The holiday shopping season is just three weeks away; which means that retailers are hiring in earnest in anticipation for a possible record-breaking season. This means that applicants will likely go through a battery of interviews and background checks before receiving a formal offer. As such, knowing how background checks work and how they can affect your future employment is very important; not only for securing a job, but also for asserting your legal rights in the event an employer breaks the law.

This post will identify a few things holiday jobseekers should know. 

Pre-employment background checks – Prospective employers are entitled to learn more about your character, integrity as well as your ability to perform the job. So expect to have some sort of background check.

Criminal background checks – Additionally, employers will want to know if there are any criminal instances (recent or otherwise) that will disqualify you from employment. Depending on the inquiry, you may not have to volunteer much information, but you cannot lie or mislead potential employers about your criminal past.

Be professional and diplomatic –During the course of an interview or background check, an employer may ask you a question (or a few) that may be illegal under federal law (i.e. questions alluding to religious background, sexual preference). Of course, you may politely remind the interviewer that these questions are improper, it may not be worth making a scene over these types of mistakes.

If you have questions about your legal rights in the midst of the interview process, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you.