What Happens If You Fail a Background Check?

Even with a criminal background, you can still get a job. Here is what you need to do to get that perfect salary.

What Happens If You Fail a Background Check?

You crushed your job interview. The meetings with your future boss and his or her boss went well. You meet all of the qualifications, and your skillset is a perfect match for the position. Oh yes, and the salary is exactly what you want and deserve. The only problem? You’re worried about the final step… the background check.

You might have a lot of questions when it comes to the infamous background check, such as how long does a background check take and what happens if you do, unfortunately, fail yours?

Like all things in life, it depends.

Every employer has different standards. For example, some employers will hire people with criminal backgrounds while others steer clear of those types of situations.

Employers can also look at different areas. While some employers might only look at criminal records, others will do that as well as research driving history, employment history, credit history, education verification, and more.

That’s why it’s so important to be transparent during the interview process and bring up any red flags, whether you’re the most qualified person for the job or not. In most cases, your qualifications, no matter how strong, won’t outweigh a failed background check. By doing so, you can give yourself the chance to explain any glaring issues and tell your future employer how you’ve learned from your mistakes or what you’re doing differently so that the mistake doesn’t happen again.

With that said, if you fail a background check, you’ll most likely not get the job because that’s the point of a background check. If your employer gives you a chance to explain yourself, then you should.

While every HR department focuses on different areas in a background check, you never really know what will happen if you fail one until it happens. Some departments will give people a second chance while others use background checks to weed out unqualified candidates.

It’s important to know your rights, because employers aren’t permitted to discriminate over certain issues.

However, if you lied during the interview process about your education and that flag is raised during a background check, then the employer has every right not to hire you. It also might not make sense for an employer to hire someone for a job in the finance industry if the applicant has poor credit. Many questions and concerns can also be raised if your job requires high security clearance and you commit certain crimes.

The outcome of a failed background check can depend on the job you’re applying to and the industry it’s in. Some flags raise more concerns than others. However, if you fail a background check, then you shouldn’t expect to get the job unless the employer allows you to explain yourself in greater detail.

You know your background and history. If there’s something that might hurt your chances of getting hired, then you should bring up the issue before the background check so there aren’t any surprises. If you’re curious, you might consider asking your employer what the background checking is monitoring so you’re in the know.

If you do happen to fail a background check and aren’t hired for the position, then all is not lost, and there’s plenty to take away. First and foremost, you had some interviewing experience and you have a better idea of what the process looks like as well as what employers are looking for in their applicants. You’re also taking action and trying to make your prospects better by securing a position.

Many jobs are available, and the best thing you can do is take what you learn in your job interviewing process and apply those lessons to the next position you apply to.

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Marshall Stevenson
See all posts by Marshall Stevenson