3/15/13

It's that time of year again: for the incoming class of summer analysts, many of you are going through the (depending on what you've been doing the last semester or so) potentially nerve-wracking process of background checks. And judging by the slew of recent posts, there are a fair number losing sleep over background checks.

With that in mind, let's just clear everything up: the majority of the larger IBs (both boutique and BB) use third party organizations to conduct background checks. Typically, you provide the bank a list of references and contact information, which will then be independently verified via telephone by the third party organization.

So how do these phone calls work?

The average call goes as follows:

"Hi [insert your reference's name], my name is [name] calling on behalf of [BB / boutique bank] to verify the employment history of [your name]." Here's where the questions come, "Can you please confirm that [your name] was employed from [reported start date] to [reported completion date] as a [job title] in [job location]?" After receiving verification, most agencies will follow up by confirming your reason for leaving (i.e. layoff, resignation, termination, etc.). That's it!

With that in mind, I will address a few frequently asked questions about background checks:

1) Will the third party firm verify each bullet point on my resume?

In short, no. While you should never blatantly lie on your bullet points (it will likely be exposed during your interview process), it would take 20 minutes to verify every point on your resume. Background checks do not involve a line-by-line verification.

2) My GPA dropped after poor performance during one / both of the last two semesters, which makes it lower than what I put on my resume, will my offer be rescinded?

No. It comes as no surprise to anyone that your GPA dropped during recruiting season / junior / senior year. It's your responsibility to accurately depict your GPA as of the latest completed period (typically as of the end of your sophomore year, for junior year recruiting). However, any changes that occur thereafter will not affect your offer status (barring, perhaps, a complete and utter meltdown of failing grades).

3) I realized that I made a mistake about my employment dates. Should I inform HR? Will my offer be rescinded?

First off, incorrect employment dates is something that the third party organization will likely notice, so it's in your best interests to correct the error. That said, assuming the error was made in good faith and doesn't materially change your experience, you will be fine. My advice is to bring it to the attention of HR and explain the mistake.

4) I rounded my GPA up to the nearest tenth, but my transcript shows my GPA to the hundredth place. Will my offer be rescinded?

For goodness sake, no. Honest rounding will not cost you your offer.

5) Should I inform my references ahead of time to anticipate the call?

Definitely. This is a best practice. You want prevent your references from screening the background check call and it's best that your reference not be totally caught off guard by the call. Nothing is more strange than randomly receiving a call from someone asking about a former employee. Let your contacts know before you submit their contact information.

Good luck, and I hope you all enjoy your summer! Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Comments (110)

3/13/13

Haha s/o to me on Q3! Thanks for this post - it's really useful, and will save future peeps a lot of worry.

3/13/13

Let's say an employer doesn't use a third party. Would the above comments still hold?

Also not specific to IB, but let's say you're a lateral hire with some experience, can you list coworkers that are on a similar level or slightly higher/lower as references even if you didn't directly work for them? (Assuming you already provided manager contacts and it's for background check post-offer)

3/13/13

Going Concern:
Let's say an employer doesn't use a third party. Would the above comments still hold?

Everything should still hold, regardless of who conducts the background check. Your former employer exposes itself to potential liability by answering questions related to specific performance.

Also not specific to IB, but let's say you're a lateral hire with some experience, can you list coworkers that are on a similar level or slightly higher/lower as references even if you didn't directly work for them? (Assuming you already provided manager contacts and it's for background check post-offer)

Better to list someone who is at least one level your senior, to whom you reported with some regularity. Listing a peer would be unusual.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/13/13

+1

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

3/13/13

6) "In college I was arrested for XYZ....will this show up" Ask an attorney familiar with the issue.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

3/13/13

NorthSider:

5) Should I inform my references ahead of time to anticipate the call?

Definitely. This is a best practice. You want prevent your references from screening the background check call and it's best that your reference not be totally caught off guard by the call. Nothing is more strange than randomly receiving a call from someone asking about a former employee. Let your contacts know before you submit their contact information.

