7 Frequently Asked Background Check Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Background Check Questions

Hiring the right talent is a critical process, and a lot depends on how well the employers conduct the employment verification. More than 50% of candidates provide inaccurate information at hiring. Hence, the importance of background check questions and answers is paramount. If you fail to ask the right questions at the employee background investigation interview, you may invite unwanted trouble for your business.

Let us look at seven frequently asked questions and their answers that will help you make hiring decisions more effective.  

What Questions Do They Ask in A Background Check?

Most companies begin the employee background investigation in the initial screening rounds. The HR background check questions cover the following aspects:

Background Check Frequently Asked Questions

Employment screening is challenging for organizations that are not familiar with the process. However, it is essential to mitigate potential threats and validate claims made by the candidates during hiring. Some of the seven most asked employee background verification questions are listed below:

1. Which Laws regulate employment background verification? 

Employers must follow the guidelines provided by FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act), State Consumer Reporting laws, and enforcement guidance by U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission 2012. Following these guidelines is necessary while conducting employment screening and preparing employee background verification questions.

2. How long must employers retain background check reports?

No law or regulation defines the timeline to keep background check reports. However, an employer must consider employment agreements, state and local employment agencies, and contracts with background screening agencies. Usually, employers retain the background check record for 3 years till the employee is with the organization.

3. How long does an employment background check take?

It depends on the number and type of checks the employer wishes to conduct. Regular screening may take two to seven days, depending on the candidate’s history and the post offered. Some pre-employment background checks may take 2 to 4 weeks. If the screening involves international candidates, it may take more time depending on the rules of the concerned countries.

4. How long are background checks valid?

There is no law or rule to define background checks’ validity. Hence, employers need to decide the future validity and credibility of the employee verification themselves. The background check is valid until the next check happens. Typically, employers retain the background checks for selected candidates until termination and do continuous background screening updates.

5. What Causes a Failed Background Check?

Employers conduct various background checks like education verification for employment, previous employment history checks, verify credit history, criminal record checks, driving records and pre-employment drug test screenings. Any discrepancies such as fake licenses, criminal history, and incorrect credentials lead to a failed background check.

6. What should I do if a candidate fails background verification?

If an employee fails the background verification, they may be terminated and put on the No-Hire list, which means they can never get a job in that organization. In addition, if you have applied for a job and fail background screening, the employer will disqualify your application without notification.

7. How far back do background checks go?

In general, employers follow a 7-year-rule, which means they can check criminal history and other compliance issues for seven years. However, depending on the need and local state guidelines, this rule can be skipped. For example, In California, if the salary is above $125,000. Then, employers can go back up to 10 years for background checks.


Effective background investigation interview questions help employers, and background screening agencies find potential discrepancies in candidates’ records. Employers new to the background screening process must understand that it might look daunting; however, once streamlined, it will eventually save them from any risk and make the workplace secure.


What Questions are asked in a background check?

Background check for employment questions covers previous employment history, educational qualifications, credit history, criminal history, and driving record. It helps identify any discrepancies in the information provided by the employee during the selection process.

What is a level 3 background check?

Level 3 background check is the most common background investigation screening that involves validating criminal records, drug tests, reference checks, employment, and educational history.

Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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