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Monday, August 8, 2016

Felon is Nervous about Job Interview

 Felon is Nervous about Job Interview

 Felon is Nervous about Job Interview
Hello Sir,

I have a job interview next week and I am very nervous about it.  I have an interview for a job as a clerk in a title office.  I have done this kind of work before but not since my legal troubles.  I was involved with a guy who was selling drugs.  There were some in my apartment when he was arrested.  Because the lease was in my name, I was charged with possession. I wasn't selling but I was charged anyway.  I know this will come up on a background check.  

Do you think I have a chance to get this job?


  Felon is Nervous about Job Interview

Hi Candy,

You don't know how often I hear stories like this.  Too many people get dragged down by people around them and often there are lasting effects.  I'm not going into a lecture about choosing better friends, but you knew he was selling, and there are certain risks involved associating with people and their criminal activities.

Hopefully you were honest on your application and you got an interview anyway.  If that is the case,
 Felon is Nervous about Job Interview
somewhere in the interview, the question is going to come up. You can handle it in three steps.

Own your Mistake - Never blame anyone else for your mistake.  Acknowledge your role in your troubles.  You could start by saying something like this, "I'm glad you asked me that because I want you to feel comfortable about hiring me. I’ll be honest with you because you have the right to know.  I have been in trouble but it didn’t have anything to do with any of my previous employers.  I was involved with someone who was into some bad things and I was arrested along with him.  I am proud to say that I have put that all behind me.

Focus on the Positive - Shift the conversation away from your problem and on to the things you have done to improve yourself and how you now only associate with people who are doing positive things.  Talk about what you have learned through this bad experience.

Talk about your Goals - Without being specific, tell the interviewer that you have goals and this job will help you put your mistake behind you.

Sell your Skills - Talk about your skills, training, education and how they make you an ideal candidate for the job.

Don't forget to be personable and friendly.  Get the interviewer to focus on your skills and personality instead of the fact that have a criminal record.  Stick to the formula above and you will do well.  Remind the interviewer that you can be bonded.  Get information about the Federal Bonding Program and how it can help felons get jobs here:

The Federal Bonding Program

There also may be financial benefits to employers that may also be a selling point.  The Work Opportunity Tax Credit offers tax incentives to employers who hire felons under certain conditions.  You can find out more about it here:

Best of luck to you!

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Eric Mayo


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  Felon is Nervous about Job Interview

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