Asking The Right Questions Before a Background Check Makes a Difference

“Why are manhole covers round?”

 

“How many golf balls can fit on a school bus?”

 

When it comes to interesting questions for job applicants, companies are exploring all their options. Some questions might seem a little random, but others are more thought-provoking.

 

So, how do you know which questions will help you choose the best candidate? Which questions are you allowed to ask?

 

Knowing the rules

There are no federal guidelines about interview questions. But state and local rules can still apply. Two of the most common ordinances adopted locally are salary ban questions and Ban the Box initiatives. Asking specifics about salary history may be off the list. Asking about criminal history before a job offer has been made? Ban the Box rules nix that, as well.

 

Choosing the right questions

Better interview questions can help cultivate better candidates. What kind of information you ask for should reflect the type of job and your own company policy. Basics typically covered include employment and education history, job title, performance history, and why the applicant left. Background checks will follow up with information on credit history, criminal history, and motor vehicle records.

 

Knowing the limits

Plenty of companies double check basics with former employers. Some ask for more in-depth information, like if the applicant had any issues with absenteeism, tardiness, or performance. Even though those questions may be legal, the former employer doesn’t have to answer. Plenty of companies will avoid liability by only answering the basics.

 

Hiring will always carry its share of risk. That’s why knowing the right questions to ask—and not to ask—can make a big difference. That’s also why screening plays such an important role in the hiring process.

 

Contact us today—a partnership with ClearStar can help.  But we’ll leave questions about manhole covers and golf balls up to you.

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