2 references from previous employers.
I didn't have any formal work experience before I started (only volunteer work, and even then it was minimum). That said, they are like any other employer - they expect references. What I did is put down the details of a college lecturer to act as an academic reference - someone who could say that I turn up, do what I do and try my best.
As for how long, I couldn't say, but don't be afraid to ask the manager/interviewer.
Yes they require checks to be done .
Takes a week or two