Good luck, and I hope you all enjoy your summer! Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

Please do this. Sometime the background checks use an automated greeting, which everyone hangs up on. Very annoying when one of your SA isn't cleared to start a week before training begins. It's a good networking excuse as well, presumably you got along with your references and it never hurts to have them know what you are up to.

Best Response
3/13/13

I recently received a FT offer to work for a large buy side firm. The background check has been a huge pain in the ass to say the least. It's already pushed my start date back by a week. I have close to five years of work experience so my background check process is going to differ from someone coming straight from undergrad.

The 3rd party performing the background check is a company called HireRight. I've never seen such a thorough background check before. Unfortunately, this company moves at a snails pace as the process has been going on for 8 fucking days. I have absolutely nothing to hide on my resume so I have no clue why it has taken so long other than the fact that this company is probably vastly understaffed. I had to submit W2s for each of my last five years of employment at a previous firm prior to the F50 role...why they can't pick up the phone and call my hold boss or HR manager is beyond me. Then they came back to me and wanted pay stubs as well...They also verified my current F50 salary as well as my last salary in a previous role at a different firm. They did give me the option for not allowing them to contact my current employer which was the one and only benefit from the process.

So, be forewarned monkeys. Background checks have evolved into an upside down cavity search.

3/14/13

kingtut:
I recently received a FT offer to work for a large buy side firm. The background check has been a huge pain in the ass to say the least. It's already pushed my start date back by a week. I have close to five years of work experience so my background check process is going to differ from someone coming straight from undergrad.

The 3rd party performing the background check is a company called HireRight. I've never seen such a thorough background check before. Unfortunately, this company moves at a snails pace as the process has been going on for 8 fucking days. I have absolutely nothing to hide on my resume so I have no clue why it has taken so long other than the fact that this company is probably vastly understaffed. I had to submit W2s for each of my last five years of employment at a previous firm prior to the F50 role...why they can't pick up the phone and call my hold boss or HR manager is beyond me. Then they came back to me and wanted pay stubs as well...They also verified my current F50 salary as well as my last salary in a previous role at a different firm. They did give me the option for not allowing them to contact my current employer which was the one and only benefit from the process.

So, be forewarned monkeys. Background checks have evolved into an upside down cavity search.


holy shit MUTHAFUCK hireright straight up
took me fucking forever too and my fund wanted complete employment history
3/13/13

I crushed my last few assignments in order to bump my GPA toa 3.86, or 3.9 for resume purposes.

3/13/13

in the event that someone fails their background check, would the bank bring in one of the people that they rejected? has this happened before? just curious.

3/13/13

ogofnyc:
in the event that someone fails their background check, would the bank bring in one of the people that they rejected? has this happened before? just curious.

I don't think there is such a thing as "failing" a background check. Have never come across someone who has been through this, but likely the third party organization would flag your profile and you should expect to hear from HR. Assuming it is an honest mistake, you'll be fine.

Contrary to what paranoia would have you believe, these guys aren't trying to get you fired, they are just covering their bases.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

8/13/17

This is an anomalous situation, but we recently were looking to hire a couple lateral analysts. One guy interviewed well and was extended an offer. A couple weeks later, I was in my staffer's office working on a deal when he took a call from HR. It turns out the kid had 1 DUI on his record from while he was in undergrad; subsequent to us extending him an offer he got another DUI. We pulled the offer and replaced him with another candidate.

Tl;dr a candidate had 2 DUIs we didn't know about and we hired someone else instead. So I guess it's possible.

Look, that's not an "explosion"
It's just a rapid unscheduled disassembly

3/13/13

+1 very helpful

3/13/13

Do we have to note which courses correlate with which courses listed on our resumes?

3/13/13

lowelltank:
Do we have to note which courses correlate with which courses listed on our resumes?

No, they will never go into this level of detail.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/13/13

God an applicant could troll the shit out of this. Good post.

3/13/13

Could you do the same for drug tests?

Specifically, what should I do to pass my drug test if I have been a meth addict for 8 years?

8/30/17

No judgment here. Stop using. It's a good start; then do a complete detox for a few weeks.

