What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (2023)

A lot of job seekers usually wonder about what a potential employer can ask their former employers.

Can they ask your former employer to disclose details about your job performance? Are there any limits to what a former employer can say about you?

To help us understand, we asked experts to share their insights.

Let’s find out:

Table of Contents

  • A potential employer in California can generally ask a former employer any question about a prospective employee
  • As outlined above, there are no laws restricting what potential employers can ask former employers
  • In general, potential employers can ask former employers anything they want
  • A former employer can tell a potential employer anything as long as the information is factual and correct
  • Still, most companies prefer to only provide general information
  • You can inquire about the details of previous employment
  • You can ask for their general opinion about this employee
  • If you sense the negativity, it is okay to inquire further
  • It really depends on the state quite frankly as laws differ in each
  • A potential new employer can ask the old employer almost anything
  • Verification
  • The dependability of the candidate
  • Best working conditions
  • Weaknesses and strengths
  • Eligibility
  • A past employer can tell a potential employer anything they want, providing what they say is the truth

Damian Birkel

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (1)

HarperCollins Leadership Author | Founder & Executive Director,Professionals In Transition

Legally, potential employers can ask former employers about:

  • Employee start date/end date.
  • Salary.
  • Reason for leaving.
  • “Would you rehire? Why/Why Not?” (This may or may not be allowed depending on their company HR policies)
  • “Was the former employee a safety risk?”

Sometimes other questions are posed but not answered (because of in house HR procedures, or fear of lawsuit) including:

  • “Does he or she meet deadlines?”
  • “Is this employee on time at work?”
  • “Does this employee work well with others?”
  • “Is he/she honest?”
  • “Does this employee exude good or bad attitude?”

Below are some questions sometimes asked that are borderline:

  • Age.
  • Pre-existing health issues.
  • Marital status.
  • “Does she have young children?”
  • Level of education.

Federal Law prohibits asking about:

  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Citizenship

An astute HR professional may take a reference check one step further by calling the former employees boss; or former, former boss at another company; vendor; or coworker.

They do this betting on the fact that many are not aware of restrictions and may talk freely…That’s why I always train my folks to stay in control of the process at all times by updating them; while feeding & nourishing your references throughout your job search campaign.

Related: How and When Does an Employer Check Your References?

Michael Hammelburger

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (2)

CEO, The Bottom Line Group

Some of the valid questions include the following:

“Why has the employee been fired or terminated?”

Some states such as California and Florida allow former employers to disclose reasons for termination so that background checks can be performed.

This is also important to assess whether a candidate can fit in your organizational culture. However, remember that some reasons for firing are subjective so be careful when interpreting the reasons behind it.

“Can you tell me about his/her job performance during his tenure?”

This offers a glimpse as to whether the candidate has left his previous job in good terms. Typically, employees that leave their companies but have made a huge mark in the workplace will always have people who can attest to their admirable job performance.

“Can you tell me about his professional conduct?”

This helps prospective employers get a good insight into what the candidate’s former colleagues think about his workplace attitude, demeanor, and behavior.

“What is his/her role in the organization?”

This allows the employer to assess whether the candidate is indeed truthful in terms of the information he or she has written on the resume and what he or she stated during the interview.

Related: How to Properly List References on a Resume

This can also help you assess whether or not they are more likely to perform in the role that you are offering.

“Has he or she violated any law?”

(Video) What Can Potential Employers Ask Previous Employers?

This question is valid in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, and West Virginia. Any industry-related law or regulation that has been in the knowledge of enforcing authorities or offices can be disclosed to an inquiring employer provided that it is within the limits set by the law.

For instance in West Virginia, this only applies to banks and financial institutions.

Cynthia Hackler Flynn, Esq.

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (3)

Founder and Managing Partner, Hackler Flynn & Associates

A potential employer in California can generally ask a former employer any question about a prospective employee

However, you may be hard-pressed to find a former employer who will answer any questions beyond confirming job title, dates of employed, documented departure reason, and whether they would rehire. The reason is simple. Fear of litigation.

