What do you offer?
It is imperative to be prepared with an enticing story about what you have to offer and what you have accomplished. In a lot of situations a person interviewing with a misdemeanor will focus on trying to explain and justify their past actions. Instead put the focus on what you have accomplished, what hiring you will bring to the business and why you are a valuable asset.
Typically you will have your first job interview, after that process if the company is genuinely interested in you they will address checking your references and then the background check.
Background checks can be expensive so usually businesses will wait till further into the hiring process when they have an ideal candidate for the position. It is becoming a more common practice for employers to run pre-hire background checks. This is because they have a legal duty to use due diligence when hiring to pick employees who are fit for the job not a risk to be dangerous. Many companies have been faced with negligent hiring in cases where they hire someone and that person causes harm and if they had used due diligence with the hiring process the situation could have been avoided.
It is important to be honest about your record and what happened. Make sure to never lie, there are repercussions that can follow. For example, if you lie about certain aspects of your criminal record and then later the company finds out and fires you, you may be unable to obtain unemployment or welfare benefits. Also, if you lie about your criminal record with some jobs it is actually a criminal offense.
Listen very carefully to what questions a prospective employer asks and only answer what is asked. For example if they ask if you have any felonies and all you have is a misdemeanor you can say no and not disclose any information about the misdemeanor. It is also advisable to wait until they ask to do a background check; typically they have to have your permission in writing to do so. With a background check they are able to view any arrest during the previous seven years and any convictions as long as they have not been expunged.
How to deal with an expunged misdemeanor
An employer is not allowed to ask you to tell about a conviction that has been expunged. You can honestly answer no on an application if your record has been expunged. By this point in the hiring process your prospective employer is genuinely interested in bringing you on as a part of their team and you have had a chance to build a good level of rapport.
If you can take your reference list above and beyond the typical references that most people provide to prospective employers and have a large variety of both work and character references this can help balance out any concerns an employer has about your record.
A person with a criminal record is going to face challenges that would not normally be present if they did not have a record. It is important to start rebuilding a successful job history, take and harness this with time and you can accomplish your long-term career goals.