but you can also ask co-workers. Avoid asking other interns for recommendations. Even while they might be able to extol your virtues, another intern could not have any background serving as a client’s reference, which could have an effect on how the company sees your application.

3.  Co-workers at present

You might occasionally need to provide references from your current co-workers. If that applies to you, ask a reliable person to keep your employment offer a secret! You could theoretically utilise your existing boss, but that would be risky. You risk harming your relationship with the organisation and your prospects there if the job offer doesn’t play out.

4. Customers

Maybe you worked a second job mowing lawns or babysitting. This means you have a client list and prospective professional references to use when speaking with potential employers about your abilities and work ethic.

6. A teacher or professor

A professor or teacher, whether active or retired, can also serve as a credible reference. This is particularly valid if the individual in question oversaw a lengthy project or experiment.

Criterias For Checking References

When checking references, potential employers typically focus on several criteria to assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the job. Some of the criteria that references may be asked to provide feedback on include:

Job Performance

Employers may ask references to provide insight into the candidate’s work performance, such as their skills, abilities, and productivity. References may be questioned about the applicant’s specific successes, such as exceeding sales goals, finishing projects on schedule and within budget, or increasing efficiency in a particular area, while assessing work performance. Employers could also inquire about a candidate’s strong points and flaws, as well as how they overcame any shortcomings.

References may be questioned about a candidate’s technical abilities, such as their knowledge of how to use particular software or tools, as well as their communication and teamwork skills. Employers might also inquire about a candidate’s capacity for problem-solving and decision-making as well as general work performance in a certain position or sector.

Work Ethic

Employers may inquire about the candidate’s attitude towards work, their level of dedication, and their ability to meet deadlines and achieve goals. References may be questioned concerning a candidate’s timeliness, attendance, and general degree of dependability while assessing work ethic. Companies are interested in learning if a candidate is dedicated to fulfilling their obligations, takes their work seriously, and shows up on time.

The candidate’s capacity to function both independently and cooperatively may also be a topic of discussion for employers. Referees could be questioned about the applicant’s degree of initiative, willingness to go above and beyond what is required of them, and capacity for teamwork.


 Employers may ask about the candidate’s attendance and punctuality, as well as their ability to work independently and as part of a team. References may be questioned regarding a candidate’s attendance history, timeliness, and capacity to fulfil deadlines in order to assess reliability. Companies are interested in knowing whether a candidate routinely arrived at work on time and finished their assignments before the deadline.

Referrals may also be questioned regarding the applicant’s capacity for working under pressure and overcoming unforeseen obstacles or shifting priorities. Companies want to know if a candidate can handle the demands of the position and is flexible and adaptable in their work style.

Interpersonal Skills

Employers may ask about the candidate’s communication skills, ability to work with others, and overall demeanour. Referrals may be questioned regarding a candidate’s communication skills, including their capacity to actively listen, explain themselves clearly, and offer helpful criticism, in order to gauge their interpersonal skills. If a candidate can effectively communicate with co-workers, clients, and stakeholders, employers are interested.

Inquiries concerning a candidate’s interpersonal skills and capacity for collaboration are sometimes made by potential employers. Referrals may be questioned regarding a candidate’s aptitude for working in a team, their capacity for handling conflict, and their method of collaboration.


Employers may inquire about the candidate’s professionalism, including their adherence to company policies, ability to handle confidential information, and ability to maintain a positive and respectful workplace environment. References may be questioned regarding a candidate’s work habits, including their capacity to adhere to corporate policies and procedures, manage their workload, and meet deadlines, in order to assess professionalism. Companies want to know if the applicant is trustworthy and dependable and if their work will be completed to a high standard.

Referrals might also be questioned regarding the candidate’s attitude towards confidentiality and their capacity to behave professionally at work. Companies are interested in finding out if a candidate can handle sensitive material discreetly and carefully.


In conclusion, prospective employers review references to learn more about a candidate’s work history, work ethic, dependability, communication abilities, and professionalism. References may be questioned specifically regarding each of these topics, and the answers they give might be useful in assisting employers in making knowledgeable hiring decisions. Applicants can get ready for reference checks by making sure they have a list of experts who can vouch for their skills and talents as well as by reflecting on their prior performance to pinpoint their strengths and areas for development.

  • Can employers contact my references without my permission?

Employers generally ask for permission from candidates before contacting their references. However, if a candidate provides a list of references on their job application or resume, it is assumed that they have given permission for those references to be contacted.

  • What if I don’t have any professional references?

If you don’t have any professional references, you can consider using personal references, such as teachers, coaches, or community leaders. You can also consider reaching out to past supervisors or colleagues, even if you didn’t work with them in a professional capacity.

What Does It Mean If They Are Checking My References?

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