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Questions to Ask References of Accounting Candidates

You want the best accounting team possible. This requires you to fill accounting jobs with highly skilled candidates. You may conduct plenty of interviews as you search for accounting job candidates. You should also get in touch with candidates’ references.

An accounting candidate’s reference can help you understand this individual’s industry experience and expertise. The reference can give you a good idea about whether the candidate is the right fit for your business, too.

Of course, the questions you ask an accounting candidate’s reference are key. Here are five questions to ask when you check a candidate’s references.

What to Ask References of Accounting Candidates

1. How Do You Know the Candidate?

Find out how a reference met a candidate and their experience working with this individual. Asking this question allows you to verify that a candidate actually knows their reference. It also helps you understand why the candidate may have chosen this person as a reference. Plus, you can find out how the candidate may have helped a business in a prior accounting role.

2. What Are the Candidate’s Greatest Strengths?

See what a reference has to say about a candidate’s strengths. If a reference mentions that the candidate has great communication skills, this candidate may thrive in a leadership role. On the other hand, if a reference struggles to name the candidate’s strengths, this may be a red flag.

3. What Are the Candidate’s Greatest Weaknesses?

Give a reference an opportunity to explain where a candidate can improve. For example, a reference may say that a candidate hesitates to learn new things. If this happens, the candidate may be unwilling to learn new skills or take on new responsibilities as part of an accounting job with your business. Comparatively, if a reference notes that a candidate’s greatest weakness is working too hard, try to find out more. In this scenario, you can ask a reference why he or she believes the candidate is a hard worker. This can provide additional insights into the candidate’s work ethic and what this individual can bring to your team.

4. Does the Candidate Work Better on Their Own or As Part of a Team?

Get details about whether the candidate thrives independently, as part of a team, or both. A reference can share information about how he or she has seen the candidate handle independent work tasks. The reference can highlight instances where the candidate communicated and collaborated with team members to accomplish work tasks. This can help determine if an accounting candidate can succeed within your business.

5. Can You Provide an Example of a Time When the Candidate Faced a Challenge? How Did the Candidate Respond to the Challenge?

Request information about how a candidate tackles challenges. Remember, challenges are common in any accounting job. But, the best candidate will have no trouble staying calm, cool, and collected under pressure. And, if a reference can describe a time when a candidate dealt with a challenge, you can learn how this individual will address any issues that come up.

Want to Fill an Accounting Role?

Elby Professional Services can help you identify top job candidates for accounting jobs. For more information, please get in touch with us today.

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