3/13/13

Good stuff, Northsider. It hardly ever gets more complicated than "Did they work here and how much did they make?"

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

3/14/13

What about things school related such as education and extracurriculars. Should I let undergrad office and presidents of my organizations knoow

3/14/13

ridindirty:
What about things school related such as education and extracurriculars. Should I let undergrad office and presidents of my organizations knoow

They generally do not call references for student organizations or your school. They will ask for a copy of your official transcript.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/15/13

Thanks northsider.

3/18/13

NorthSider:
ridindirty:
What about things school related such as education and extracurriculars. Should I let undergrad office and presidents of my organizations knoow

They generally do not call references for student organizations or your school. They will ask for a copy of your official transcript.

Only happened once but being the president of a club I had a reference call from an organization checking on a particular executive's involvement with said club. Needless to say it couldn't have caught me more off gaurd. Hope he got the job.

Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel

3/15/13

Out of curiosity how often is employment verified via tax information (e.g. pay stubs etc) as opposed to just a normal phone call? If a potential employee doesn't list a prior salary and refuse to provide salary information how does that affect his/her candidacy?

3/15/13

Thats more than it takes to obtain a US secret security clearance lol.

3/16/13

interested to know whether there is a pretty much indentical prcoess in the UK or something different?

"because I want, to fit, in"

3/16/13

Should I expect that they will check the level of saving on projects that I led over my previous employment?

3/18/13

I've been asked for paystubs or tax forms to verify pay and time of employment. As for DeltaHedge's question, depends on if you piss them off. Personally, if I've filtered through 200 candidates for a position, and 3-4 are relatively indistinguishable, I'd be willing to ding someone for failing to provide requested data.

3/19/13

If you earn a FT offer after being an SA, do you have to go through this background process again? Is it even worse for FT? BB IBD SA this summer from target school. Would like to enjoy my senior year and the rest of this semester before coming to NYC and don't want a .3-.4 drop in my GPA to matter.

3/19/13

AIDA ABC:
If you earn a FT offer after being an SA, do you have to go through this background process again? Is it even worse for FT? BB IBD SA this summer from target school. Would like to enjoy my senior year and the rest of this semester before coming to NYC and don't want a .3-.4 drop in my GPA to matter.

It won't matter. Yes, you have more background checks (not the least of which is FINRA's check for your securities licensing), but no one is going to scrutinize your GPA movements. Have a good senior year, stop fretting the background check.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/22/13

NorthSider:
AIDA ABC:
If you earn a FT offer after being an SA, do you have to go through this background process again? Is it even worse for FT? BB IBD SA this summer from target school. Would like to enjoy my senior year and the rest of this semester before coming to NYC and don't want a .3-.4 drop in my GPA to matter.

It won't matter. Yes, you have more background checks (not the least of which is FINRA's check for your securities licensing), but no one is going to scrutinize your GPA movements. Have a good senior year, stop fretting the background check.

Does anyone know when this takes place for returning full-timers?

3/22/13

wannabe2013:
Does anyone know when this takes place for returning full-timers?

FINRA stuff should start to be on your radar over the next two months. You'll be filling out a ton of forms for your securities licensing.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/19/13

the bank i am working at uses Hireright, does anyone know what kind of information they pull? TIA

3/20/13

ridindirty:
the bank i am working at uses Hireright, does anyone know what kind of information they pull? TIA

Same as in the original post.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

3/21/13

ridindirty:
the bank i am working at uses Hireright, does anyone know what kind of information they pull? TIA

Agreed with above. However, they do ask for paystubs/W2 in the event that they can't reach your employer over the phone.

3/20/13

Holy hell, going through the background checks now, so many different groups asking for reams of paper. Makes me double glad that no one's ever found out about those hookers in Vegas.

3/21/13

how do they verify self-employment?

3/21/13

TW Pepper:
how do they verify self-employment?

probably tax returns

3/21/13

and so if you didnt report it on your tax return, youre screwed?

3/30/13

deleted

3/28/13

What about volunteering for a company? Won't have W2.. how to verify times?

