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Addressing your criminal record during a job interview

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Getting a job with a conviction on your record in Minnesota might feel impossible. However, knowing how to present yourself and when to discuss your past might give you the upper hand.

Despite your past experiences, you still have the ability to make a positive first impression. Your preparation for an interview can give you the confidence you need to carry yourself with dignity.

Act the part

Regardless of your criminal record, one of the best ways to complete a successful job interview is to spend adequate time preparing. Begin with fine-tuning your resume. Include skills applicable to the job you want to apply for. Highlight your competencies and any notable accomplishments you have. Check for spelling and grammar errors before submission.

When you receive an invitation for a job interview, respond professionally, thanking the informant for their time. Dress appropriately and keep your appearance professional. Arrive at your interview a few minutes early and greet those around you with enthusiasm and confidence.

Strategize your answer

It is not unlikely for questions about your criminal history to pop up during an interview. Particularly if the job you want requires a background check. In fact, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers can legally ask about your criminal record. They cannot, however, discriminate based on their assumptions and personal opinions.

When approached with a question about your past, strategize your answer. Provide honest information about your experience, but then turn the focus of the interviewer to the lessons you have learned as a result of your past. Explain how your skills and experience will benefit the company and express your enthusiasm for contributing to a good cause.

A criminal past does not have to control your future. Identifying your goals and carrying yourself with confidence can help potential employers to see past your record.