For many job seekers with a criminal background, getting asked about their past is not acceptable. But, what if you describe your record in a well impressive manner can change the dynamics?
It’s correct that having a criminal past isn’t a deal-breaker for most employers; a recent survey found that one-third of the adult U.S. population has a criminal record.
How to Ace an Interview with a Criminal Background?
With so many employers conducting routine background checks on applicants, it’s necessary to represent yourself well. Try to understand that it’s nearly impossible to obscure a criminal past. So, better to deal with it confidently and honestly!
As long as you’re honest about your record you can prove to employers that you’re worth it. You should convey to them that you have now turned your life around as compared to earlier. In addition, many of the employers will give you the benefit of doubt for sure.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Assess your RAP (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions sheet)
- How to talk about your record
- Get your resume in shape
- Describe What You Learned
- Don’t manipulate, give straight-forward answers
- Put it Behind You
- Follow the Employer’s Lead
- Be honest and to the point
How Ban the Box is Helping Job Seekers with Criminal Records?
The campaign’s goal is to make hiring practices fair for those with criminal records. It is not always mandatory in the hiring process to share the personal information. Experts believe that the sharing of background information will help one in the interview. According to the survey being honest will help ex-convicts get jobs.
By making it easier for ex-offenders to obtain employment and earn an honest living, many additional welfare programs have been initiated.
People with criminal records will be given a fair shot under “Ban the Box” at securing employment. This movement can help them keep on the straight-and-narrow path. Several studies do show that offering jobs to ex-offenders reduces recidivism rates.
5 Tips for Discussing Your Criminal History in Interview
- Do it face-to-face
- Always be honest
- Address it early in the process
- Rehearse what you’ll say
- Create a new resume
Let’s explain these tips in detail below.
Do it Face-To-Face
Don’t ever try to hide your past from the employer. Rather, never mention your criminal history in a resume or cover letter, but do it face-to-face.
Always be Honest
They will find out anyway. So, better be honest with the employers about your previous record. While Ban the Box policies delay the conversation, it does not prevent employers in any state from conducting background checks. Moreover, being honest builds trust. Candidates who try to hide their criminal histories are often eliminated for being dishonest.
You can add context if your offense occurred a long time ago. You can defend yourself by saying that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. It is always beneficial for you to initiate the conversation. In this way, you can also control the narrative. So when they listen to you, make the best use of that opportunity.
Address it Early in the Process
To build trust, you have to discuss your background initially in the interview process. To accomplish this, be upfront about your past and share everything you want to. Mentioning a conviction early in the process allows you to take the gear-stick and explain your past.
Rehearse What to Say
Keep it crisp and short. Be straightforward and give positive details. If you have a long criminal history, never make excuses for your past. Find the lessons you’ve learned from the experience & share them in your response.
Create a New Resume
Irrespective of your record, the first step in any job search is to learn how to write a resume for an ex felon. There are lots of free resources online that will help you create a unique resume. A cover letter represents your personality and grows the chances to get selected.
Having a criminal record may feel challenging but everyone deserves a second chance. If you are having trouble finding employment because of your criminal record, there are organizations to help you. Join employment programs dedicated to helping ex-convicts find work.
Utilize all of the resources and address your criminal history in a well-manner, nobody can stop you from being the best. Pick out some helpful tips from this guide and start following to make a change.