The prospect of getting a job and moving beyond your past drug convictions can feel empowering. Regardless of your history, adequately preparing for an interview can give you an upper hand.
While a job interviewer can inquire about your past drug convictions, you also have rights. Knowing how to discuss your past without incriminating yourself may give you the confidence you need to make a great first impression.
You should honestly answer questions regarding drug convictions if your interviewer brings it up. However, you do not need to provide unnecessary details. Saying too much may incriminate yourself and jeopardize your opportunity.
Prior to your interview, think of strategic ways to respond to questions about your criminal past. Consider how you can thoughtfully and appropriately answer inquiries. Then shift the interviewer’s attention to the lessons you have learned as a result of your circumstances. CNBC suggests that anytime an interviewer asks about gaps in your resume, you respond unapologetically, honestly and directly. This advice applies equally well to questions about your drug convictions.
From the moment you walk into an interview, express enthusiasm for the opportunity. Carry this enthusiasm with you throughout the interview. Even if you need to respond to uncomfortable questions, remain confident and poised. Remember that while an interviewer can ask about convictions, it is illegal to ask questions about charges for which you were not formally convicted. If this happens, you can simply express how those charges are irrelevant to the situation and how they will have no impact on your ability to perform your job.
Knowing your rights and adequately preparing for your interview can help you feel optimistic. With the right strategy, you can highlight your potential to interviewers and help them see past your history.