For people like you that have a criminal record, there is fear and a bit of confusion about interviews. First of all, you should know that you are not alone. It is quite common for ex felons to get worried about interview questions.
Since many companies now carry out background checks, questions will come up about your past at the interview. So what do you do? How do you prepare yourself for the conversation you are not willing to have?
The answers are in this article. And if you follow the tips you see here, you will ace your interview no matter the level of crime you committed in the past.
Start by preparing yourself before the interview
Start by telling yourself you can do it. If this is your first interview after incarceration, it is normal to feel nervous. But put your past behind you and think about all the good that this job will do for you.
Practise how you will answer questions concerning what you are currently doing to show you’ve changed. These steps are very important to the employer and if you have ample evidence to show the steps you have taken to improve yourself, they will overlook your criminal record.
Always be honest and don’t look for pity
A felony record does not mean automatic disqualification, but dishonesty does. So when you are talking, make sure everything you say is 100% true. Remember that the hiring manager has years of experience with similar situations. So it will not be hard for them to spot tricks and lies.
Even if you only lie about one thing, it will make the hiring manager lose trust in you. And they will not hire you because they’ll start wondering what else you have lied about.
Follow the interviewer’s lead
Prepare to answer any type of question about your past, but don’t get ahead of the employer. Don’t say something that will make them ask more questions, it’ll be good for you if they don’t ask many.
Most employers just ask about the offense within the last 7 years. They also ask about the new life you are living, one that is unrelated to crime. So you should not say more than necessary.
Don’t answer what you were not asked. If a jury acquitted you, there is no need to mention the crime. And if you were released over 7 years ago, don’t mention the case unless you’re asked.
Bring it back to the job
When you answer questions, try to connect it to the job you have applied for. For example, if they ask you to tell them how you have changed, mention your skills. The new skills you’ve learned, volunteer work you’ve done, and any other similar point.
Talk about how these skills have made you a better person and mention that it will help you do the job better.