Can An Employer Ask About The Criminal Background During Interview?

The interview of the candidate is the first process to cross before getting a job. In addition to the interview, there are some other recruitment formalities to be done before the final hiring decision. One of such procedures is criminal background verification as a mandatory procedure. The employers’ have to conduct a background screening of the shortlisted applicants’ mandatory by the Australian legislation.

Most employers feel that the applicant, even existing employees, should disclose their criminal record as their prime responsibility. On the contrary, the applicant is aware of the assessment if they disclose their criminal history. It is important to remember that some jobs require a compulsory background check for applicants from online sources like . The online procedure is simple and easy.

Voluntarily Disclosure of Criminal background:
If the applicant discloses his criminal background voluntarily, it does not disqualify them from applying for a job. The employer must verify the records and check the inherent requirement of the job. If the risk involved in the job role is irrelevant, the application can be reconsidered. Every employer must have a fair and open process to deal with the employee’s background record.

A clear criminal record is a catalyst to successful hiring. It is an important factor that employers take into consideration before a final decision. It must be noted that voluntary disclosure is not a criterion to reject the job application. The employer must appreciate this practice and get the records verified online by conducting police verification procedures on online portals like

Guidelines To Follow While Asking Questions About Criminal Background
Any employer can ask the applicant about his criminal background but there are certain guidelines to it.  These guidelines are set to make the applicant comfortable during the interview process. Any applicant would not like to disclose his criminal record. But the employer must know about their background. It is better to follow these guidelines before the questioning starts.

  1. Employers Should Encourage The Applicant:
    While interviewing the candidates the employer should create an environment or encourage the employee to reveal their background. It is not advised to ask such questions directly to the applicant. They are reluctant to answer such questions. The employers must twist the questions and gradually reach a point where the applicant is not hesitant to answer such queries.

However, some job vacancies are attached with a legal requirement of getting a police verification check. These jobs have the inherent requirement of a criminal background screening. Many online portals in Australia have made such verification easy and fast. The candidates have to fill up an online form at and get their final reports within two to three business days..

Criminal background screening is a procedure where the applicant’s criminal history is assessed for a particular job role.  It must be noted that employers in no way can ask for criminal verification based on any discriminating factors. It can be like caste, color, religion, looks, appearance, or even by any doubt. Though it is a mandatory procedure; it has a standard process to follow.

  1. Employers Can Ask Only Specific Criminal Record:
    There is no specific duty or obligation on the applicant to disclose their criminal history. It might be relevant or irrelevant in connection with the inherent requirement of the job role. Any employer can ask only specific questions related to a criminal record if any and the applicant must answer such questions. The applicant has to cooperate with the employer.

The employers hold the right to reject any applicant if they do not answer the questions regarding their criminal background. The employer can decide to conduct a background check online via other agencies immediately. However, it is possible only after getting the written consent of the applicant. The employer must make the applicant understand the importance of such verification required for the job role.

  1. Clarity In Job Advertisement:
    It is compulsory for employers to specifically describe the requirement of a criminal background screening in the job advertisement. It makes them mentally prepared to face any question regarding their background. An employer cannot bar any applicant from applying to any job that requires background screening. It can be conducted online via ACIC accredited agencies.

A job advertisement stating the line as “job applicants, who are otherwise qualified, should not have a criminal record”. This might promote inequality and it can prevent a qualified applicant from applying for the job. During the interview, it should be an open exchange of information between the employer and applicant. The hiring decision can be made on various factors but a candidate should be free to apply.

Shortlisted candidates from the list have to undergo screening proving their records are clear and they’re fit for the job.  It is an inherent requirement for every job role.