The Denson Firm

How To Handle Your Job Interview When You Have A Criminal Record

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever for employers to access criminal background checks. It is likely that a background check will be part of your next interview, so let’s get you ready for the questions that are coming.

One thing I have noticed is that the ease of background checks has made employers recognize that a lot of people have had a bump in the road. And while employers may take a look at your past, they are more interested in your future. Nobody is perfect, so don’t be discouraged. Instead, be ready and use your past to focus on your future.

how to handle a job interview with a criminal record

Here are 5 things you need to do before your next interview-

  1. Prepare to answer questions about your past directly and don’t try to hide it.
  2. Have a short, factual account ready.
  3. Explain the lessons learned from past mistakes.
  4. Tell them about your commitment to being successful.
  5. Show them you are not a risky hire.


Here is how to make the most of an opportunity to convince a potential employer to hire you:

  • Always be honest. Do not lie or put false information on your application. In today’s digital world employers are going to know about your past.
  • Make a positive first and last impression. People remember their first impressions, how you made them feel, and your final interaction. Address your criminal history in the middle of the interview. And end by discussing a positive outlook on the future.
  • Keep the discussion of your record simple. If asked about your past avoid telling all the details and avoid blaming others. Own the mistake, tell them a short positive thing you learned from it, and what you have to offer if hired. Two minutes max.
  • Timing is everything. A good time to make the disclosure is if the employer brings up doing a background check or when they invite you back for a second interview. This likely means they like you and are considering hiring you. Tell them you would like their further consideration, here is what they need to know. They will appreciate your upfront disclosure.
  • Consider sealing your record. Check to see if your record can be sealed or expunged.


Don’t go through this alone! Call our firm today.


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