Preparing for a job interview in Pennsylvania may seem intimidating when you know you will most likely need to answer questions about your criminal past. While this reality is not something you can avoid, you can control your preparation for talking confidently about your skills and abilities.
Knowing how to address inquiries about past crimes without further incriminating yourself can buoy your confidence. Your ability to talk tactfully about your situation may improve your chances of getting hired.
Practice answering questions
While you cannot know for certain the types of questions you may need to answer during an interview, practicing answering some common questions can help you prepare. Think about creative ways to talk about your criminal charges without making them sound overly damning or negative. Determine ahead of time how you will provide context without oversharing or giving too many unnecessary details.
You may consider forming an elevator version of your experiences of the past. This way you can prevent the risk of rambling on about your situation and losing both the interest and respect of the interviewer. According to Monster, there is no need to share information that the interviewer does not directly request.
Highlight your strengths
Chances are you learned a lot from your past experiences. You may have even had the opportunity to develop and strengthen desirable skills because of the situations you found yourself in. When addressing your past, find ways to highlight your strengths. Talk about how your experiences have enabled growth and what goals you have set to aid you in changing your life.
Express your desire to contribute. Share how having a job will allow you to continue rebuilding your life. Focusing more on the positives that have come as a result of your past may help interviewers focus on your potential and what it means for their company.