Everything You Need To Know About Your Amazon Background Check In 2024.
As the second-largest employer in the United States, Amazon recruits thousands of new employees each year to fill a wide range of vacancies across its vast business empire.
Every one of those new hires will have to pass an Amazon background check before they can begin their new role.
Amazon is typical of most medium and large-sized companies in this regard, and background checks are a fact of life for the majority of job hunters today.
The idea of having your records scoured by an employer may feel invasive and it can be a worry, especially if you don’t know what type of information they’re looking for, or how far back the record check goes.
In this guide, we’ll explain what to expect from a standard Amazon background check.
How Does Amazon’s Background Check Process Work?
When you use their online jobs platform to fill out your initial application for a position with the company, Amazon will ask you to agree to a background check.
There’s no getting around this. Your application can’t proceed any further unless you agree, so make sure you complete that part of the application.
Don’t be tempted to give any false information on your application. Background checks are extensive, and you won’t be hired if the company finds out that you’ve lied.
If your application meets the requirements for the role you’ve applied for, Amazon will contact you for a phone interview or ask you to attend an in-person interview.
Keep a close eye on your email so you don’t miss the interview invitation.
If your interview goes well, you can expect to receive a conditional offer of employment. This offer depends on you successfully passing all of your background checks.
Amazon outsources its background investigations to a specialist background check provider who will contact you if they need any more information or permissions from you.
Every prospective Amazon employee must also pass a drug test. This test takes the form of a mouth swab and usually takes place after your interview or orientation session.
Drug testing will be a feature of your employment with Amazon going forward. They will test you as part of your annual medical screening, and the company reserves the right to carry out random tests without warning.
What Background Checks Will Amazon Carry Out?
Amazon needs to make sure that they hire honest, competent, and reliable employees.
To ensure that you meet their high standards, they will contact your previous employers and search public record databases to verify the information you submitted on your application. You will also undergo a criminal record check and they may run a credit report.
If the role you have applied for involves driving, your driver’s license and driving record will also be checked.
While Amazon has not disclosed its exact background check policy, it is standard procedure for most employers to check the following information.
- Your identity and Social Security number.
- Your immigration status and your right to work in the country.
- Your education record and your qualifications.
- Your employment background.
- Your criminal convictions and arrest record (if any).
- Your credit report (depending on role).
As long as you were honest in your application, you shouldn’t have any problem passing the identity check or the education and employment history verification.
When the background check company contacts your previous employers, they’re simply looking to confirm the roles you have held, how long you worked at the company, your job performance, and your salary.
If you were fired from any position, they will naturally want to know what actions led to your termination.
Unless you’re being hired for a more senior role, the employment reference checks shouldn’t go further than this basic information.
What About The Criminal Record Check?
If you do have a criminal record that shows up during your background check, you could still be eligible for employment depending on the role you’ve applied for and Amazon’s policy for that particular department.
Amazon doesn’t have a blanket policy disqualifying convicted offenders from working for them. The law requires them to evaluate arrests and convictions on a case-by-case basis.
From experiences reported by previous Amazon applicants and current employees, it appears to be the case that minor drug offenses won’t have the same negative effect on your employment chances as convictions for theft, fraud, or violent assault.
Once you pass your background checks and start work for the company, you won’t be required to undergo further background checks during the course of your employment.
Even so, you should strive to avoid any activity which could result in a negative entry on your records that could impact future job applications.
How Far Back Will A Record Search Go?
While checks will certainly cover the last 7 years, it’s not unusual for agencies to look at records going back 10 years or even longer.
You should know that laws govern background checks at both the federal and state level. These laws offer some limited protection regarding your criminal record search.
Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumer reporting agencies must not disclose arrest records, dismissed cases, or civil judgments over 7 years old. This protection under the FCRA does not apply if the salary for the position exceeds $75,000.
The Act doesn’t place a limitation on the disclosure of convictions, however. Unless State law says otherwise, convictions, if found, will be reported covering the entire period the employer has specified for the search.
