Before sending you a job offer, many employers will conduct a pre-employment background check. These checks typically occur when potential employers are conducting interviews. That way, they have more information to assist their decisions during the hiring process. Being aware of any red flags that could be on record is always a good idea. That way, you can plan for them.
During the interview process, questions may arise regarding your credit, driving record, and other circumstances the potential employer considers relevant. The main reason these questions arise is that the prospective employer is trying to assess your character. You can prepare for these questions in many ways.
Credit Report: Obtain a copy of your current credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Annually, you can request one free copy — dispute any erroneous information you find. It may take time for everything to clear from your history, so keep copies of all your communications.
Criminal Records: Some states don’t allow questions regarding arrests or convictions longer than ten years ago. In other areas, these questions pertain to certain positions, including those who are working with children or in the financial sector.
Controlled Substances: These checks occur to ensure you’re complying with the company’s policy for illicit substances. You can prepare for this by disclosing any medications you’re taking that may show up during this check.
Credentials and Verification Checks: During this process, potential employers check the accuracy of your degree, education certifications, licensing, military service records, previous employment, professional certifications, and professional references. Prepare for this check by making sure all the information you provide is accurate.
Driving Record: You can obtain a copy of your driving record from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or view it on their website. If you’re interviewing for a job where you need a license and you have a driving record, prepare yourself for answering questions regarding these violations.
Public Records Checks: Potential employers may search for bankruptcy, civil, or medical records. Prepare for this by being able to answer questions regarding the information they find. For example, if they search for medical records, and learn the details about your pre-existing condition, explain why it will not limit your ability to perform.
Social Security Number Traces: Potential employers use this check to find addresses, dates of birth, and names that have links to social security numbers. The social security number trace makes it possible for potential employers to locate areas where they can find other records. You can prepare for this check by making sure you’re providing an accurate social security number and, if you’ve experienced a name change, it matches.
It’s challenging to figure out which pre-employment background check potential employers will use. Therefore, you can implement the following strategies to prepare for any screening that may occur.
If you order a background check on yourself, you stand a better chance of seeing what potential employers might be reading. Depending on the position you’re interviewing for, it may be a good idea to order records from multiple resources. That way, you know the information you’re receiving is accurate.
Sometimes inaccurate information shows up during a pre-employment background check. That happens most often when someone doesn’t file information correctly. If you discover this, report it to the proper authority immediately. Report proof of the inaccuracy to your potential employer immediately.
Potential employers may contact your references as part of the background check. Therefore, it’s a good idea to inform them that they may receive a phone call or email. That way, they can prepare for the conversation regarding verifying your work history.
During the hiring process, some potential employers look at your social media. Examine your profiles and determine if it’s necessary to change the privacy settings. Are you presenting yourself professionally online? Is this information you need to keep private? Address these issues immediately.
Do you believe there’s something in your history that may cause potential employers to remove you from the hiring process? If so, discuss this information with them immediately. Then, explain how you’re taking steps toward making improvements. Potential employers will appreciate your honesty, and this step will demonstrate your trustworthiness.
As you can see, a pre-employment background check can be extensive. The best way to prepare yourself for this process is to understand all the complications that could occur and questions that may arise. Begin by cleaning up your social media profiles and requesting a free copy of your credit report. Information requests are common, so be sure there are no red flags or errors for which you don’t have an answer.