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What Does a Starbucks Background Check Entail?

If you want to get a job with Starbucks you are probably wondering how their employment process works and whether or not they will background check you. In this guide, we will answer all your questions about how Starbucks hires staff and how they use background checks. We will even show you how to check your own record before applying for a Starbucks job.

You might not expect it of a coffee shop chain, but Starbucks is actually a major global employer. It has almost 300,000 people around the world and around 190,000 of those jobs are based in the USA. So, if you want to work in the coffee industry or train to be a barista, the chances are you will be on the books of Starbucks at some point in your career.

But what does applying for a job at Starbucks entail? One thing Starbucks does use as part of its hiring process is background checks. But while this fact is fairly well known, what is less clear to many applicants is what this background check looks at and where it fits into the Starbucks hiring policy.

In this guide, we are going to answer all these questions and more. We will outline the process you can expect to go through when applying for a job with Starbucks. We will tell you about their background checks and the type of information they are looking for. And we will also show you how to check your own record to make sure there is nothing on your record or your application that might prevent Starbucks from hiring you.

If you want to work for the world’s biggest and best-known coffee shop chains, this is an article you really need to read.

How does Starbucks’ Hiring Process work?

For most of Starbuck’s jobs, the application process is actually pretty straightforward. They will advertise for a vacancy on their website, in relevant stores, and sometimes also through their approved recruitment agents.

The advert will provide all the basic information about the role; the title, the responsibilities, any academic or practical experience requirements, and (usually) the salary band the job falls under.

If you are interested in the role, you will be invited to either submit a resume and cover letter in-store or complete an online application form. The form is a relatively standard one that asks for personal details, education and work experience, and some further details about why you want the role.

The only jobs that might have a more complex application process are if you are applying for a more senior managerial role where more specific skills and experience are required.

If your application is of interest, you will then be invited in for an interview. If the job is in a branch of Starbucks, you will usually be interviewed in the branch, most often with the store manager or one of their deputies. If the role you are applying for is in one of the Starbucks offices, you will be invited there to interview.

For most regular roles, there will only be one interview and if you impress then you will then be made a conditional job offer.

The one condition that is usually placed on the offer is that you pass a background check. If you do, you will then be invited to a company orientation and to begin training for your role.

What does a Starbucks background check entail?

Starbucks encourages people from all walks of life and all backgrounds to apply for jobs with them. Specifically, they are also happy to employ convicted felons.

One thing you will notice when you fill in a Starbucks application is that there is no question on the form about your criminal history. They are very keen that any criminal history doesn’t hamper your chances of securing a job with them. They want each candidate to be considered on merit and not in regard to former indiscretions and that is to their credit.

But this doesn’t mean that they will hire anyone regardless of their criminal history. In a Corporate Statement on this very issue, Starbucks is clear on this and states that “We review each felon/felony on a case by case basis.”

In other words, they are saying we will hire felons but it will depend on what crime they have been convicted of and when it was.

How does Starbucks decide which felons to hire?

At this point, we would love to provide you with a detailed explanation of what the Starbucks corporate policy is on hiring felons and say clearly which crimes are allowed and which aren’t.

However, it isn’t quite as simple as that. Starbucks has thousands of coffee shops all over the country and they place a lot of responsibility in the individual managers of that store. This often includes the hiring policies for that particular branch.

As a result, the impact your criminal history will have on your chances of getting a job very much depends on the attitude of individual store managers and the State laws where you are. The policy in a Starbucks in Manhattan is likely to be very different from one in Des Moines, Iowa, or their home city of Seattle.

But while we cannot second-guess how individual managers will react to information that comes up on your background check, we can tell you how the law will affect your application.

Best Starbucks background checking site

If you want to be sure you are using the best background checking site possible, we can help. Our researchers have been testing all the top sites to see which is best at digging up accurate criminal records information fast.

The extensive tests have resulted in three sites emerging as being clearly superior to the rest of the field. We can therefore confidently now state that the best two sites to use if you want to check your own record before applying for a job at Starbucks are:

1. TruthFinder

TruthFinder - Editors choice

TruthFinder is a site with a proven track record for accuracy. Even if you enter misleading or totally wrong information, it has an impressive habit of still managing to dig out the right information. The data it produces is comprehensive and detailed and is all presented in a user-friendly final report that our reviewers raved about.

While the speed of their work was not quite as consistent as some other sites, the TruthFinder desktop dashboard was a real treat to use as were their iOS and Android mobile apps.

