Prepare for Your Interview

One Chance to Make a First Impression

Congratulations on taking the first step towards reclaiming your future. You can secure a promising job opportunity with the right preparation and mindset. Our expert reentry team has compiled a comprehensive set of 10 tips and advice specifically tailored to individuals seeking employment after their time in prison. You’ll also want to download our Success After Incarceration: Job Interview Tips for more valuable information including frequently asked interview questions.

  1. Build Confidence: It’s natural to feel apprehensive about a job interview, but remember that you possess valuable skills and experiences. Focus on your strengths and practice positive self-talk to boost your confidence.
  2. Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with your rights as an applicant with a criminal record. Understanding relevant laws and regulations will empower you to navigate the hiring process effectively.
  3. Address Your Incarceration: Be prepared to discuss your time in prison in a way that demonstrates personal growth and highlights the lessons you’ve learned. Be honest–never lie to an interviewer or put false information on your resume or application. This will disqualify you when the employer does a background check or checks your references. Instead, emphasize how you’ve taken steps towards rehabilitation and committed to making a positive change.
  4. Highlight Transferable Skills: Identify skills you developed during your time away that are applicable to the job you’re seeking. These may include teamwork, problem-solving, time management, and resilience. Showcase these skills as assets to potential employers.
  5. Practice Interview Techniques: Role-play common interview questions with a friend or mentor to refine your responses. Focus on articulating your strengths, addressing any concerns about your background, and demonstrating your commitment to personal growth.
  6. Dress Professionally: First impressions matter. Dress appropriately for the job interview, showing that you respect the opportunity and take it seriously. If you need clarification about the dress code, err on the side of being slightly more formal.
  7. Research the Company: Thoroughly research the company before the interview. Understanding their mission, values, and recent achievements will allow you to align your answers with their objectives and demonstrate your interest in becoming a valuable team member.
  8. Network and Seek Support: Connect with local organizations and programs that offer support to individuals seeking employment after their time in prison. Networking can provide you with valuable resources, mentorship, and job leads.
  9. Follow Up: After the interview, send a thank you note or email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to interview. This gesture demonstrates your professionalism and genuine interest in the position.

Make a Lasting Impact in Job Interviews

Remember, each job interview is a chance to showcase your skills, determination, and readiness to contribute to society. While the process may have its ups and downs, your commitment to personal growth and positive change will make a lasting impact. Best of luck as you embark on this exciting new chapter of your life!

Success isn’t overnight. Every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.

– Dwayne Johnson
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