Interviews are high-pressure situations for many job seekers, and even more so if you have to answer tough questions about your past criminal record. Here are tips to help increase your chances of getting hired if you are an ex-offender.
Never lie to an interviewer or put false information on your resume or application. This will disqualify you when the employer does a background check, or contacts your references.
Don’t give too much information or too many details about your past. Instead, answer questions directly. Address any concerns an employer might have about your past. Then steer the interview back to your skills and the positive traits that you bring to the job. For example, have an answer ready for why it happened, but why it isn’t an issue anymore. Don’t say “I learned my lesson”, because that’s trite. Instead try, “These are the productive things I did while I was incarcerated, and this is what I’ve done since then. And make sure not to dwell on the issue. You want to focus on the positive. Go in-depth into how you’ve rehabilitated, such as “I’ve done X amount of volunteer hours”, or “I’ve taken these courses to improve my skills”.
First and foremost, stay positive. Even though the job search might be more difficult for you than others, one of the most important things to do is to be confident in your abilities.
For more information contact GST Michigan Works! at 800-285-WORKS.