9 Questions Your Referees will be Asked
Reference checking is also a crucial aspect of the selection process and can be instrumental in a final choice. The best criterion for selection is ‘have they done it before’ (in relevant circumstances)?
Do not assume the organisation is committed to you after the interview if they suggest or imply that ‘the job is yours if your references check out’.
The company will use the considered views of your superiors, peers and direct reports as vital information to make an assessment of the essential ‘soft’ qualities of leadership. Keep in mind, that articulate chief executive candidates can often project an image to an interview panel that may in fact by at odds with the real impact of their leadership qualities on different stakeholder groups. You don’t want this to be the case for you.
Once these views are obtained the panel’s assessment of you may be fundamentally influenced and your ranking amongst the other candidates may change. Quite often reference checking is only done in respect of the short-list. This is often so you can preserve the confidentiality of your candidacy for as long as possible.
Here are some questions your references may be asked and what the interview panel is assessing based on their response.
“If you were an investor, funder or sponsor putting $1 million into this organisation, given what you know about this candidate would YOU want him/her to be responsible for its effective utilisation?”
There may be raft of other questions the board would wish to address to referees about you – particularly those dealing with specific elements of the job specification. The main point of referee questions should be to assist boards to differentiate between candidates on the basis of criteria quite different to that of ‘technical’ expertise. So your referee does not have to focus on this extensively in their response.
In the appointment of a chief executive the organisation is not looking for someone who can do all the key tasks of the organisation better than anyone else. What they want to know is how well you will integrate the skills of a host of other specialists and motivate them to take the organisation through the new phase of its development.
To assess this your references may be asked questions along the lines of the following:
- Does the candidate lead consistently in a way that inspires followers to trust him or her?
- Does the candidate hold people accountable for their performance and promises?
- Is the candidate comfortable delegating important tasks to others?
- How much time does the candidate spend developing other leaders?
- How much time does the candidate spend communicating his or her company’s vision, purpose and values?
- Do people ‘down the line’ apply that vision to their day-to-day work?
- How comfortable is the candidate sharing information, resources, praise, and credit?
- Does the candidate energise others?
- Does the candidate consistently demonstrate respect for followers?
- Does the candidate really listen?
Beware of the Stealth Hiring Practices Now used in Australia to Recruit Executive level staff
It is now common practice for Recruitment Officers and Hiring Managers to assume that a percentage of applicants are lying about their credentials and job experience. Experts estimate that 20% to over 50% of job applicants lie to embellish their credentials so these assumptions are not without a valid foundation. In fact, more than 50% of job applicants lie on their resumes and cover letters are notorious for embellishment and exaggeration.
It is imperative then that your document stands out as a document that truly reflects your experience, achievements and potential to excel.
Hiring Managers are screening employment applications to discern lying, and exaggeration regarding experience, education and credentials. With fake degrees and false references on the rise, be aware that Recruiters will be doing all they can to ensure your credentials are valid. It is essential then that you build credibility and make certain that all information contained in your documents is correct.
Furthermore in this economic climate, HR offices are noting a large increase in applications for more jobs. Not only does this mean you have more competition but HR offices are spending more time weeding through unqualified applications and are investing time and energy making sure that the information presented on application materials is accurate.
So what can you do to ensure that you captivate the Hiring Managers and Recruitment Officers, ensuring that they take your application seriously and recognise that you do possess the relevant experience for the position without feeling the need to embellish or exaggerate?
That’s where we can help you. Power Resume Writing Services has a proven formula for showcasing your skills, achievements and experience in a way that builds credibility and demonstrates why you are the ideal candidate.
Power Resume Writing Services do not fabricate any information, so you can rest easy knowing that the information you provide us with is being transformed into an engaging document without any embellishments deviating from the truth.