Some states have imposed limits on what information may be disclosed during employment background checks. The following states prohibit reporting agencies from including arrest records, convictions, release from prison, or parole records, going back further than 7 years.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Washington State (not Washington DC)
California Sets Further Limits During The Hiring process
California law offers extra protections beyond the 7-year criminal records disclosure limit.
Under California state law, employers are not permitted to ask about any criminal convictions until they have made a conditional offer of employment.
At no stage in the hiring process can an employer ask you about arrests that didn’t lead to a conviction, offenses that have been expunged from your record, or juvenile offenses where your records are sealed.
Kentucky’s Additional Limits On Background Checks
Unless the offense resulted in a conviction, reporting agencies cannot include any criminal matters on your background report.
New York’s Extra Rules On Background Checks
Under New York state law, employers can not ask you about past arrests or charges that did not lead to a conviction.
Employers cannot ask about sealed or expunged records.
In New York state, any criminal convictions, no matter their age, can not be used to disqualify you from employment unless the nature of the offense:
- presents a risk to public or workplace safety;
- poses a risk to company property; or
- has a direct negative bearing on the role you are being hired for.
Steps To Take If You Fail The Background Check
If you fail your background check and your conditional offer of employment is withdrawn as a result, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the legal right to see the information that Amazon discovered about you.
When you receive your background check adverse action notice, it will explain what you need to do to obtain a copy of the report and how to dispute any inaccurate information it contains. You have 60 days to request a free copy of the report.
You should check through your background information carefully and make sure that the information is an accurate reflection of your history.
It’s not unheard of for incorrect information to appear on background checks, and you may find that records for other people sharing your name have mistakenly been added to your report.
Other background screening mistakes include.
- Inclusion of sealed records (for juvenile offenses).
- Reporting of offenses that have been expunged.
- Multiple listings for the same offense.
- Failing to record if charges were dropped.
If your report isn’t accurate, you can contact the background checking service and ask them to correct the information.
It’s essential that you do this so that your application with Amazon can be reconsidered, and to make sure that future background checks don’t return false results and jeopardize your employment prospects.
You Can Order Your Own Background Check
Instead of wondering what information employers may learn about, you can find out exactly what your background check will reveal by ordering your own background report from an agency that deals directly with consumers.
Armed with your report, you can ensure that any inaccuracies are corrected before a negative background report gets into a hiring manager’s hands.
Knowing what shows up on your report also helps you decide what issues you want to address during your interview.
If an arrest or conviction features on your report, you can rehearse a suitable explanation that focuses on your reformed character and helps to satisfy the concerns that your interviewer will inevitably have.
FAQ on Amazon Background Check
What Kind Of Background Check Does Amazon Do?
Amazon will need to verify your identity, Social Security number and right to work, your age, education records and qualifications, work history, and references. They will also run a criminal background check and may run a credit report.
If you have applied for a driving job, Amazon will need to check that your driving license is valid and they’ll look at your driving record too.
How Long Does A Background Check Take At Amazon?
There’s no exact time scale for the completion of these background checks. In some cases, the results come through in a few days. In other cases, it can take four weeks or more.
When you have your phone or in-person interview, you can ask how long they expect the checks to take, and who to contact if you don’t hear anything in that timeframe.
What Does Amazon Look For In A Background Check?
Amazon looks for information that will confirm your eligibility to work for them, and your ability to perform the role you’ve applied for. They will want to know if you have a criminal record and if the information you submitted in your application is true.
Amazon has strict hiring policies in place, and if you want to work for the tech and retail giant, you’ll need to pass comprehensive background checks. In most cases, these checks are carried out quickly and once you pass, you’re all set to begin work.
If you fail the Amazon background check, you should obtain a copy of the report and check it carefully for mistakes. Contact the reporting agency to rectify any errors so that you don’t encounter the same frustrating problem with future job applications.
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Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.