Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

7 Things Your Interviewer Will Check Before Or After Your Job Interview

by Michael Klazema, lead author and editor for Backgroundchecks.com

looking in the mirror

In order to feel prepared for a job interview, you have to do more than just print off a resume and show up at an office at a given time. Indeed, most employment experts say that applicants who have clearly researched the companies they want to work for generally have a better shot at landing jobs with those companies. There’s a certain element of professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm that comes across from an applicant who asks questions about an employer’s recent projects, initiatives, and goals. That element, in turn, can act as a sort of X-factor when it comes to helping you stand out from the crowd. And since the average job applicant pool is quite crowded, any way that you can stand out positively is worth it.

However, do keep in mind that you are not the only person doing research ahead of your job interview. On the contrary, your interviewer will have researched you as well—and will do more digging after the interview, if you are deemed a competitive applicant. But what pieces of information will an interviewer seek to find out about you before you even meet face to face? What kinds of records, profiles, or personal information is your interviewer checking as a means of researching you?

To answer those questions, here are seven common things that your interviewer or hiring manager will check, either before or after your interview.

1. Your employment history.

You might think that your interviewer will take anything you write on your resume as fact, but that isn’t the case. Most employers will do some form of employment history verification to check your credentials, either by calling your old bosses to find out about job performance, or simply by contacting the HR department at your former employer to learn about your job title, career responsibilities, employment dates, and more. In other words, don’t lie about this information, because employers will likely uncover the inconsistencies and take them as a sign that you’ve been dishonest with your application materials.

2. Your educational credentials and professional licenses.

The story is the same here as it is for employment history. If you are going to claim a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a professional license, or some other form of educational certification, then you need to make sure you can back those claims up. If your interviewer finds out that you lied about educational credentials, it will kill your chances at getting hired. And even if your employer somehow misses a falsified degree or made-up license, you will have to live your entire professional career worrying about being found out, fired, and possibly charged for fraud. Bottom line, be honest about your education on your application and resume. 

3. Your criminal history.

You can pretty safely count on your prospective employer waiting until after your interview to run a criminal history background check—particularly if you live in an area where “ban the box” policies are observed. However, if you are a serious candidate for a position, the hiring manager will eventually request a background check to investigate your criminal history. Almost all employers these days are running these criminal checks, whether as due diligence to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits, as an effort to maintain the safest workplace possible, or both. Either way, if you have criminal history, expect that your prospective employer is going to find out about it.

4. Your LinkedIn.

Even before any kind of background checks or verifications are run, your interviewer will probably take a looked at your LinkedIn account. As the online version of your resume, your LinkedIn account will give an interviewer a chance to see an expanded list of your work history, as well as any endorsements or recommendations left by former bosses or colleagues. So before you schedule an interview, take the time to update your LinkedIn. Make sure all of the information is up to date, or approach a former supervisor to see if they might write you a recommendation. A good LinkedIn profile can enhance your chances at getting hired; a bad one, whether it’s full of typos or simply doesn’t match up to your resume, can make you look careless and unprofessional.

5. Other social media accounts. 

Not all employers will look at your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but some will, so you need to be prepared for the possibility that your interviewer is looking for you all over social media. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to comb through your Facebook and delete racy photos, profane comments, and other inappropriate content. If there’s something on your Facebook page that you wouldn’t want your mother to see, you probably don’t want it being brought up in a job interview, either.

6. Your salary history. 

Sometimes, job applications will pose questions about your previous salaries. It’s a common trick for applicants to boost their salary figures a bit, simply to give themselves a bit of extra power when it comes to negotiating a starting salary for a new job. The only problem is, when your interviewer researches your employment history, he or she will generally request salary information. So if you lie about how much money you made at an old job, your interviewer will probably see it as the calculating maneuver it is. Naturally, this kind of scheming will count against you.

7. Other background information.

In addition to criminal background checks, your prospective employer might check on some of your other personal background information, such as your driving record or your credit history. Usually, these types of checks will only be run if the job you are applying for is actually related to those types of information. So, if you aren’t applying for a job that involves driving, your employer probably won’t go digging around for traffic violations. Similarly, if you aren’t shooting for work that will require you to handle money or take care of finances, your interviewer won’t have much reason to call for a credit history check. However, do be aware that both of these types of background checks might be on the table.

As you can see, an interviewer or hiring manager does a lot of research on you before making a concrete hiring decision. So in addition to preparing your resume and researching the company you are applying for, take some time to clean up your social networks, fact check your resume, or even run a practice background check on yourself. Now that you know what employers will be looking for, you will be better able to make yourself into the perfect applicant.

 

michael klazema

Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor forBackgroundchecks.com.

Share

This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

Tagged as: , ,