Three Things Employers Want to Know on an Interview if You Have Criminal Record
Regardless of your past, being prepared for an interview is an essential factor to set yourself apart from your competition. There are some specific questions interviewers ask that are very common. Thinking about them ahead of time and preparing your answers will help you be confident and collected during the interview.
1. Why do you want to work for the company?
It is important that you research the company and find common values that you can pursue long term. Your interviewer will want to know what values you will add to the team that will help the company succeed. Read the "About Us" section on the company's website. Google the company's name and look for articles about them or their leaders. Search these sources for values you find appealing and bring those up during the interview. For example, if the company is focused on environmental impact and that's important to you, include it in your response. Avoid responses such as:
"I just need a job."
"I see this as a step to bigger and better things."
"I've heard this company offers good pay and benefits."
Although these may be true, it doesn't show the interviewer that you have a sincere interest in the role or the company.
2. Be able to explain your resume!
Many justice-involved job seekers have employment gaps as a result of incarceration. It might seem like a disadvantage, but you can think about how to use it for your benefit. Focus on explaining the transferable skills you acquired before, during, and since incarceration. Highlight how you have changed for the better since your conviction. The employer will value that you learned from your mistakes and appreciate your commitment to rehabilitation.
3. What are your plans for the future?
Having a well-thought-out answer to this question shows the interviewer that you are self-motivated and willing to work on yourself to reach your goals. It shows the deeper motivation behind the work you do for the company, which drives productivity and revenue. These factors can be very appealing to the employer because it demonstrates that you are eager to learn and grow.