1. Who can best speak to your professional abilities?
The best person that can speak about your professional abilities is someone who has seen the quality of your work and performance in a professional setting. The most preferred person for this situation would be your direct manager. If you do not feel comfortable asking your direct manager - it is okay to ask another colleague that can still speak to the quality of your deliverables. Think about if this person can speak to the impact you had on major projects and deliverables.
2. Which of your coworkers or managers would rank you in the top 10% of people that they have ever worked with?
It is important to think about the level in which you have professionally made a positive impact and impression on someone. Do you remember a time when a colleague acted as your champion? Do you remember them sending you a huge thank you for a project or initiative you led? Could it be a client that you worked with to save their bottom line? This question may give you some ideas for people to consider that you may have never considered before.
3. Who can speak to your activism, leadership, and overall character?
For some business schools, you are often required to choose a second or third recommender. Often times it is good to try to choose a recommender who would complement the points of views of your other recommenders. This may be someone you have worked with through volunteering at a non-profit or who you led a community initiative with outside the workplace. They should be able to talk about your overall character and the way you have led projects centered around your passions.