Preparing for an interview is a nerve wracking process for many job seekers. As employers only wish to employee the best candidates, other than interview another equally tedious process is the practice of providing the types of references which will prompt the employer to immediately accept the candidate.
The Reference Preparation Process:
The employer gains a better understanding of the candidate he or she wants to hire during the post-interview process of verifying references. The process of contacting and consulting with references paints a more accurate picture of the candidate as a professional, a person in the eyes of the employer, and this picture strongly influences the decision of the employer to extend the job offer to the candidate. Therefore, it is important for the candidate to take the process of preparing references for the interview seriously by using a professional and logical approach.
Consulting of references also gives the employer a better opportunity to better understand the work ethics and abilities of the candidate. For example, a pleased former employer can say of the candidate, “I really like Swati, she was always very prompt and professional. She always met deadlines, and it was her attention to detail, while analyzing accounts, which lead to a 20% savings in operating expenses for Piramal Company.” Professional references are able to recount actual events, phrases, and sayings of the candidate, which accurately mirror the previous impression the candidate has given the recruiter.
The Value of Consulting References:
The consulting of references on the part of the recruiter is a crucial step, because it allows the recruiter to understand how the candidate will perform in strategic situations, especially under those involving extreme stress. This can be very important for those positions involving tight deadlines and exact quotas, such as sales. Some sales positions are very numbers and results driven, and require the candidate to act with a great deal of professionalism, and a pleasant demeanor. It is in these, and other positions requiring professional face-to-face contact, that the recruiter will gain a clearer picture of the candidate.
Obtaining the Truth Through References:
Another sad reality is that many candidates stretch the truth, and sometimes, even lie, in order to have an opportunity to obtain a position. Candidates commonly lie about their work experience and education, and their standing with past employers, experiences with academic professionals, and friends. Recruiters are not able to conduct thorough employment, educational, and other background checks; doing this would be too costly and time consuming. Recruiters find it much more convenient to simply gain a better understanding of the candidates by consulting previous references.
The Process of Preparing References for Interview:
The first step is for the candidate to seriously and logically contemplate the experiences and the people he or she interacted with through previous employment. The next step is for the candidate to write brief notes about those positions where he or she contributed the most to the company. Those places of employment, and those bosses/owners should be typed on an 8”x11” piece of legal paper, along with the phone numbers and other essential contact information, such as physical and email addresses. The best times for the employer to contact these individuals must also be included.
The candidate should then contemplate those professors, teachers, and other academic professionals he or she has interacted with, and write brief notes about those professionals who regard the candidate highly, feel that the candidate is a reliable professional, a quick learner, and a responsible professional capable of producing and submitting high quality work. The candidate must then include the names of these academic professionals, their phone numbers, and email addresses. The best times for the employer to contact these individuals must also be included.
The last step for the candidate to take is to list those special friends, and other individuals in the life of the candidate, who the candidate knows personally, who feel that the candidate is a responsible, friendly, and reliable person. The candidate must write brief notes about the attributes that the candidate possesses, which the individuals feel make the candidate a special, reliable, friendly and responsible worker. After having done this, the candidate must include their names, phone numbers, email, and physical addresses. The best times for the employer to contact these individuals must also be included.
The candidate must remember that the recruiter will always contact all references listed on the reference list, and that it is especially the feedback about the candidate from the professional references which will be decisive in the final decision of the employer to extend the position to the candidate. Therefore, the candidate must always pick those professional references who will portray the candidate to the recruiter in a fair, professional and honest manner.
The recruiter will contact some of the academic and personal references presented to him or her in order to gain a more complete picture of the candidate as a well-rounded person, and in order to understand the technical skills of the candidate, as well as the honesty, and integrity of the candidate. Personal references also can indicate to the recruiter the moral values, and ethics of the candidate, as well as his or her temperament.
Recruiters will most certainly contact the previous employer to understand more about the professional habits and nature of the candidate they are contemplating to hire. However, the employment type will determine if the candidate will be asked to provide a reference list. If the candidate is being considered for an independent contractor, or consultant position, then the previous work experience is criteria enough to be hired. Additionally, many candidates do not possess previous employment histories; therefore asking for a list of professional references is impossible. Furthermore, many candidates are asked to come on as partners in a company, and references are not required in this situation.
Many recruiters rely on references to paint a more complete picture of the candidate for them; however, this practice is not always followed in many nations, including the United States. The mere fact that this practice is followed means that any job seeker must know the process of preparing references for an interview.