Does Target Run Background Checks?

Yes, Target runs background checks on all potential employees. However, this doesn’t mean that they will reject everyone with a felony or misdemeanor. If you’re interested in working at Target, continue reading this article for information about the company and tips on landing a job!

In this article, we will share information about these topics:

  • What is Target?
  • What will Target see on my background check? What do I do if I have a felony or misdemeanor?
  • How can I succeed in a Target interview?

About Target

Target is a big box retail store. It sells groceries and also boasts a large selection of clothing, children’s toys, personal care products, and home goods. Target is known for its low prices as well as its clean and attractive stores. The company prides itself on a friendly, inviting atmosphere.

Target is located in every US state, making it a popular and accessible shopping destination. In fact, according to the store’s corporate site, 75% of people in the US live within 10 miles of a Target store. Because Target stores are so large and so popular, they have many job positions available. Like many retailers, they also hire additional workers during the holiday season to meet increased demand.

If you are interested in working in a Target store, there are several positions that you can apply for. Common jobs with the company are general merchandiser, food sales, and security guard. What does it take to perform these jobs?

As a general merchandiser, you might need to:

  • Stock shelves and organize products
  • Help pack and ship items for delivery
  • Answer customer questions about location and availability of products

As a member of the food sales team, you might need to:

  • Stock produce and food items
  • Answer customer questions about products in the food sections of the store

As a security guard, you might need to:

  • Greet and interact with customers
  • Understand and use the store’s video surveillance system
  • Address instances of shoplifting

If any of these jobs sound right for you or match your skill set, you might find Target to be an enjoyable workplace! Visit their careers page to see full descriptions of these and other positions.

Target Background Check

Target runs a background check on everyone who applies to work at their stores. They state on their website, “all Target job offers are contingent upon the successful completion of our pre-employment screening process, which includes a background check. The background check is initiated after you have accepted your conditional job offer.” This means that Target will have access to information about any pending charges, felonies, incarcerations, or misdemeanors on your record. Depending on the position you are applying for, they might also require you to take a drug test. Target does not state on their site that they have any policy against hiring felons.

To apply for a job at Target, start on their job application website. Target has adopted “ban the box” legislation, which means that they have agreed not to ask if you have a criminal record on their job application form. However, they will still run a background check on you once you have successfully completed an interview and have been offered a position. They will make you a job offer contingent on a background check, which means that you will get the job only after the background check results come in.

In all states in the US, Target has to get your consent before they run a background check. If you refuse a background check, Target can refuse to hire you. It’s a good idea to consent to the background check. If you have the chance in an interview or after your background check has come through, you can discuss your criminal history with your interviewer. This gives you a chance to explain your record. If you talk about your criminal record in terms of growth and learning, you can show that you are focusing on a positive future instead of dwelling on a negative past.

Also remember that it is illegal for Target to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This means that they cannot treat you differently from someone else with the same criminal record because of your race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

You can use an official criminal background check website to see your criminal record before Target does. Here is a list of these websites. There is a different site for each state, and the cost of a background check varies by state.

Use these websites to check for any mistakes on your record before you apply. Make sure that all of your information is correct and up-to-date. If you find any issues with your record, take the steps to fix it. The process for fixing mistakes varies by state. You might be asked to submit a form online, have your fingerprints taken, or file a motion for a judge to make the correction. A quick google search will tell you more about what the process is in your specific state.

You might also be able to get an arrest or conviction expunged from your record. If you get an expungement, the conviction will “disappear.” It will not show up on a background check. You do not have to tell your employer about it. States that currently support expungement are:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington

If you live in one of these states, this website has more information about the process.

If you make changes to your record, make sure that you know what the changes are. Get official documents that show that the changes are legitimate. If your interviewer asks about changes or discrepancies on your record, you can show them these documents and explain that you have an updated record.

How can I succeed in a Target interview?

As mentioned above, your interview can be an important time to talk about your criminal record. Do not lie about your criminal record. It is up to you if you would rather bring it up on your own or wait for the results of your background check to come in, but either way Target will end up knowing about your background information. Some things may be out of your control. The hiring manager who is interviewing you may not be sympathetic to your case. If you have a violent felony or a history of theft, it may be harder for you to find work in a retail setting. But taking the interview as an opportunity to briefly explain your criminal history can show that you are mature and forward-looking. As you talk about any felony that you have, you should also mention your goals for the future. Your interview is your chance to share your story in a productive way. Getting this right could land you the job.

To show that you are serious about a job at Target, take time to get ready for your interview. Prepare for questions like:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • What do you know about Target?
  • What does good customer service look like?

It is also a good idea to prepare a question or two of your own to ask your interviewer.

To demonstrate your professionalism, try to arrive early to your interview and dress formally. Target’s website states that “A resume or CV is not required to apply for positions, but highly encouraged.” That means you should definitely bring a resume. These small touches will set you apart from other applicants and show that you will be a thoughtful and responsible employee.

If you don’t have a resume, many colleges offer free online information about resumes. Here are some tips from the University of Georgia. Some websites offer templates that you can fill out with your own information. For example, and Google docs have free templates. There are also many resources online, such as this database of example resumes from You can visit the H.I.R.E. Network’s website for more state-specific guides and resources to help you prepare.

After your interview, send an email thanking your interviewer. If you discussed your criminal record during your interview, you can use this email to remind them about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the Federal Bonding Program. These are federal programs that give benefits and support to employers who hire felons.

While your felony charges may be a hurdle to employment, they do not mean it is impossible to work at Target. By signing on to Ban the Box legislation, the company has already shown that it is willing to work with felons. The information outlined above will give you the tools you need to ace the application process and start your career with one of America’s biggest retailers.


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