You feel excited about having a job interview, but you cannot help but worry about your criminal charge. You do not want to conceal the charge, but you also do not want it to take away from your professional accomplishments and skills.
Chron offers advice for speaking about criminal charges when meeting with employers. Understand when to bring up your criminal record and what to say about it.
On the application
If you already submitted an application, the company may already know about your interaction with law enforcement. Most applications ask job candidates about convictions. Depending on when you received your charge and if you already submitted the application, the company could already have done some digging into your background to evaluate your encounter with law enforcement and determine if it wants to move further with your application.
With a testimonial
When answering questions about your criminal past, include extra information that gives companies a better idea of where you are now. For instance, you may include a testimonial from an influential person in the local community, such as a minister or counselor. Ask this person to share life improvements you made since your encounter with the police and how the experience made you a better person.
During the interview
If you mention your conviction on the application and the company schedules an interview, you may have the chance to speak more about your interaction with law enforcement and how you improved your life. While discussing your criminal record, take responsibility for what happened, but do not hesitate to talk about mitigating circumstances.
A criminal charge need not bring your job search to a screeching halt. When you know how to navigate this unfamiliar territory, you know which moves to make.