California employers have “qualified privilege” when providing reference information to potential employers.

This privilege provides employers with liability protection. However, qualified privilege has limits. The information provided cannot be false or made with malice.

Qualified privilege does not protect information disclosed about the employee protected activities (i.e. speech activities, union, etc.). Nor does it protect information disclosed that is a breach of contract between a former employer and employee (i.e. non-disparagement clause).

California case law can subject former employers with liability for offering misleading reference information.

For example, giving a great reference for an employee who has numerous sexual misconduct complaints. If the employee is hired and is accused of sexual misconduct at the new workplace, the former employer opens themselves up to potential litigation.

Although a former employer has no obligation to provide detailed reference information, once they do so, there is a duty not to misrepresent.

As outlined above, there are no laws restricting what potential employers can ask former employers

However, there may be legal consequences, depending on the questions. For example, if a potential employer asks questions about federally protected classes (i.e. race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and age). Asking about protected classes and making hiring decisions based on that information is unlawful and may lead to liability.

Although a potential employer in California can generally ask a former employer any question about a prospective employee, it is hard to get beyond the basics.

Even if you are able to get beyond the basics, potential employers need to be careful to ask questions that do not land them in liability trouble.

David Miklas, P.A.

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (4)

Labor and Employment Lawyer | Founder, Law Office of David Miklas, P.A.

In general, potential employers can ask former employers anything they want

However, many employers are afraid of lawsuits for such things as discrimination or retaliation (e.g. blackballing the worker) or defamation. Therefore, many businesses will only provide the employee’s job position and dates of employment, and possibly whether or not that individual is eligible for re-hire.

This results in potential employers hiring workers who have a history of poor performance.

Some states, such as Florida, have created laws to protect employers from being sued for giving negative job references.

Specifically, Florida Statute §768.095 provides employers immunity from liability if they disclose information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer upon request of the prospective employer.

This is immunity from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil rights of the former or current employee.

Blake Taylor

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (5)

Managing Director, Synergy Business Brokers

There is an anecdotal belief that has circulated nationwide for at least the last ten years, that says a former employer can only offer dates of employment and that they are further prohibited from saying anything about the applicant that paints them in an unfavorable light, even if the statements are true. This is most certainly not the case.

A former employer can tell a potential employer anything as long as the information is factual and correct

Under federal law, there is nothing to prevent a former employer from saying whatever they care to tell about people who worked for them and left, even if under less than ideal circumstances. If the applicant was fired, they may say so, as well as being free to disclose the reason for the termination.

Under most state guidelines, most employers are also welcome to offer general opinions as to the worker’s overall performance. This is where standards can become a little murky.

Defamation laws include libel and slander, and an unfavorable review concerning a former employee could be actionable on those grounds, even if there is no legal basis for the suit.

(Video) Should I Let Potential Employers Contact My Current Employer? - Ask J.T. & Dale

Still, most companies prefer to only provide general information

Most companies would prefer to offer only the most general information about employees who were terminated for cause, namely when they worked there and when they left, if only because being sued, despite the suit having no merit is still a lawsuit and can have repercussions for the company in terms of public image and investor confidence.

If an employee was terminated and wishes to know what that employer will say if contacted, the simplest way is to reach out to the employer and ask.

Depending on the level of bad feeling between the employer and the terminated worker, this might be an uncomfortable encounter. Perhaps the worker could reach out to someone else at the company to broach the issue on their behalf or for a reference.

The one thing the worker should not do is assume the company will only offer basic details on a reference if the separation wasn’t amicable. Failing efforts to resolve the issue of unfavorable or disputed information, it might be better to leave that job off of their resume or request that the employer not be contacted.

Jack Choros

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (6)

Recruiter, IronMonk Solutions

“How well did the candidate fit in with the team?”

The answer to this question can be subjective but people’s first impressions matter and their lasting impressions matter. Team chemistry is crucial to accomplishing goals on a day-to-day basis and the longer-term goals of the organization as well.

“What key performance indicators was the candidate required to hit? How well did they perform?”

