7 Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Background Check Before Your Interview


Guest post by Michael Klazema

Don’t spend all of your time preparing for the interview, and don’t even think about the background check.

There are ways to prepare for an employment background check, and each of them can dramatically improve your chances of hiring.

The period of job hunting can be an incredibly busy and intimidating time in life. From sending applications to writing cover letters, refining resumes to preparing for interviews, there are a lot of different things to consider when trying to find a new job.

Naturally, it is easy for some preparations to be forgotten or abandoned, and the most watched is probably the preparation for the background check.

These days, virtually all types of employers, from education and medicine to office work and retail, require their applicants to undergo criminal checks and / or other types of background checks before hiring.

The reasons for these checks are numerous: employers manage them to keep the workplace safe, to avoid negligible hiring requests, and more.

For you as a candidate, however, the presence of the background check means one thing – another step in the job selection process that you need to be prepared for.

Many job seekers ask, “But how do I prepare for a background check?” That’s a valid question, given that most of the information employers look for – criminal convictions, driving records, etc. – are things that you cannot change or correct on a whim. However, there are still plenty of ways to prepare for the big background check test. Here are seven:


1. Perform a criminal background check on yourself

If there’s one thing you are doing to prepare for your employment background check, it should be this one.

Although you might think you already know what an employer will see when they go through your criminal history, especially if you have never been convicted of a crime and have no criminal record – the truth is you can never be sure.

Criminal records are “mis-cataloged” every day, and a background check can actually extract someone else’s criminal record if you share a name. Therefore, performing a criminal background check on yourself, usually at the county level, but maybe also at the state level, can help you spot any potential inaccuracies in your criminal record. before your employer sees them.

2. Contact the courts to rectify any inaccurate information

If you do a criminal background check on yourself and see a criminal history that you didn’t expect to see, the next step is to correct the problem.

Suppose your background check shows that you have been convicted of assault, but have never even been arrested. If this is the case, you must call the courthouse where the file in question was withdrawn. Politely explain the situation and let the court know that the information in your file is incorrect.

In some cases, you may be able to have inaccuracies corrected through a simple phone call, written request or in-person appearances. Other times, you may need to file a petition with the court. Either way, it’s a chore, but it’s worth making sure your record truly reflects the life of innocence you’ve led.

3. Consider striking off the criminal record

If you have a criminal conviction on your record that could cost you a job, but in reality is okay, you might consider removing it from the criminal record.

Different states and counties have different laws regarding de-listing, while your eligibility to have a crime removed from your record will depend on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the crime, how much time has elapsed since conviction, and whether you have or not been charged with any other crime.

You will also likely need legal representation to appeal the expungement, and the process will be complicated. However, if you can make a valid claim to clear your criminal record, it’s worth jumping through the hoops and paying for the lawyer: having a clean criminal record will automatically make you a more competitive candidate for most cases. jobs.

4. Review your social media profiles

Not all employers will review your Facebook, but some will, and they don’t appreciate inappropriate and unprofessional photos, secular statuses, comments complaining about work, or other negative content.

NOTE FROM THE INTERVIEW GUYS: Just as Michael says about Facebook in this article, you should also pay close attention to your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters often look here first, so make sure your profile information matches what you submitted on your resume.

With that in mind, review your social profiles: if there’s something on your page that you wouldn’t want to appear in an interview, it’s probably worth removing or editing.

5. Examine your CV for truth and accuracy

Background checks often look for more than just a criminal background. For example, your potential employer may dig into your past to make sure that your work and educational background matches what you put on your resume.

Taking a few minutes to review your resume and make sure everything is correct will allow you to pass this part of the background check with flying colors. Lying about a degree you don’t have or a job you’ve never had is obviously a no-no, but other more common resume lies, like going back to your old job title, changing employment dates to remove gaps and list job responsibilities you’ve never had — is almost as risky.

6. Ask former employers for permission to use them as references

Although many applicants do not view it as such, the reference check is part of the background check.

When your potential employer calls your former boss, supervisor, or mentor, they’re looking to find out more about your skills, work ethic, overall job performance, etc.

For best results, contact your references first — ask them first. authorisation to list them for reference, second to update their contact information (this makes it easier for your potential employer, which will be appreciated), and third to alert them that they might expect a call about you in the near future.

7. Request a copy of your driving record and your credit report

Driving record checks and credit report checks aren’t standard for every job, but if you’re going to be doing a job that involves finances or driving a motor vehicle, you should expect them.

And if you to do wait for them, it’s a good idea to see what your records look like just like you did with your criminal history. This way, if there’s an improper reckless driving charge on your record, or if identity theft has left your credit in a shambles, you can correct these issues before they create an uncomfortable situation in the room. interview.

While you might not think of a background check as something that requires a lot of thought or preparation on your part, it can make or break your job chances just like an interview can. As such, it’s worth taking the time to think about the background check from different angles before you go to your interview. After all, you want to do whatever it takes to maximize your chances of being hired, and that includes making sure your past looks as clean as it really is.

KlazemaMichael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving the online customer experience in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor of Backgroundchecks.com. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various countries of the old and new world.

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