3/28/13

lowelltank:
What about volunteering for a company? Won't have W2.. how to verify times?

Via your references.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/2/13

My background check status changed to completed 2 weeks ago and I havent heard anything from the third party company or HR, should i assume im cleared?

4/2/13

NoSoupForYoU:
My background check status changed to completed 2 weeks ago and I havent heard anything from the third party company or HR, should i assume im cleared?

Yes, unsurprisingly, they verified that you didn't completely fabricate employment on your resume.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/2/13

whew! that was a close one lol

4/2/13

Northsider how do you know all this or are you just assuming/common sense? Also are you on WSO at work? is that allowed!?

4/2/13

ridindirty:
Northsider how do you know all this or are you just assuming/common sense? Also are you on WSO at work? is that allowed!?

Been through multiple background checks through internships / full-time roles. Once you know how the process works, the answers to these questions becomes fairly straightforward. Very few offices block WSO, and you can usually find analysts at banks across the street on the forums from time to time.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/5/13

To agree anecdotally with Northsider, when I was waiting to quit my job and avoiding new projects, I spent a lot of time on WSO. Now that I'm at home waiting for the new job to start, I haven't been on in a while.

4/5/13

Will they check to make sure you didn't lie about your race and gender?

4/5/13

When the system online shows that "background check is complete" does that mean everythings good to go?

4/6/13

CChanceWS:
When the system online shows that "background check is complete" does that mean everythings good to go?

No, it means that they have reported their results to your bank. If you don't hear from HR within a reasonable amount of time, you're good.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/6/13

what would be considered a reasonable amount of time?

4/7/13

Northsider said 2 weeks was good for me.

4/5/13

I've got a buddy that always checks the box that says he's a minority. Hasn't backfired yet.

4/6/13

overpaid_overworked:
I've got a buddy that always checks the box that says he's a minority. Hasn't backfired yet.

I have no idea why you'd lie about your race on a background check...

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

NorthSider:
overpaid_overworked:
I've got a buddy that always checks the box that says he's a minority. Hasn't backfired yet.

I have no idea why you'd lie about your race on a background check...

Lots of firms will try to interview a certain number of identifiable minorities. Not on the background check, but on the application.

4/7/13

overpaid_overworked:
NorthSider:
overpaid_overworked:
I've got a buddy that always checks the box that says he's a minority. Hasn't backfired yet.

I have no idea why you'd lie about your race on a background check...

Lots of firms will try to interview a certain number of identifiable minorities. Not on the background check, but on the application.

Agreed, but just put your real race on your background check, or decline to answer. Why would you lie on the background check?

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

i see. Well HR or the background check company never contacted me, and it's been 3-4 days since it was complete. I would assume they'd contact me to clarify anything, at least that's what I hope.

4/7/13

CChanceWS:
i see. Well HR or the background check company never contacted me, and it's been 3-4 days since it was complete. I would assume they'd contact me to clarify anything, at least that's what I hope.

No surprise there.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

What do you mean?

4/7/13

CChanceWS:
What do you mean?

It never ceases to amaze me how seriously people think HR takes simple background checks. Unless you flat out fabricated your employment / education history, it should come as no surprise to you that the background check didn't come back with red flags.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

NorthSider:
CChanceWS:
i see. Well HR or the background check company never contacted me, and it's been 3-4 days since it was complete. I would assume they'd contact me to clarify anything, at least that's what I hope.

No surprise there.

My background check changed to completed 2 weeks ago but i saw my previous employer yesterday and she mentioned she got something asking about me but forgot when she got it. I submitted my W-2 for this company 3 weeks ago. Think the company is still running the background check or my employer was just late to let me know?

4/7/13

NoSoupForYoU:
NorthSider:
CChanceWS:
i see. Well HR or the background check company never contacted me, and it's been 3-4 days since it was complete. I would assume they'd contact me to clarify anything, at least that's what I hope.

No surprise there.

My background check changed to completed 2 weeks ago but i saw my previous employer yesterday and she mentioned she got something asking about me but forgot when she got it. I submitted my W-2 for this company 3 weeks ago. Think the company is still running the background check or my employer was just late to let me know?

