Preparing for your first job interview after a criminal conviction in Virginia may have you feeling lots of emotions. The uncertainty of how others will view you coupled with the anticipation of reentering the workforce can bring both anxiety and excitement.
Knowing your rights and having information about how to optimize your opportunity may provide you with encouragement and confidence. When you can confidently market your skills and discuss your past with poise, your chances of making a good first impression may increase.
The job application
Depending on the type of job you wish to apply for, the application may include questions related to your criminal record. In a valuable suggestion provided by Glassdoor, experts recommend reading questions carefully before providing an answer. If certain details are not requested, do not provide them. Sticking to generic facts and providing a brief answer is sufficient.
In preparation for your interview, role-play various scenarios and think about how you would answer specific questions related to your criminal background. Having an idea of what to say ahead of time may help you to remain calm, poised and professional when providing a response. Refrain from bringing up your criminal history in an interview unless the interviewer does so first.
One of the best things you can do is to turn the interviewer’s attention away from the perceived seriousness of a criminal conviction and toward what you learned from your experience. Tying the lessons you learned into how you can make a difference in their company can help you build rapport and redirect their question in a positive manner. When you leave little time for them to think about your past and confidently move on to your desire to contribute your skills and experience in the workplace, they may recognize your determination and commitment.