You may feel uneasy going into a job interview when you have a misdemeanor on your record. However, knowing how to address your past can help you make a positive first impression.
Despite your past mistakes, you still possess valuable skills and strengths that can make a considerable difference in the workplace.
Practice builds confidence
One of the best ways to prepare for your job interview is to practice answering some common questions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, while federal law does protect you against discrimination based on your criminal record, it does not prohibit employers from inquiring about your past. This means interviewers may ask you about your record. Practicing your answers may build confidence so you can remain poised and professional even under pressure.
Consider articulating an elevator version of your past. Practice addressing the circumstances of your misdemeanor without oversharing. Strategically incorporate ways to show how your experiences allowed you to learn valuable lessons. Then you can highlight your skills and remind the interviewers how your competencies could serve their organization.
Enthusiasm builds rapport
Show enthusiasm for starting a new job. Express your excitement to develop your career and continue working toward your goals. Sharing your enthusiasm can help interviewers see that your past does not define your future. Demonstrating resilience and professionalism can help you build rapport with potential employers.
Getting a job is a wonderful way to put your past behind you and move on. Your ability to confidently address your past without allowing it to distract you from your purpose can help interviewers to see your potential.