This is a big question because at the end of the day any job whether it’s creative, sales-oriented, or production-oriented will have key performance indicators. Numbers don’t lie.

You could also ask a variety of other questions:

  • “How often did the candidate call in sick?”
  • “What would you say makes the candidates stand out?”
  • “How does the candidate react to stress?”
  • “Would you say the candidate is a self-starter?”
  • “Do they show up on time?”
  • “Did they show interest in growing their career with you?”
  • “Why did they leave?”

These questions are also very important. It provides clarity on whether or not the candidate was let go, and it may also provide insight as to what their career goals actually are.

“Would you rehire them again?”

In business, they say that even if people tell you that you are doing a good job, the ultimate compliment is defined by whether or not people choose to keep giving you their money. Asking a manager if they would rehire the candidate again forces him to think in that frame of mind.

Pete Sosnowski

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (7)

VP People and Co-Founder, Zety

Although checking on a job candidate with a previous employer is a common practice, HR managers should know what they’re allowed to ask about without crossing the line or putting the previous employer in an awkward situation.

You can inquire about the details of previous employment

The position candidate held or a progression path and the dates of employment. This is purely for the verification process and to see if the information stated in the candidate’s resume is correct.

You can ask for their general opinion about this employee

“Did this person achieve work targets?”, “Was the employee a team player?” , “Would you consider hiring this person again?”, “Would you recommend this person to a new employer?”.

If you sense the negativity, it is okay to inquire further

You can ask previous employers why they would not recommend this candidate for another job. Be respectful, though, and don’t pull their tongues. Some information might be confidential, or the employer might feel it’s too much information to ask for.

Jagoda Wieczorek

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (8)

HR Manager, ResumeLab

Before extending a job offer to a candidate, most employers will want to run a reference check and reach out to their former employer.

Importantly, references are not be-all-and-end-all ingredients that predetermine if you’ll get hired. That said, if your former employer can vouch for you, it might tip the scales in your favor.

The idea behind checking references is not to dig for dirt.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. Employers just want to understand the spectrum from good to bad. Also, they want to make sure that the candidate is an excellent cultural fit and that they have the aptitude to help the company reach its true north. As a result, employers’ questions revolve around these two goals.

Here are some questions they might ask and why:

(Video) Should I Use My Boss As A Reference - (Recruiter Advice)

  • “How was [John] perceived by other team members?” It helps gauge what the person was like to work with in general.
  • “Would you be more or less excited if you were to work with [John] again?” It helps understand if the reference is generally found of the candidate on a professional level.
  • “Is there something I did not ask that you would like me to know about [John]?” It helps further develop the conversation and uncover some potential hiccups.

Jessica Lim

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (9)

HR Partner, My Perfect Resume

It really depends on the state quite frankly as laws differ in each

In most, the employer can go quite far in sharing “their perspective” on your work ethic, performance, accomplishments, and reason for you leaving the company. Thus, it literally pays to be honest here.

At the same time, in an era where many are more than happy to sue for libel and slander, most employers don’t want to deal with even the remote possibility of such a headache. Thus, they err on the conservative side and stick to the most objective, impartial, quantitative facts.

This often means that they’ll only confirm the start and end dates and the title an employee held at the given organization.

Indeed, it is strange, as most of the time your sugarcoating will not come back to bite you, however, grossly falsifying your resume and accomplishments can be a very slippery slope that can get you blacklisted at a given organization in a hurry. As they say, honesty is the best policy.

Joni Holderman

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (10)

Chief Resume Strategist | Founder,Thrive! Resumes

A potential new employer can ask the old employer almost anything

However, most well-managed mid-sized or larger U.S. businesses impose severe limits on the questions they will answer about past employees. That’s because in the past some candidates have won lawsuits against past employers over negative references, even when every word of the reference was true.

Most companies will only confirm (not volunteer) the dates of employment and job title. Others will confirm the salary paid, although this is unlawful in some states.

The key question some employers will answer:

“Is this candidate eligible for rehire at your company?”

