Your past can sometimes burden your future.
A job interview prep can be a nerve-wracking experience in itself. But if you’re an ex-offender, that would probably increase your stress level up a notch.
A million thoughts may be running through your mind… “will my past convictions be brought up? how do I answer the difficult questions? how do I explain that was my past blunder, I’m a different person now”. One thing for sure, no one can be 100% prepared for any job interview.
There are many factors that can change the outcome of a face-to-face interview. The interviewer, your suitability to the job, the work environment, the type of day, the mood etc. We’ve rather decided to help you get a birds-eye-view of both sides of the fence. So that you can have a better understanding of all conditions and to know what your employer is legally allowed to consider.
Below you can find PDF links from the Australian Human Rights Commission:
- On the Record: GUIDELINE FOR THE PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ON THE BASIS OF CRIMINAL RECORD.
- A step-by-step guide to preventing discrimination in recruitment.
Should you tell your recruiter about your criminal history?
It’s illegal to discriminate against someone applying for a job in Australia based on their criminal record, unless that criminal record directly relates and/or is relevant to the job. The responsibility of deciding what is deemed ‘relevant’ is at the discretion of the employer.
It’s always best to be up-front and honest – after all, depending on the job and whether they are planning on undertaking a police check, they could find out anyway. It’s better to be proactive. You should explain the charges and situation to your recruiters so they can discuss with the potential employer before progressing further with your application. This context and hearing it firsthand from you, including how long ago your offence was, is helpful information and shows you’re trying to make a fresh start.
If your history doesn’t plainly prevent you from doing the job, the organisation will decide your suitability in their organisation by considering a range of factors.