You are a finalist; down to two or three candidates. How can you distinguish yourself to become the most attractive contender? You’ve been asked to provide a short list of references. This is what you can do beyond prepping for the last interview.

  • Find out as much as you can about your competitors. Which of their experiences are and/or are not a good fit for the position? Are there gaps or weaknesses in their skill sets? Are the nature and the culture of their workplaces a good match for this school-community?
  • Contact your references and prepare them for the reference call. Ask that they emphasize the experiences, skills and knowledge that you possess that are superior and/or competitive to those of your competitors.
  • Send a follow up email or text message to your references providing each of them with a summary list of characteristics and descriptions of experiences that you’d like for them to speak to.
  • Try to have each reference speak to different aspects of your strengths or express them in different words and phrases so that they describe a coherent and integrated picture of you.
  • Never ask your references to lie or falsify any information about yourself.
  • Ask them to contact you asap after their calls and review the conversation.
  • During your final interview, emphasize the same assets that your references have or will have said about you.

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