The impact of your crimes may feel long-lasting, but when you know how to address inquiries about your past, you can do so with confidence and poise. One situation that brings unique challenges is talking about your past in a job interview.
Having a criminal past does not have to eliminate your ability to build and maintain a professional reputation and find a sustainable career.
Prepare with applicable correlations
Chances are you have developed some valuable skills as a result of your past work experience. In preparation for job interviews, think of applicable correlations between your skillset and your past experiences. When asked questions about your past, you can provide context while simultaneously tying your experiences to your strengths and competencies.
After carefully providing a concise and informative answer, you can highlight how your skills can make a difference in your job. For example, if community service was part of your legal restitution, you can discuss the skills you learned and refined as part of your participation, such as teamwork, leadership and communication.
Speak clearly and confidently
Practice answering questions prior to your interview. Think of different scenarios and how you will respond to inquiries with confidence. According to a survey by Monster, nearly two-thirds of human resource professionals said that their company had hired someone with a criminal past at some point. Almost 50% of those professionals also claimed that someone having a criminal past is usually not a significant factor in making hiring decisions.
In short, do your best to use your situation to your advantage. Demonstrating confidence and enthusiasm about your job choice can help solidify your viability as a candidate and may increase your chances of landing the job.