Are you looking for a way to check references of your potential employees
without making phone calls? Email reference checks might just be the solution
you need. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to
know about email reference check questions and how to conduct them

What is an Email Reference Check?


An email reference check is a process of reaching out to the references
provided by a job candidate via email. The aim is to gather information from
the references that will help the hiring manager make an informed decision
about the candidate’s suitability for the position. Email reference checks are
becoming increasingly popular, as they save time and effort for all parties

Benefits of Email Reference Checks

There are several benefits of conducting reference checks via email:

  • Efficiency: Email reference checks are faster and more efficient than phone calls. They allow you to gather information from the references at a time that suits them, without interrupting their workday.
  • Consistency: Email reference checks ensure that all references are asked the same questions, reducing the risk of bias or inconsistency in the hiring process.
  • Record Keeping: Email reference checks create a written record of the responses, which can be useful for future reference or legal purposes.

How to Conduct Email Reference Checks

Here are some steps to follow when conducting email reference checks:

  1. Request Permission: Before reaching out to the references, ask the candidate for their permission to contact them via email.
  2. Provide Context: In your initial email to the reference, explain the purpose of the email and provide some context about the position the candidate is applying for.
  3. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Ask open-ended questions that allow the reference to provide detailed responses. Avoid asking leading questions that might influence their answers.
  4. Use a Rating Scale: Consider using a rating scale to help you compare the responses of different references objectively.
  5. Thank the Reference: Always thank the reference for their time and input.

Sample Email Reference Check Questions

Here are some sample email reference check questions that you can use as a
starting point:

  • How long have you known the candidate?
  • In what capacity did you work with the candidate?
  • What are the candidate’s greatest strengths?
  • What are the candidate’s areas for improvement?
  • How does the candidate handle stress and pressure?
  • Would you hire the candidate again?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share about the candidate?


Email reference checks can be a valuable tool in the hiring process. They
allow you to gather information from references efficiently, consistently, and
objectively. By following the steps outlined in this article and using the
sample questions provided, you can conduct email reference checks that will
help you make informed hiring decisions.