How To Spin Your Negatives In
A Job Interview

Page 7 of 7

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7. YOU HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD
This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. In fact, according to Market Watch, 39 percent of recruiters say they have an easier time placing a convicted criminal (who isn’t a felon) in a new job than someone who has jumped quickly from job-to-job or has a long gap in their employment history. But it depends on how selective you are with how you describe the offense. First off, choose your words careful. Using “burglary” might make the interviewer picture you in an old-timey bandit’s outfit, wielding a gun and roughing people up.

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Instead, say, “I was inside of a building I had no business being in.” That almost sounds as if you made a simple mistake instead of a premeditated decision to steal valuables! Timing is also important. If you committed the offense in 2004, describe it as “nearly 10 years ago” instead of giving the exact year; it sounds like it’s been longer than it has since you committed the crime. Lastly, move away from the topic by reiterating to the employer on what they will gain if they give you a chance.