That’s basically a yes or no review of the candidate’s overall performance. Because someone who was fired for cause will not be for rehire, and many companies are willing to share this information.

James Jason

Assistant HR manager | Financial Analyst | Currency Trader, Mitrade


The most obvious query that a potential employer will ask a former employer is whether they know the candidate that used them as a reference.

This is the initial question that opens up all the other possible queries. If the former employer acknowledges knowing them, then the new employer can proceed to ask things like:

The dependability of the candidate

Employers prefer having employees with experience because at least they can gauge their dependability on top of other things.

As such, a new employee will definitely want to know the type of person that they are about to employ. Therefore, they will ask about how dependable this person in when responsibilities are allocated to them.

Best working conditions

Next, an employer would like to know under which conditions their potential employee performs best.

This is a good evaluation point to know whether the new person will find their new workplace conducive or not. Since the employer knows their work stations well, they can use this info to decide whether to hire the candidate.

Weaknesses and strengths

These traits are always asked directly to the candidates, but, asking a former employer acts as a more reliable source for the truth.

An employer should perceive an employee as an asset whose SWOT analysis must be evaluated so they can know how to best optimize them for maximum productivity. Therefore, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate will help in evaluating their suitability for the job.


The main purpose of having a referee’s contact in the curriculum vitae is to have a point of reference where more info about you can be found. In light of this, a potential employer can ask the former employer whether the candidate is eligible for rehiring.

“Do you recommend this person?”

A former employee holds the destiny of a candidate, thus, the quality of their response to this question determines to a large extent the future of the candidate.

Benjamin K. Walker

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (11)

Founder & CEO, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

(Video) Can We Contact Your Employer? Best Ways to Answer this Difficult Interview Question!

Unfortunately, as a business owner, it is very difficult to answer a lot of the questions we get from other businesses that call us as a reference for a former employee or independent contractor.

I want to tell them what a great person they were or how horrible they were to work with and we forced them to leave, but I can’t because I could get sued.

If they are asking a ton of questions I can’t give honest answers to I steer them toward the three questions we ask when we are calling to get more information about a potential new hire.

“Did they break any laws that you are aware of when you worked with them?”

We run criminal background checks on everyone who works here so we have to know this upfront if possible.

“Did people like working with them? Were they a team player?”

“Are they eligible for rehire, or would you hire them back if they wanted to work for you again?”

This last question will answer almost everything you need to know as it really puts them on the spot and will tell you a lot of how they left their former place of work.

If they wouldn’t hire them back, why would I want to hire them?

It’s not complicated or fancy, three very direct and easy to answer yes or no questions. If they want to expand on their answers let them, so pause and don’t speak for a few extra seconds after they answer yes or no. If they tell you something great or not, you haven’t lost anything and can go onto the next question.

Mark J. Strohl, CPA

What Can Potential Employers Ask Former Employers? (12)

Founder, Protax Consulting

A past employer can tell a potential employer anything they want, providing what they say is the truth

That includes past performance factors like punctuality, effort, and attitude. There are no federal laws that forbid them from telling an employer that an employee was fired, and why.

Because of defamation laws, a previous employee may steer clear of anything that might be construed as slanderous, even if the statement is true.

Lawsuit concerns will usually lead an employer to only confirm dates of employment, position, and where applicable, salary.

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(Video) Can You Use Your Current Employer As A Reference? (with former CEO)


What can a former employer tell a prospective employer? ›

They usually confirm employment dates and job responsibilities, salary history, and might include information about whether you were dismissed or chose to leave on your own. Even if you were not a model employee, most employers do not give specific details about your conduct while on the job.

Can potential employers call previous employers? ›

Although potential employers can contact your former employer, you don't have to feel anxious about the hiring process. By being transparent with a hiring manager and thoughtful with your references, past employers do not have to feel like a burden on your job search.

Can potential employers call previous employers without permission? ›

Legally, yes, you can contact references without permission and backdoor reference checking isn't illegal. The decision is up to you, but it's highly recommended that you respect the candidate's request not to contact certain references.

