Things to Know When You Apply for a Job


When you apply for a job, depending on the nature of the job and its hiring policies, a potential employer may run some checks on you before inviting you for an interview. They do this to avoid what they consider wasting time on someone who doesn’t suit the company’s culture.

Here are some of the checks you would expect a future employer to do.

Employment Verification

A check of your employment history, including your job titles, dates of employment, and reason for leaving, will be done. Employers may contact your previous employers directly to verify your employment history. 

When conducting employment verification, the person’s previous employer may be asked to provide information about the person’s job title, dates of employment, salary, the reason for leaving, and eligibility for rehire. 

In some cases, the previous employer may also be asked to provide information about the person’s job performance or conduct.

Education Verification

This is a check of your educational qualifications, including degrees and certifications. Employers may contact the educational institutions you attended to verify your degrees and certificates.

The most common method of education verification is to contact the educational institution directly. The employer can request that the institution provide a transcript, degree verification, or enrollment confirmation. 

Criminal Background Check

Some companies are required to conduct a thorough, accurate background check of your criminal record to see if you have any prior convictions.

Employers typically use a third-party provider to conduct a criminal background check. The provider searches criminal records in the state or county where you have lived or worked.

The search may include county, state, and federal databases. The search scope may depend on the job requirements, industry, and location.

Once the search is complete, the employer will receive a report of the results. The report may include information such as the candidate’s criminal history, convictions, arrests, and outstanding warrants.

Reference Checks

A reference check is a process of contacting an applicant’s professional and personal references to obtain information about the applicant’s work history, job performance, and personal characteristics. 

Employers may contact your professional references directly to gather information about your work experience and performance.

The employer will typically ask the references a series of questions about the job candidate, such as their job performance, strengths, weaknesses, work habits, and personal characteristics. The employer may also ask about the candidate’s ability to work in a team, handle stress, and meet deadlines.

It’s standard practice for an employer to document the results of the reference check, including the names and contact information of the references, the questions asked, and the answers provided. The employer may also ask the referees to provide a written reference letter.

Social Media Check 

It’s becoming more commonplace for potential employers to review social media profiles to assess people’s online presence and behavior.

What they’re looking for is:

  • insights into a person’s character and personality
  • to confirm the information on the candidate’s resume
  • how a candidate communicates and interacts with others
  • their professional profile and online reputation
  • to ensure that a candidate’s behavior on social media aligns with the company’s values and standards

Credit Check

For some positions, primarily financial, a company may check your credit history to assess your financial responsibility and potential risk to the company.

Employers typically use a third-party provider to conduct a credit check. The provider reviews your credit report to assess your financial responsibility and potential risk to the company.

Drug Test

Depending on the nature of the role, some employers will ask you to undergo a drug test to detect the presence of drugs in your system. The provider may use urine, blood, or hair samples.

Employers must follow applicable laws and regulations when conducting these checks, including obtaining your consent and providing information about your rights.

Be Aware of the Checks

When you apply for a job, it’s vital to understand that your potential employer may run some checks on you.

It’s standard practice to confirm your education and previous employment, and some may take it a step further and do a background check and confirm with your referees. These days social media checks to assess character are becoming more frequent.

Depending on the role, a credit or drug test may be required.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.