Background Checks (Towers Watson)

Willis Towers Watson


I’ve applied for a few graduate positions and one at Towers Watson (Actuarial role) is looking positive right now. While going through wikijobs today, I saw background checks are very common once you get a job. I’m still a while away from that (still on tests etc), but I’ve submitted my resume with the form containing details of a summer intern that I didn’t perform very well in. The intern was two months long and was during the summer of the pre final year of my undergrad degree.

The place I did the intern in wasn’t terribly exciting and I didn’t really put in all that much effort. As a result, my supervisor wasn’t happy with me and I’m not sure what his response will be to questions in a background check. The internship itself was completely unrelated with my current degree (It was work in a lab in a uni, I did a shift from physics into actuarial science), but I’d added this to my resume just as a record of what I’ve done thus far… Didn’t realise they’d be emailing and calling every place I’ve worked in! All my other scores and work can be verified, it’s all honest. I’m not sure what my supervisor would say honestly, but if its a bad recommendation it’ll just go against my overall profile which is good.

Having the intern on my resume in short is counter-productive- it’s not going to help me in any way but will work against my profile. Any suggestions on what I can do- should I mail the recruitment guys at TW and ask them to accept an updated copy of my resume? Or should I just let it continue as it is and see what happens later? Or bring it up during an interview maybe?

Cheers, ropdd


Once you get your offer you will receive a form asking for a reference for your education (someone to approve that you have in fact been attending whichever school you said you were attending) and one reference for your work (or internships). The initial forms I received definitely had one space for each. In my case for the period we were asked to cover, I only have been attending one school and had one job. They were supposed to cover the last 3 years (or 5, I am not sure). I do not know what they would ask you to do if you had been to more than one internships or more schools etc. I was told this is just to confirm that you did what you said you did. For example, in my case I was asked to put in an HR person’s name who had no idea about my work performance. Once you do well in the AC, there is little chance that you would get into trouble unless you have lied and said you have done something you have not done.

Later on you will get a more detailed form asking for each and everything you have done in a certain time period (again 3 or 5, can’t remember) but I think this one is for “data” purposes, I did not get the impression they will be calling each and every one of them.

I would not panic if I were you. The people in TW are very helpful. Just wait and see if you get the position, then you can talk to them and clarify. Or if you are really stressing out just give their graduate recruitment a call. But I think it is too early, wait and see if you get the offer first. For the time being, focus on doing well during your phone interview/AC. If you impress them, they will be more inclined to overlook any previous issues you might have had. Hope my reply was not too late!


Not at all, thanks very much!

Any tips for the telephone interview/AC particular to your experience that you’d like to share?


Hi there,

I was just wondering how long it took for them to complete your background checks? I have received an offer but I’m off on holiday in a few weeks and I was wondering if they could complete them in that timeframe?

Thanks for your help.