Can my former employer say I was fired? ›

In many cases, if you were fired or terminated from employment, the company can say so. They can also give a reason. For example, if someone was fired for stealing or falsifying a timesheet, the company can explain why the employee was terminated.

What can HR say about termination? ›

In many cases, employers aren't legally prohibited from telling another employer that you were terminated, laid off, or let go. They can even share the reasons that you lost your job.

Can a previous employer say negative things? ›

There are no state or federal laws that prohibit an employer, a coworker, or anyone else from providing a poor reference for someone else. However, an employer may cross the line and face liability if he or she makes an untrue statement about an applicant's performance.

What an employer Cannot say in a reference? ›

The reference has to be accurate. Your employer can't say anything that's not true. They also have to be fair when they decide what to put in the reference. For example, they can't say you were investigated for stealing if the investigation decided you hadn't done it.

What can legally be said in a reference check? ›

The answer comes in two parts. The first part is that the only questions a reference should ever answer are ones about job performance – and nothing else. The second part is a reference can say anything he or she wants to say – as long as it is (1) true or (2) an honestly held opinion.

What information can HR give out? ›

Generally, an employer can disclose private information only if the disclosure is required by law or if there is a legitimate business need. Take, for example, an employer who has information about the dangerous mental state of one if its employees.

Do employers actually call references? ›

Essentially, yes. While it's true that not 100% of Human Resources (HR) departments will call your references during pre-employment screening, most do. If you're about to begin a job search, you should expect to have your references checked.

Can background check reveal past employers? ›

The bottom line is simple: yes, background checks can reveal past employers. These checks are most accurate when conducted by outside investigators, of course. Still, many larger companies have considerable resources and can provide thorough vetting. That's important to remember when you create your resume.

How does HR verify past employment? ›

Some hiring managers do it themselves, reaching out directly (typically via phone) to your current or previous employers to request official verification. Alternatively, employers may use professional background screening firms and/or an employment verification service such as The Work Number® from Equifax.

Does HR contact previous employers? ›

Most times, they will speak with the human resources department or your previous supervisor. However, employers most often contact previous employers to verify you are accurately representing your experience with them, rather than get a review of your time with them.

How do you avoid saying you were fired in an interview? ›

Prepare an answer, but cross your fingers that you won't have to use it. If they do ask, put a positive spin on the truth. Avoid harsh words like "fired" or "terminated." Talk about things like "differing expectations," or "a mutual realization that it wasn't a good fit." Be factual and brief, then change the subject.

What shows up on a background check? ›

This type of investigation can involve reviewing national and regional criminal databases, as well as local court records and other sources of information. This search may reveal details related to prior convictions, charges, and arrests, as well as any active criminal cases.

Is it better to quit or get fired? ›

The advantages of quitting instead of being fired include the possibility of negotiating severance and a positive recommendation. Disadvantages of quitting include forfeiting the right to claim unemployment. Any time you think your job is in danger, it's a good idea to start looking for a new job just in case.

Do I have to disclose I was fired? ›

Although you will have to tell potential employers that you've been fired, timing is extremely important. Business Insider suggests that you avoid revealing this information in your resume or cover letter and instead focus on your accomplishments and skills in these documents.

What can I say instead of I got fired? ›

If you prefer, you can simply write "job ended," "laid off," or "terminated" on your job application. This is recommended since your goal with your application and resume is to get an interview.

Does getting fired affect future employment? ›

No, getting fired does not necessarily affect future employment. There are many reasons why someone may be terminated, and these do not often reflect anything negative about that person.

What can a former boss say about you? ›

For example, numerous job seekers wonder, "What can a former employer legally say about me?" If that question is taken literally, the answer is "anything." I'm not aware of any laws that restrict or bar employers—or anyone else—from exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.

What questions can you not ask references? ›

Don't ask about a candidate's sexuality, age, religion or similar matters. Anything related to personal health. Don't ask about a candidate's medical history or the existence of disabilities. You can ask whether the candidate is capable of performing the tasks that the job requires.

