WASHINGTON -- The FBI background check process has garnered a lot of attention over the last few days as lawmakers continue to question the high school history of Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
High profile FBI background checks typically start with applicants voluntarily filling out a form called an "SF-86".
It's a 136 page document that will ask applicants to answer questions about their employment record, travel history and even financial records.
Former Assistant FBI Director Ron Hosko said it is the goal of the agency to learn if the applicant is of high character.
"Are they trustworthy with information and do they have vulnerabilities?" he said. "That would include financial vulnerabilities."
FBI interviews with coworkers, family and friends can reveal more information on that subject.
However, Hosko said that doesn't mean the FBI will interview everyone an applicant has ever come into contact with.
"The goal isn't to necessarily identify everyone that the person has ever associated with," he said.
Hosko added that the FBI specifically tries to observe the best indicators of a person's character and reputation to learn more about what they are like as a person today.
He said while an applicant's high school experience can provide insight into a person's academic accomplishments, the FBI's background checks typically focus less on the applicant's experiences during their teenage years.
"Particularly, with someone who is 40 or 50 years old," Hosko said. "They're going to go back a certain number of years. It may be a decade, because that's where you're going to find the best indicators of what this person is about now."