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I am applying with a company that specializes in streaming live events over the internet and digital video content. This is for an entry level position.

I'm growing a bit concerned by the amount of paper work they want me to fill out before even making me a job offer. I'm in Canada and the company is based in the US.

In addition to providing them with references I already filled out an application form that

  • gives school and employment history
  • expressly gives them right to contact school and past employer
  • give contact information of manger of past jobs
  • give reason for leaving previous jobs
  • agree I will be fired if I lied or withhold information in hiring process
  • acknowledge they have an equal opportunity hiring process

Now they want me to fill out more paperwork including

  1. authorizing them to conduct a consumer investigation report on me (I authorize [company] (or any third party vendor appointed by them) to procure a Consumer Report which includes information from multiple sources across the globe.)
  2. criminal record verification. This could be normal but the form seems non-standard (it's from a company called Mintz) and I'm not used to having to do it before a job offer is made
  3. 15 page PCI compliance document and agreeing to follow its rules and any changes made to it
  4. not to disclose confidential information (that I can understand).

Am I being paranoid? I never have seen before is what is a consumer report and how is it related to my employment? I can't put my finger on it but there seems to be something 'unprofessional' about the criminal background check document (for example the first page is missing a heading).

Realistically is there anything I can do if I feel something in the contract is unfair? They would probably not consider me for hiring if I don't agree to everything. Should I message HR and ask questions like why they need a consumer report on me?

I have nothing to hide but feel some of these questions are invasive.

UPDATE: I just red over one of the forms again and it requires a witness signature. This is a problem as the witness must not be related to me and have known me for 3 years (I recently moved and this may be hard). I also don't really want to show a witness private information like where I lived the past 5 years, any criminal offenses etc.

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    Is this a "big" and well known company? Or is this some mini company were a new manager though something like "lets try this"... – Edgar Apr 4 '18 at 4:26
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    What's the nature of the position? Will you be handling sensitive information or processing financial transactions? Handling large volumes of cash maybe? – Glen Pierce Apr 4 '18 at 4:45
  • @GlenPierce it's more tech support and no I don't think I'll be processing payments. – voltron123 Apr 4 '18 at 8:04
  • @Edgar it has about 600 employees – voltron123 Apr 4 '18 at 8:04
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    As for a witness: Go to a bank or an insurance agency, and get them to notarize your signature. That's actually exactly what a notary does: Certify that your signature is YOUR signature. Should only cost $10 or so. If you're a customer, there, they often do it for no charge. – Wesley Long Apr 4 '18 at 15:07
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I work in a PCI regulated environment and pretty much all of the above seems fairly normal especially the criminal record and financial background check, even for entry-level employees.

Our company also has the "You will be fired if you don't pass these tests" restriction, as not doing so would the companies PCI certification at risk.

I would also say its unusual to have to sign and agree to all of this before an interview, although we normally make our potential hires aware of the requirements before interview we don't get permission to do the checks until after the hire decision has been made.

  • This was my reaction as well. "Yeah, that looks about right" for an industry with tight controls. I have seen different sequences in terms of timing. Personally, I like to be able to do the background check and other verification prior to making an offer, since it saves the waste and emotional toll (for the employer AND candidate) of pursuing and negotiating with a candidate who isn't employable. Doing it all prior to an interview seems unusual, though it may be the case that they just need to collect the paperwork prior, and won't actually do anything with it until after the interview. – dwizum Apr 4 '18 at 13:09
  • But isn't PCI finance industry related I am not sure why a video streaming company requires this – Neuromancer Apr 4 '18 at 19:27
  • PCI covers any company that accepts, process, store or transmit credit card data. I can imagine a streaming company may take payments for PPV streams for instance or for paying for client subscriptions. – JenniP Apr 4 '18 at 20:54
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This does all seem a bit much for an entry level position.

I looked up mintz and they seem to specialise in board level screening.

I have been through similar screening processes before, but that has been at places that have required government security clearance, I can only assume that that data you will be working with is considered highly sensitive and they don't want any leaks.

It's possible that they just have a standard set off hoops for all new hires to go through to cover themselves legally if you were to do anything that got them into legal trouble.

In summary, it seems overkill for an entry level position, but it's not something that I would be really worried about unless you don't want them contacting your schools / old boss etc

  • PCI compliance seems to indicate payment information likely costumers payment information. – Donald Apr 4 '18 at 4:49
  • Now they want a witness to sign in and I don't feel very comfortable showing all this information to a witness who can't be family – voltron123 Apr 4 '18 at 8:09
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    There is no need for a witness to read any of the information. The witness exists only to confirm that it was you who signed i.e. they witness you signing the document. Nothing more. – Laconic Droid Apr 4 '18 at 13:46
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I think you are probably over-reacting here.

The items in your bullet list are things I have provided on just about every job application I have ever filled out, which would have been before the interview. The other items are what I would expect for a highly controlled industry like finance or defense contracting.

At a prior employer, I had to submit this information to get a security clearance and at my current employer I even have to provide access to my personal brokerage account to monitor my trading because of the work we do in finance.

While you call these things invasive, they are all part of standard operations in certain industries (which the PCI compliance form implies). Hiring is an expensive process, so I wouldn't be surprised by companies wanting to start this part of the process early, so they don't waste time on someone they can't (as opposed to won't) hire.

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