What are employers allowed to ask references? ›

Some of the questions employers ask your references might include if you were late or missed work often or if there were any issues with your performance or ability to work in a team. Employers might also ask about your salary, any promotions, disciplinary actions, and why you left the company. Was this page helpful?

How honest should you be in a reference? ›

DO be accurate. Ensure that you limit your reference to what is reasonably required to establish a working relationship. Be honest, accurate, and specific. Again, if your reference is untrue it could potentially open the door up for a defamation suit.

Can you decline to give a reference? ›

Yes, an employer can refuse to give you a reference. Employers are not obliged to give their current and former employees. The two very rare exceptions to that rule: Jobs in highly regulated sectors, such as financial services.

What to do if you only have one reference? ›

If a career change is contemplated, the first step is to identify a list of coworkers who are also good friends – good enough, at least, to be trusted! The next step is to ask at least three friends and coworkers privately if they would be willing to serve as references.

Should I be worried about reference checks? ›

It allows them some time to recall the details of your employment and give a better quality and more in depth assessment of your time working for them. References are not something to be scared of, they are an invaluable tool for you to embrace and utilise in securing your next role!

What is a bad reference check? ›

Another sign of a bad reference check is the inability to get in contact with them. Candidates should make their references aware of a potential phone call or email from a hiring manager or screening service like GoodHire.

What if my current employer gives me a bad reference? ›

Explain the situation

Warn the potential new employer that the reference will not be a good one and take time to explain why. Don't make excuses or accuse your previous company of being in the wrong; just simply take responsibility for your actions.

What should you not ask HR? ›

Never ask about pay, time off, benefits, etc. (Wait until later in the process to inquire about these things.) Never ask “What does your company do?” • Never ask “If I'm hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?” • Never ask how quickly you can be promoted.

Is everything said to HR confidential? ›

No! HR employees aren't doctors or priests, and you shouldn't assume confidentiality when you're talking to them. If they hear something that they judge needs to be shared, they're professionally obligated to do that. In fact, with reports of harassment or discrimination, they're legally obligated to act.

What employee information is confidential? ›

The Dimensions of Employee-HR Confidentiality

This data, which can pertain to age, sex, religion, race or national origin, must remain confidential. Similarly, social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and spousal information also must remain confidential within employee personnel files.

Do employers check all 3 references? ›

Most employers will call your references only if you are the final candidate or one of the final two. Occasionally the final three or four. Every now and then an employer will check all the people they interview, although to me that's inconsiderate of the reference.

How far back can references go? ›

A common question among job seekers is, “How far back can I go to ask people I've worked with before to be references for me?” As a general rule, the answer is not more than five to 10 years.

Can you use a friend as a job reference? ›

Those providing the reference should know you well and be able to give examples that back up statements about your character. While friends and family are acceptable referees, it is better for you to select someone who is not immediate family as their opinion may be construed as being biased.

What causes a red flag on a background check? ›

If there is a felony on your criminal record, it could be a red flag for employers. A history of violent crimes, sexual offenses, robberies, or serious drug offenses can make it difficult to pass a background check. However, it can still be possible to get a job even if you have a criminal history.

How many previous jobs years do companies check during background verification? ›

Employment verification

The employee background check looks at the candidate's past. On the contrary, these inspections last for 7 or 10 years. It checks the candidate's previous employment, education, credit, criminal record, medical records, etc.

Can I say no to contacting previous employer? ›

Be transparent with a hiring manager and let them know if you don't want them to contact a former employer, providing them with an explanation. It's normal for applicants to not want a potential employer to contact previous employers, as many job seekers do not notify current employers they are looking for work.

Why do they ask if they can contact previous employer? ›

When hiring managers and recruiters ask if they can contact your previous employers, they want to see transparency in you as an employee. Along with reviewing resumes and cover letters, hiring managers want to hire a job-seeker that feels confident in the quality of their employment history.