If the background check shows complete, the third party firm is no longer working on your case. Nothing further will be added to your profile.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

NorthSider:
NoSoupForYoU:
NorthSider:
CChanceWS:
i see. Well HR or the background check company never contacted me, and it's been 3-4 days since it was complete. I would assume they'd contact me to clarify anything, at least that's what I hope.

No surprise there.

My background check changed to completed 2 weeks ago but i saw my previous employer yesterday and she mentioned she got something asking about me but forgot when she got it. I submitted my W-2 for this company 3 weeks ago. Think the company is still running the background check or my employer was just late to let me know?

If the background check shows complete, the third party firm is no longer working on your case. Nothing further will be added to your profile.

so if its been 2 weeks and i havent heard anything from the bank or third party, im cleared? sorry for the repetitive question. just want this crap to be over with!

4/7/13

NoSoupForYoU:
so if its been 2 weeks and i havent heard anything from the bank or third party, im cleared? sorry for the repetitive question. just want this crap to be over with!

Look, it's not as though there is some hard deadline ("2 weeks and you're good"). But, logically, why would HR wait 2 weeks to contact you about a red flag on your background check? You're almost certainly fine, and I'm starting to wonder what detail of your background you're so worried about surfacing.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

NorthSider:
NoSoupForYoU:
so if its been 2 weeks and i havent heard anything from the bank or third party, im cleared? sorry for the repetitive question. just want this crap to be over with!

Look, it's not as though there is some hard deadline ("2 weeks and you're good"). But, logically, why would HR wait 2 weeks to contact you about a red flag on your background check? You're almost certainly fine, and I'm starting to wonder what detail of your background you're so worried about surfacing.

hung out with the wrong crowd in high school.

4/7/13

NoSoupForYoU:
NorthSider:
NoSoupForYoU:
so if its been 2 weeks and i havent heard anything from the bank or third party, im cleared? sorry for the repetitive question. just want this crap to be over with!

Look, it's not as though there is some hard deadline ("2 weeks and you're good"). But, logically, why would HR wait 2 weeks to contact you about a red flag on your background check? You're almost certainly fine, and I'm starting to wonder what detail of your background you're so worried about surfacing.

hung out with the wrong crowd in high school.

As long as theft wasn't involved, you'll be fine.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

My background is complex, so to check it with my references thoroughly would be difficult. But if they were to ask me, I could provide them emails, 1099s, or whatever they want. So that's why I'm asking about the timeline after it says "complete" because if there was a concern or they didn't get a hold of my references, I much rather HR or the company ask me so I can send them proof rather then flag my account.

4/7/13

CChanceWS:
My background is complex, so to check it with my references thoroughly would be difficult. But if they were to ask me, I could provide them emails, 1099s, or whatever they want. So that's why I'm asking about the timeline after it says "complete" because if there was a concern or they didn't get a hold of my references, I much rather HR or the company ask me so I can send them proof rather then flag my account.

My gut feeling is that you are drastically overestimating the "thoroughness" of these background checks. Definitely do not reach out to HR, let them come to you - and I highly doubt they will.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/7/13

does the background checking company check your background via what you provide them or what's on your resume? I did a job shadow for winter break and its on my resume but i didn't include it in the employment history for the background company

4/7/13

ridindirty:
does the background checking company check your background via what you provide them or what's on your resume? I did a job shadow for winter break and its on my resume but i didn't include it in the employment history for the background company

They check your background with what you provide them.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

5/3/14

What if a job is included in the job application but it isn't included in the background check work history form ?

4/8/13

Anyone ever experience the bank using a background checking company and a staffing company? what exactly is the role of the staffing company?

4/17/13

Any comments/thoughts on credit checks as part of the background check?

5/14/13

So I just got contacted by the third-party regarding my background check and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice. I know it seems a little ridiculous but I just thought I'd be careful.

So I listed a freshman summer job as a sports-camp counselor on my application. I forgot that I was paid under-the-table for this position by a former coach and thus was not officially on the payroll of the camp organization. When they called, I must not have shown up on the past records. How should I handle this? I've received an email requesting a contact/former supervisor at the organization.

