What's a job got to do with your CIBIL score? Surprised? Well, here's the connection
Next time you are appearing for a job interview be prepared to answer questions not only related to your area of expertise and about your qualifications and background but bear in mind that the interviewer could delve into your credit history too!
Does this sound surprising to you? For some it may come as a surprise while some may get the feeling of 'been there done that'. Either ways it is important to understand that the CIBIL score (or rating by any other agency) is increasingly being used to screen prospective employees.
Why do employers want to check CIBIL score of prospective employees?
When companies hire new employees what are they looking for in the candidate apart from subject knowledge? They want somebody who has integrity so that the person can be trusted; they want a person who is well organised and a person who can be focused on her/his job. Any organisation will obviously try to avoid employing somebody who has a criminal background, is debt ridden or simply isn't trustworthy.
One common practice by organisations is to get feedback from old employers about a candidate's performance; this helps them in assessing and screening a candidate by getting the opinion from peers or seniors with whom s/he has worked in the past. A credit report is a summary of a person's credit history; it also offers valuable insight into the financial health and also to an extent gives a peep into some personality traits of a candidate.
A prospective employee who is debt ridden or is defaulting on her/his payments spells trouble. This not only means that s/he could prove to be potential liability to the company in case of litigation but also indicates that s/he might not be able to focus on her/his work due to impeding or ongoing financial crisis.
The company may have to cut a sorry face in front of its clients and vendors in case the knowledge of her/his default are made public.
A company may find it hard to trust such a person as her/his integrity is doubtful. Non-payment of dues or settling with debtors can be an indication of just bad intention and unwillingness to pay what is owed by her/him. An organisation will shy from hiring such a person especially in positions of higher management, financial/banking sector or where the employee has to deal with customer funds or sensitive data. Such positions require people who demonstrate unquestionable honesty as they are dealing with sensitive information and other people's funds.
A low CIBIL score also indicates that a person is sloppy with her/his finances, is disorganised and lacks planning and organisation skills. Why would somebody want to hire somebody who cannot manage their own finances?
What should you do before an interview?
Maintaining a CIBIL score is a long term process and there is no quick fix. CIBIL score can be accessed by the individual or lenders, companies cannot access it. Thus an organisation will have to ask the interviewee to submit her/his credit score.
So before appearing for the interview have a look at your credit report and if possible a few weeks in advance of appearing for the interview. Make sure that all your current dues are paid and at least for the current month there are no delays.
In case there is some error by an agency, get it rectified. Though getting an error removed is not difficult but it may take some time, so if you check your CIBIL score well ahead of the D Day you will have sufficient time to get the mistake rectified.
In case there is no time to do so, you can explain to the interviewer about the mistake and if you have a reasonable explanation they will be willing to accept what you have to say. Again, if you had defaulted on a payment in the past or there is some other reason that has pulled the score down and you have logical explanation (job loss, illness, error, fraud) those interviewing will not hold it against you. The key here is to be prepared and have a plausible but honest explanation.
So here is another reason to be credit healthy; getting the job you deserve and desire. Like stated above there might not be sufficient time to improve your score, so it is better to be prepared at all times. Check your CIBIL report from time to time and take action as and when required. It would be sad if you were to lose an opportunity despite having the right qualifications just because you were not careful about your CIBIL score.
Lead image used for representative purposes only.
Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Reuters
The author is Co-founder and Director Credit Vidya.