Step #2 – The interview
This is going to be the opportunity that you use to try and get your felony out of the way. Keep in mind that Home Depot knows nothing about your criminal record at this point, they never asked on the application. Your background check be the last thing that Home Depot does before you start your job.
Crazy as this sounds you are going to bring up your felony to the hiring manager that is interviewing you. Why? Because this is the only time you will have any control over explaining your felony. If you leave the interview and the hiring manager gets a “surprise, felony record” fax a week later from the background check company they will be much more apt to cut you than if it is not a surprise and they know your history.
How to present you felony to the Home Depot interviewer
There are some things you can do to explain your felony in a way that makes it sound “softer” to the Home Depot interviewer. You must be prepared to present your felony to the interviewer both orally and in written form. Here are the details.
Explaining your felony to the Home Depot hiring manager
- Timing is everything – Do not bring this up until the interview is almost concluded, but not after it has ended. This allows the interviewer to form a good opinion about you before you bring up the bad news. Nine times out of ten towards the end of the interview the hiring manager will ask you if you have any questions. This is the time to let them know about your criminal record. Do not use the word felony yet.
- Explain your felony – Now everyone’s story is different so some variation may be needed for your situation. You need to explain in brief how you got in trouble and what happened. Be brief and do not dwell on this part. Limit this to a minute or less.
- Explain what you have done since your felony – This is especially important and should be well thought out. Talk about what you have done to change your life including but not limited to; education, classes, skills gained, lessons learned and how you want to continue your life by finding a home at Home Depot. Keep the attention on the present and not the past.
- Final note – After you have done your explaining it is time to ask the interviewer if they have any questions. After the interview is concluded thank them for their time.
Make sure that you are sincere and honest throughout the entire interview. Many hiring managers have years of experience interviewing applicants and they easily pick up on when people are trying to snowball them. Do not do it. Be calm and truthful.
It is important to have a short letter concerning your felony. Keep it brief and to the point and do not provide too many details. The most important part of this is not the letter but what goes with it.
Attached to the letter provide any awards, certifications, diplomas, and a few letters of reference attesting to your character. After you have explained your felony to the interviewer then give them the letter and attached documents.