Can I say personal reasons for leaving a job? ›

You don't necessarily need to provide details to your employer. For example, you can simply state that you are leaving for personal reasons or family reasons. You're not obligated to explain why you're moving on. In some cases, you may want to give a reason.

What to say when asked why you left a job? ›

Example Answers for “Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?”
  • Lack of Advancement Opportunities. “I was eager to advance in my career and independently lead more projects. ...
  • Wanting a New Challenge. ...
  • Changing Careers. ...
  • Fired. ...
  • Laid Off. ...
  • Family Responsibilities. ...
  • Be Positive. ...
  • Be Honest.

What do I say when asked why I want to leave my job? ›

17 reasons for leaving your job
  1. You're looking for a company that values you, your skills, and your experiences more.
  2. You're looking for a bump in compensation.
  3. You want a more senior role.
  4. You're ready for a new challenge.
  5. You'd like to find a role with more upward mobility.
Jan 6, 2023

What questions can you ask a former employee? ›

The best exit interview questions to ask
  • What was the interview process for this position like? ...
  • What did you like about your position? ...
  • Did you feel like you had everything you needed to do your job well? ...
  • How would you describe your job responsibilities in this position?
Jun 28, 2022

Which of the following questions is illegal for an employer to ask? ›

Gender, sex or sexual orientation. Marital status, family, or pregnancy. Race, color, or ethnicity. Religion.

What are employers not allowed to ask? ›

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that it's illegal to ask discriminatory questions during the interview process about the applicant's gender, race, age, national origin, religion, or other non-job-related basis.

What are four 4 of the questions that potential employers are not allowed to ask in an interview? ›

How old are you? What's your ethnic background? What religion are you? Are you pregnant or planning to start a family?

What not to ask in an exit interview? ›

With this in mind, let's take a look at what not to say in an exit interview.
  • “My manager was a nightmare to work for.” ...
  • “The pay is terrible.” / “I'm not being paid enough.” ...
  • “Let me tell you what's wrong with this company…” ...
  • “Everyone in my department wants to leave.”
Nov 28, 2022

What are three unacceptable questions to ask applicants? ›

In most cases, interviewers are absolutely not allowed to ask about things like the sexual orientation of the candidate, the current address of the candidate, religious affiliation, medical history, and unless relevant to the position, arrest records, and criminal records.

What is the STAR method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

Can an employer ask about your personal life? ›

Questions that gather information about your marital status, children, and family also need to be avoided by the interviewer during the hiring process. Although these topics might seem like innocent small talk, they can also trigger assumptions about how your home life might affect your work life in the future.

Can a job offer be withdrawn due to reference? ›

An employer can withdraw a job offer if the conditions of the offer are not met. For example, if your references show you might not be able to do the job. You can ask an employer why they have withdrawn a conditional job offer.

What can prevent an employer from hiring you? ›

Common Reasons for Disqualification:
  • You have a poor employment history. ...
  • You lied on your resume, or there are inconsistencies. ...
  • You have a criminal history. ...
  • You received bad references from previous employers. ...
  • You have a poor credit history. ...
  • You failed a drug or alcohol test. ...
  • You have a bad driving record.

Can you ask if someone has been fired in an interview? ›

Are Employers Allowed to Ask Why You Were Fired? Yes, they can. In fact, chances are, by the time hiring managers ask why you got fired from your previous job, they probably know the answer to this question based on their communication with your former employer.

Can you ask a candidate why they left a job? ›

Yes. While it's fine to ask this question during the interview, we recommend you collect this information ahead of time by asking about it on an employment application. In the section where the applicant lists their previous employment experience, you can ask for the reason they left each job.


1. Why you can sue an employer for revealing you were fired during employment verification
(More 4 Less Resumes)
2. Can a former employer inform a prospective employer about the reasons for an employee being fired?
3. How Do Employers Verify Past Employment
(H3W Channel)
4. Why You Should NOT Be Loyal to Your Employer and What You Should Do Instead
(KISSS Career Coaching)
5. Employers NOT Calling Me after job interview
(Don Georgevich)
6. What do background checks ask previous employers?


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