A background check can cause a lot of stress if you have a criminal record. Job interviews are challenging enough as it is. You’re worried about making a good first impression, acing the questions, and standing out from the crowd. If you’re protected by a Record Suspension, your record is legally sealed. This means you can apply for jobs confidently without having to disclose your past. However, individuals with unsealed records may have difficulty applying for jobs. Obstacles include criminal record checks, security clearances, and becoming bondable. Many employers conduct a criminal record search before hiring. Discovery of your criminal record can negatively affect your chances of getting the job. This can jeopardize your finances. Likewise, if you are self employed or do contract work, you could also be judged on your criminal record. Here are some helpful tips when dealing with your criminal record in a job interview.

What if the employer wants to do a background check?

A criminal record could impact your ability to be offered the job. However, it is always better to be honest with the potential employer. This is especially true if they plan to do a background check. Talking about your past demonstrates that you are an honest person. It also shows that you’ve accepted the responsibility of your past actions. This is also the opportunity in an interview to show the employer that your record will not affect your capabilities as an employee. You could explain that your record is very old. Show them how you’ve made positive change and are moving in a better direction. Often people were young when the incident ocurred. In this case you could mention how you’ve grown as a person. You could say you’ve taken on greater responsibility since then, such as having a family or buying a house. Present this in a sincere way. Don’t make excuses if you want to win points with the employer. Keep it brief. The focus of any interview is about your skills and credentials. Stay focussed on why you are best suited for the role.

How to get a job if you have a criminal record

You’ll have a better time finding a job if you give an employer evidence as to why you would make a trustworthy and reliable employee. Completing a training course, or finding volunteer work will help boost your confidence and can be a great way to improve your transferable skills. This will also give you something to talk about in the interview. When it comes time to do a background check, an old offense might seem less important to the employer.

Another tip is take your time. It’s a good idea to apply for multiple positions, but honing it down to a few will help you focus on the ones that best suit you. This will allow you to make a well-refined application and do some research on the company before your interview.

Job interview tips

Did you know that it only takes seven seconds for someone to make a first impression? That is how quickly an employer will judge you when you walk into an interview. That’s before he or she even gets to the background check. Being professional is always a given, but some people take this important step for granted. Dressing for the part, maintaining eye contact and giving a firm handshake can all improve your chance at landing the job. Being polite, enthusiastic about the job, and remembering your body language are other small elements that bring a large impact.

If you are starting a job search or thinking about looking for a new opportunity, consult with our client advisors to find out if a Record Suspension can assist you.