What Does An FBI Background Check Show?


When people hear that they may be subjected to an FBI background check, they start to feel a little anxious whether they have done something bad in their past or not. Usually when you attach the FBI to any process, it can make that process a bit more intimidating. But if you are looking for a job with the FBI in any capacity, you need to first pass a background check.

It is important to note that any potential employer can do a background check that is very similar to the type done by the FBI. The point to a background check is to make sure that the information you gave about yourself is true, and that you possess the necessary skills to do the job.

Criminal Past

An obvious part of an FBI background check would be a criminal past. The FBI will usually have a criminal history on any potential employment candidate already in their files. The criminal report will normally include any felony or misdemeanor convictions from your past and any other notable legal situations you have been involved in.

Credit Report

A credit report is a great way for any potential employer to check on your ability to maintain your finances, confirm your credit history and check on the past addresses you have given. Most people don’t realize just how comprehensive credit reports are and how helpful they can be to any potential employer.

With the FBI, instances of bankruptcy or other major financial issues could be a red flag. The FBI depends on employees to be reliable and keep bureau secrets. The FBI can tell a lot about an employment candidate just from the credit report.


Anyone who plans on working for the FBI in any capacity can expect to be fingerprinted. The FBI will compare your fingerprints to their files to confirm your criminal record and any other information that can be drawn from fingerprints. FBI applicants should not be intimidated by fingerprinting as it is common in many industries, including the financial world.

Additional Steps For Security Clearance

If your job with the FBI will involve field or investigative work, then you should expect additional checks in the form of interviews with family and friends. Depending on high your security clearance needs to go, the FBI might reach as far as 10 years back in your history.

Working for the FBI can be exciting and rewarding. Before you can start your field or office job with the FBI, you first need to go through a standard background check.