Have You Ever Been Convicted of A Crime?

Job Interview Question & Answer: Have You Ever Been Arrested or Convicted?

How to Answer the Question

Job interviews are a challenge for candidates with criminal histories. During the hiring process, responding to questions about a law record requires honesty and poise. Applicants who were convicted of crimes must demonstrate remorse and personal growth.

Preparing a Response for “Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Crime?”

Practicing interview questions helps a meeting go smoothly. Hiring managers may ask about a criminal record. However, most of the discussion revolves around experience and work ethic. While candidates can’t avoid sensitive topics, it’s good to emphasize effective responses to job-related inquiries.

Also, workers should decide how to address the conviction. Always be truthful and direct since employers can find out information via background checks. Offer the right amount of detail without oversharing. Take responsibility for your actions, but circle back to job skills as soon as possible.

Present Progress

Going to school, doing volunteer work, and pursuing any certificates are great illustrations of personal growth. It is important to show hiring staff a sense of dedication toward improving. Workers can even add these to an application, then expand on them in the job interview.


Below are a few ways to respond to “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” beyond just “yes” or “no.” They are simply meant to give potential employees direction. Form a unique and honest reply that touches on your specific situation.

Sample Answer 1 – Interview for a Service Job

“Yes, I’ve had some trouble in my past. However, through hard work and resolve, I started to overcome my problems. While I regret those decisions, I feel I’ve changed for the better in the long run. I am devoted to growing as a person, and I believe that will make me a stronger worker.”

Sample Answer 2 – For a Job as a Cashier at a Grocery Store

“Working past a criminal conviction has taught me to focus on ethics and efficiency. It was difficult to reach a new outlook, but in the end, it was very uplifting. As a cashier, I’ll be able to use my positive attitude to greet patrons from all walks of life.”

Sample Answer 3 – To Work in Customer Service at a Department Store

“Since my conviction, I have created strong bonds with others and matured greatly. Attending a local support group has not only helped me personally, it has improved my conversation skills. I think this will serve me well in a customer service role.”

Key Points for “Have You Ever Been Arrested or Convicted?”

It is tough to reply to this type of question. Because it needs some forethought, remember the following:

  • Tell the truth.
  • State a straightforward “yes” or “no.”
  • Provide necessary details.
  • Accept responsibility.
  • Exhibit progress, and relate it to the job.

Keeping this advice in mind might make the interview process a bit easier.

One user comment:

  1. sue

    If adjudication was withheld from your case then technically you have never been convicted of a crime. If you were adjudicated then yes you were convicted. You can honestly answer no if once again the judge withheld adjudication. Even if you served jail time and or probation.


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