The customer support service is another big USP too. It is available 24/76 and on a toll-free number meaning there is no extra cost for using it. With prices set at a sensible level and real sense that the customer experience is at the center of their service, TruthFinder was another site that really impressed.

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Looking for deep insight into your own public record? Try TruthFinder, one of the industry titans. Get the service with our generous reader discount.

2. Instant CheckMate

Instant Checkmate - Editors choice

Instant CheckMate’s big selling point was its speed. It could generate its final reports faster than any other site we tested. But speed is no use without accuracy, and our research team was also hugely impressed with the quality and detail of the information produced by Instant Checkmate too.

The final reports were detailed yet surprisingly easy to navigate and all searches can be managed on a decent desktop dashboard or some very nice apps. Their customer support team were no slouches either and impressed with their fast resolution of any problem we put to them.

At $34.78 per month, or with a discount, a three-month subscription for $27.82 per month, Instant Checkmate is not the cheapest site around. But if speed and accuracy are what you need, it is definitely worth paying a little more.

What laws and regulations govern background checks?

Like all employers who use background checks as part of their hiring process, there are certain laws and regulations that all Starbucks managers have to abide by.

The most important one of these is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is the main piece of federal regulation that overseas background checks for professional purposes. Under this law, no employer is allowed to consider any criminal conviction that happened more than seven years ago.

As a result, if your criminal record is from more than seven years ago, you can be confident that Starbucks will not consider it when deciding whether or not to hire you.

In some states there are further rules which bring this time limit down even further. It is therefore worth checking what the laws are where you are. Starbucks will have to be compliant with local laws so this could work in your favor.

How to run a criminal background check on yourself

Once you know what the law is where you are, the next step is to check your own criminal history to see what information might show up on your Starbucks criminal background check. The best way to do this is by running a background check on yourself.

When Starbucks runs a background check on you, it will use a professional background checking service. These are specialist sites that are automatically compliant with all the relevant federal laws and regulations.

But there are also public background checking sites available, and these can be used by anyone. They are not compliant with the FCRA or other regulations but this can mean they reveal more information and ensure you are even better prepared for your application.

A quick Google search will reveal that there are dozens of different public background checking sites on the market, each one claiming to be the best in the business. The reality is that some are much better than others, so the only big dilemma you are facing is which site to use.

What to do if something does show up on your record?

If your background check does show up a criminal record that you think a Starbucks check will show up, there are a few options still open to you.

  • Apply anyway – Starbucks is happy to employ people with criminal records so you still have a chance of getting the job as long as the Manager likes you and your offense isn’t one that might concern them. For example, if you were convicted of stealing from a former employer, they may well choose someone else. But if your criminal record was for something unrelated it is quite likely they will give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • Try and get your record sealed or expunged – For some misdemeanors or minor felonies, it is possible to get your criminal record sealed or expunged. This means it shouldn’t show up on a background check. You will have to meet all the necessary requirements in your state and make an application to the court. All of this can take time, but it can also mean a crime being wiped from your record.
  • Find out about the manager – If you are applying to a particular store, it is worth finding out a bit more about the manager who is likely to interview you. Ask about him in-store or with mates you know who worked there. You could even run a background check on him too. If you can find out what sort of person the manager is, you will have a better idea of whether he is likely to overlook your conviction or not.
  • Be honest – If you are in doubt, our recommendation is always to be honest. You have a much better chance of getting a job if you are upfront about your criminal history than if you aren’t and they find out later. Telling them about things directly, also allows you to shape the narrative and give your side of the story. In our experience, this approach always has much better results.


Starbucks is one of the biggest employers in the country and if you want to get a job in the coffee industry, they are the obvious place to look. They are also willing to hire people with criminal records too, which is great for a lot of people.

But they will run a background check on all staff and they do reserve the right to judge applicants on a case by case basis.

In this article, we have explained how the Starbucks application process works and when they are likely to run a background check. We have also detailed what they are looking for and explained the laws and regulations they have to follow.

Finally, we have recommended the best way to see what information is on your own record that they might find out and recommended the three best public background checking sites for you to use.

Have you ever applied for a job at Starbucks? Did anything come up on the background check that caused you problems? How did you handle this situation? It is always useful to hear real-life anecdotes from readers, so please do share yours with us using the comment box below.

1 Comment

  1. These tips are feeling less “addictive” and more like, “how many ways can I put ‘background checks’ in an article within a month.” I hope you guys are making killer money off of these background check folks, because you have to know the fans aren’t happy.

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