1. Identify yourself as a member of the (Position) Search Committee of (Institution). Do not reveal the candidate’s name.
2. Ask the reference whether this is a convenient time to talk on a confidential basis. He/she may wish to arrange another mutually convenient time.
3. Indicate to the person that he/she is being called as a reference of the candidate and with the candidate’s knowledge and permission.
4. Assure the reference that the response will be treated in a confidential manner and will not go beyond the Search Committee.
5. Explain that the purpose of the call is to seek the reference’s assistance in learning more about the candidate’s qualifications in relation to the specific needs of the university, rather than to arrive at some global judgment of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
6. At the conclusion of the interview, ask, "Is there anything more you’d like to say?"
7. Don’t forget to thank the person for his/her time and cooperation.