This is a great question to have handy during the hiring interview. You can substitute the words “supervisor” or “management team” for the word ‘employer.’
Here’s three examples:
You ask Frank what was a difficult problem that he solved at his last position. Frank says, “I was able to solve so and so…” and then you ask, “what would your supervisor say if we asked him about that?”
You ask Sally how would she rate her performance at her last position. Sally says, “well, I’d say I performed very well.” You acknowledge her and ask, “what would your management team say if we asked them about that?”
And one last one: you ask Alex how well did he get along with other employees at his last three jobs…he says, “fabulously well”… and you ask, well, you get the idea.
Asking the question “what would your previous manager say about that?” tends to add a bit of a guard rail into the hiring interview. Most applicants know that employers may check up on them at their previous positions, but coming right out and asking this kind of question makes this scenario much more real.
When asked further questions in the hiring interview, you may find you’re getting answers that are closer to what actually happened versus what the applicant would like to present to you.
We’re not trying to embarrass Frank, Sally or Alex — we just want them to provide an accurate representation of their capabilities so we can make the best hiring decision possible.
As the law varies in each area, please check with an attorney to ensure you are applying these tips within the law.
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