HELP! Criminal Background

I have a criminal background, and don't want to lie about it on my application. I have, since, changed my life. If questioned in the interview, what can I say to make the employer notice my sincerety as far as not being that person any more?


You are doing the right thing by being honest about your criminal background on the job application. This is extremely important and I commend you! I have rescinded more job offers for candidates who lied about a criminal offense or failed to put it on the application, than for the actual criminal offense. So great job there!

If you are questioned in the interview, there are mitigating factors that you can refer to, to express that you are not that person anymore. Here are those factors:

  • How old were you at the time of the crime? Were you a minor when it happened and many years have passed? Explain this if you are questioned about the offense.

  • Did the crime occur a long time ago? Talk about the changes you have made in your life since the offense.

  • Employment since the crime. Have you secured and maintained steady, solid employment since that time? Talk about how you are a valuable employee and have progressed in your career since the offense.

  • Have you completed a sentence? (example: probation, community service) Use this to show that you have taken responsibility for your actions and worked to pay the consequences.

  • Have you learned a life-changing lesson? Talk about what you have learned from your mistake and how you have made changes in your life.

Just remember that the purpose of the entire background check is to validate your honesty and integrity.

One lie or failure to disclose information could easily prevent you from getting the job. So continue to disclose the information on the application and you'll be on the right track.

Good luck in your job search!


Victoria E.

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