Before hiring a caregiver, be sure to ask for a list of references, both personal and professional. When questioning personal references, it's a good idea to discuss the candidate's honesty, consistency, and personal habits. When speaking with the personal references, you may want to adopt a friendly manner, because they'll probably report the conversation to the potential caregiver. Though you'll get a biased opinion, checking these references will give you a clearer idea of the type of companions the candidate chooses. When calling business references, contact the most recent employers first. A business-like and confident tone is useful when securing information. In addition to questioning the references about the candidate's work habits, find out if they would re-hire the candidate, if given the opportunity. It's important to note, the law governs what former employers can say, so listen carefully and question further on issues with hesitant replies. These phone calls should be brief, so make your questions count. If the employer brings up an issue you want to pursue further, feel free to abandon the list of standard questions. Finally, keep in mind, Mary Poppins is fiction. You should avoid hiring a care provider based on initial impressions, and should always closely question references.