Would the BB actually care that I was paid under-the-table as an 18-year old camp counselor? Would this actually cause me to fail the background check?

"My dear, descended from the apes! Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known."

5/15/13

Illuminate:

So I just got contacted by the third-party regarding my background check and I was hoping you guys could give me some advice. I know it seems a little ridiculous but I just thought I'd be careful.

So I listed a freshman summer job as a sports-camp counselor on my application. I forgot that I was paid under-the-table for this position by a former coach and thus was not officially on the payroll of the camp organization. When they called, I must not have shown up on the past records. How should I handle this? I've received an email requesting a contact/former supervisor at the organization.

Would the BB actually care that I was paid under-the-table as an 18-year old camp counselor? Would this actually cause me to fail the background check?

I don't see the problem: just give them the name of your supervisor at the camp and have the background check company call them. They don't audit your pay.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

4/19/14

I'm trying to figure out which references I need to contact. I used to tutor back in high-school as part of the National Honor Society and a lot of my tutoring was temporary and for a particular test. I don't have a lot of their contact information. Will that be verified or do I have to try and track some of them down?

4/19/14

Just be transparent and proactive when it comes to these background checks. Anyone who has worked for a while will know that sometime you need to help the background check firm verify info or clarify stuff. I've worked at places that have subsequently been acquired and all references are at different firms so you just need to explain things, etc.

IMO, HR really is your friend if you work with them. So many people freak out too much with the process.

Masters in Finance HQ - The #1 site for everything related to the MSF degree!
MSFHQ

4/22/14

Hi everyone, the only point on my resume that I am worried about, as I have accepted a SA position, is a Tutoring position. I listed it as volunteering as it was under the National Junior Honor Society at my high-school. It was organized by a teacher, or counselor, or I tutored some of my friends and family friends. I don't have many of their contacts. Will this be verified?

6/29/14

I got an offer for a mo role with a IB. I have a few small part time jobs when I was a freshman in college. They where short duration and I have no ideas of the hire or dates that I left the job. I left the off the background. It was like 8 years ago. Can the background check find this info?

7/11/14

WorkHorse:

I got an offer for a mo role with a IB. I have a few small part time jobs when I was a freshman in college. They where short duration and I have no ideas of the hire or dates that I left the job. I left the off the background. It was like 8 years ago. Can the background check find this info?

They will not check information with which you don't provide them. It's up to the employer to detect omissions. In the case of a BB investment bank, they are almost certainly not going to care about your part time jobs.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."

7/31/14

Hey thanks Northsider. Got the role. I am sitting in the office right now posting on WSO.

6/10/15

hi guyz..
In my previous company which i left 4 months back I told them i am leaving due to family emergency and might not work for 2-3 months. I also added i have other company offer but wont join them until 2-3 months. Now in my new company which I am joining after 3 months I have told them I left previous company due to family emergency. I haven't lied.
Now what if new company verifies from previous company about reason for my leaving and they tell them he had other offers ? Reason I am asking this is my previous company HR was very reluctant kind of person. In my exit interview also he didn't ask my reason for leaving as far as I remember. I don't know what they might have updated in my old company database. Is this going to be an issue ? Please reply its been 3 weeks since i sent my background screening documents. HR initially said it takes 4-5 weeks.

Additionally can you plz suggest if they cross check extracurricular activities ? I did few in college most of em were unofficial ie. no records on database. like being part of controlz team, quizzing team and also i volunteered for few in my last company. are they gonna cross check each of them ? I am really freaking out. Plz reply.

6/10/15

I did an internship with UBS in the US and the background check was surprisingly extensive. They called every single employer/organization I had worked with - Even the school I casually taught English at in Hong Kong and also even my parents since I worked in their office occasionally when I was at home. They will ask the companies thorough questions verifying the details of each employment position. You are also required to disclose all employment positions within the past [5?] years. There was even a drug test I had to pass.

