A friend has asked me to be a reference for her and since she is applying to work for the state, she said it's likely I will be called. I've never been a reference for someone before so I have no idea what to expect.
We worked together about 4 years ago for close to a year. The job she is applying for is not in the same industry and my current job is not either. I'd expect that I am a reference to speak to her professionalism and her as a person more so than her actual ability to perform the job.
I did find this question which discusses what information you should get from the person asking you to be the reference but my question is more general, in that, I'd like to know more about the process and the types of questions that would be asked.
So, how can I prepare to be someone's reference? What types of questions can I expect since I will not be confirming this person's actual work history?
What steps can I take to make sure I am a helpful and effective reference?