After interviewing and taking a computer assessment with a company, Human Resources contacted me to ask for my consent for a background check. I sent in the consent and received confirmation it was received. This was about 3 weeks ago. Last week, I followed-up with the supervisor for an update, but did not receive a response. I realize it can take time for background checks to be finished. However, I am eager for an answer. I am still applying for other jobs, but I want this position really badly. Should I follow-up again? Should I leave them alone?

If Yes: How can I word the email without coming off as a pest?


2 Answers 2


We use ADP. The types of background checks we run typically take an hour. They say some of the checks can take a week but the longest I've ever seen one go took around 2 days.

Yes you should follow up, but not in an email. Those are easily ignored especially if you didn't make the cut. Call the HR department directly and ask them about it.


You should contact Human Resources as soon as possible. It’s a virtual certainty that you were not considered for hiring as background checks cost money and companies are usually only willing to pay for them when they are seriously considering you for employment. If they haven’t contacted you, then it’s very likely that they have gone with another candidate.

Three weeks is too long for anything short of a detailed government background check for a position involving classified information or access to critical areas. Any other check could be completed in hours or days.

  • I have contacted HR and left a message. I am assuming they pick another candidate. If I wasn't a final candidate, I am not sure why they would contact me for consent after the initial interview. It seems like a waste of time.
    – Jaync31
    May 19, 2014 at 0:39
  • 1
    Unfortunately, for many employers it’s a “buyer’s market.” They have little to no concern for people who they have no interest in employing and common courtesy has gone out the window as a result.
    – Mistah Mix
    May 19, 2014 at 0:45
  • @Jaync31: We generally get consent to conduct background checks on everyone we interview as part of our process. It doesn't mean we run it, just that we get consent. An HR person might have noticed a missing form and was just completing their paperwork.
    – NotMe
    May 19, 2014 at 15:17
  • 4
    Today, I heard back from the employer. I was offered and accepted the position. They did not give a explanation for the length of the time, but it doesn't matter. It all worked all in the end.
    – Jaync31
    May 20, 2014 at 18:24

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