However, I have never had this happen with any role in Asia, so I think this is just a overly uptight US financial institution internal compliance issue.

Go East, Young Man

6/10/15

Seriously? They checked all my employment for the last 5 years too, but they just confirmed the dates I worked and sometimes salary (if the data was available).

6/10/15

They're more invasive than I thuoght they would be. I ommitted a job on my resume and application that I had right out of college that is completely irrelevant to my current career and they found that due to it coming up on my credit report. They 3rd party background check company called and asked me about it and told me it would be up to my employer whether it would affect my status. I guess they didn't care too much since I'm still working here today and no one has ever said anything to me. Regardless, it's a nerve racking experience. Also, the drug test is easy to beat for anyone who is nervous. I indulge in a joint or two per week and didn't even have to stop to beat the test. Hold anyone telling me it's stupid to smoke pot, doesn't effect my work and frankly I think it helps it since I get a good night sleep every time I do it.

giddy up

6/10/15

Don't worry, it seems like everyone here is a pot head.

6/10/15

As mentioned above, they will generally verify dates of employment & salary, in addition to a credit check, criminal record check & any red flags from previous finance industry experience. Lots of firms will also administer a drug test. Anything beyond is the exception rather than the rule.

All the world's indeed a stage, And we are merely players, Performers and portrayers, Each another's audience, Outside the gilded cage
- Limelight (1981)

6/10/15

It depends. On the buy side it seems like most firms are using HireRight - which is an enormous pain in the ass because they are quite thorough.

Please don't quote Patrick Bateman.

6/10/15

Thanks for the info. In response to one of the comments above- in 2011 I had a job as a waiter that isn't on my resume- is not disclosing that sort of stuff going to hurt for any reason?

6/10/15

I was told that the only way a job comes up on your credit report is when you use it as a means to get a loan. I applied for a car loan in 2010 and put the income from a job on my loan application so it was reported to the credit bureaus. If you didn't use the job for anything like that then it shouldn't come up on your credit report if you don't put it on the app or resume.

giddy up

6/10/15

@KramerTheAssMan, if you don't mind me asking, did you use that unrelated job to apply for a loan?

I didn't use the job for anything like a loan. That's good to hear, because I've had a few unrelated jobs in the last 5 years (still nearing the end of UG, and I had hospitality etc jobs during HS and in college) that would just be annoying to have to list information for.

6/10/15

Yes, I used that job for the loan and that's the only reason it showed up. You should be fine to omit yours if you didn't need the income for something like my situation.

giddy up

6/10/15

How do most background checking agencies confirm dates worked? I was supposed to work this past summer until Aug 2, but even though I ended up finishing a week early, I still put August instead of July on resume. It was an unpaid sophomore IB internship at a 12 person firm, and I couldn't extend my lease a week into August.

Obviously, a small detail that I can change pretty quickly, but now this thread just added an extra thing to worry about.

6/10/15

Also interested.

6/10/15

wow do they really check all those things? I thought it was just a simple criminal record/gpa check

6/10/15

If you have nothing to hide, who cares?

6/10/15
ews09:

If you have nothing to hide, who cares?

exactly what I was thinking...

6/10/15
ews09:

If you have nothing to hide, who cares?

I don't think the OP's issue was hiding anything, just some old things on their resume might be hard to verify. I think we all have things on our resumes which would take some effort to prove.

Background checks will probably be 2nd only to something the DoD would do. Credit, previous employer/internship, transcripts, whatever else.

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6/10/15

No. They'll call the school to verify your a student, run a credit check, and criminal background check. If you report being a varsity athlete they may ask for your coach's contact info. That's what was required for me going through 2 BB background checks, so I wouldn't worry about those things.

Unpaid internships though, they'll ask for any employers contact info not matter what. So don't lie about that shit. And with transcripts, the only company that asked for official ones were Goldman (finance) and Google. I don't know if that's universal but I thought it was a bit odd the other banks didn't ask.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equit...

6/10/15

don't worry about the background check, as long as you didn't steal a car or anything

6/10/15

If you get the job, prepare to be fingerprinted.

6/10/15
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