So I was on a job posting site and came across an article that was “supposed” to offer up some help to anyone who’s found themselves on the wrong side of the law at one point or another in their life, and is now looking for gainful employment. Key word being supposed:

[ suhpohzd, –poh-zid ] adjective

accepted or believed to be true, without positive knowledge: merely thought to be such; imagined:

What’s troubling is that this is a very popular site touting this information, with many including myself turning to them for assistance in employment. Their effort seemed to be genuinely sincere, however it fell short of the mark cause it did not offer any real world practical value for anyone overcoming a felony conviction.

I mean come on, telling us to show up on time as a great job interview tip. You cannot be serious. With all due respect screw off. So without outing them to incur the legal ramifications, let’s just say the site rhyme’s with schwindeed.

And while I applaud them for doing such an article, seeing as how it’s recognizing the needs of a increasingly growing number of (felon) applicants that are entering the workforce, there was still no shortage of bland vanilla content that was spared when it came to the disappointing tips they handed out. Clearly they have no felons on the payroll advising them.

Let me just tell you that when I’m sitting in that interview, I want to know about all the little things that trips you up mentally and physically. In respect to our legal faux pas, we all know there’s gonna be some challenges. Just don’t treat me like an idiot and sugarcoat everything. Nor should you be condescending (that’s just plain rude). Be real and give it to me straight so you can help the cause.

I always remember a famous line in the movie Wall Street where Gecko (ruthless greedy wall street trader) says to his naive young protege Bud Fox that the most valuable commodity in life and business is information. Wouldn’t you agree?

Generally you have to pay cold hard cash in order to obtain that good information. But today I’m gonna play Oprah and give away better shit than the kind of watered down dribble other sites are spewing, seeing as how we felons (not to mention the misdemeanor crowd as well) tend to need a little more guidance when it comes to prepping for this whole job interview thing.

Bear in mind, I’m not trying to discriminate against anyone who hasn’t screwed up their life as lovely as I did (congrats on not getting charged), but this post is more geared towards those with a criminal background. Now then, where all my felons at….


Okay, let’s get the usual shit over with and out the way, but in more blunt terms than previously mentioned sites have advised. Oddly enough, most of these non-negotiable factors generally start with the letter S.

    • You want to be clean and presentable. Nobody should be turned off by odors, especially ones emanating from your person.
  • SHIT
    • Laugh if you will, but your nerves have a tendency to wanna come out and play at the most inopportune of times. You should be loose and relaxed. Not bounded up causing you more distress.
    • Once again this factors into presentation. First impressions count, and you do not want to come off looking like you’re lazy, don’t care, or worse yet, a domestic terrorist.
    • If you cannot do this one thing, then you really should not be there. Do not call them if you’re gonna run a few minutes behind either. Nor should you reschedule for a better time. You need to avoid anything of that nature. Remember this is all a test, and you fail miserably before you even walk through that door when you show up late.
    • The last thing a person should hear when their talking is the bullshit ringtone you just downloaded that you’re so proud of. It’s a huge distraction. And as a felon, you need the least amount of those (distractions) as possible when talking during an interview. Aside from that, it’s rude. Though I’ve often heard people say to me that the person interviewing them had their phone go off a few times, it doesn’t matter. Yes they’re a rude as well, but you’re the one asking them for a job, not the other way around.

By doing these simple things you don’t get credit, nor do you deserve praise for completing tasks that do not require a lot of effort. Yet sadly, these non-negotiable items seem to trip up many. Take heed of the little things that are just common knowledge and be on point. Now that we got this out the way, let’s get to some better stuff.


Time and again, I always stress the need for this stupid little silly thing, yet I also always seem to get criticized in response to why I place such high importance on it. And the logic is all very simple. You are a felon.

In the same breath as all things previously mentioned, this goes a long way. So many people are unaware of their facial expression when they’re in a relaxed state. And I got news for you, that relaxed state makes it look like someone who’s gonna shank them in the lunch line. Not good.

You don’t want to look beyond reproach. Meaning, they (interviewer) needs to feel comfortable with you, and in order to do that you don’t want to turn them off (worse yet, intimidate) with a look of anger, meanness, or even misery (my personal favorite). To that effect, it can all work against you in your explanations.

Imagine for a moment if you will, there you are explaining your checkered past after already turning them off with your projected hostility. Things can get incredibly awkward, extremely fast, thus ruining an potential opportunity.

You want to put everyone at ease and not make matters (more) tense in that moment. Especially if you find that to be the time when you feel it’s appropriate to disclose certain details of your background. Body language should be open and inviting. Not closed off and confrontational. So smile damnit.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, try not to go over the top with smiling, so much so that you look deranged and are a shoe in for a part in the next Joker film.


There is absolutely no need to open your big fat piehole about your laundry list of crimes and acts you’ve committed for the first asshole who sits in front of you. Please refrain in doing so. You want to be in front of a decision maker.

Also you want to avoid the need in talking too much. Listen, I get that you’re nervous. And it’s alright, cause quite honestly you should be. But when people are nervous, the tendency with many is to overcompensate for their shortcomings (criminal background) by being a Chatty Cathy. In doing so, they end up hijacking the conversation. So when in doubt, shut the f*** up.

So as you can see by my qualifications, my aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge has nothing to do with my handling of money, so I should be good to go…. yes?


Like anything, there is always a more appropriate setting to bring up certain sensitive information. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person interviewing you in that moment of time, by all means wait. And no, it doesn’t make you a bitch when you listen to your gut instincts and hold off. Either way, you shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured to blurt out details of your transgressions, as you should have another opportunity to present that fun fact.

My wife’s always getting on my case that it’s inappropriate to make this comparison, but what the hell, I’ll do it anyways since I’m told I don’t listen well; and that is job interviews are a lot like picking someone up at a bar. There lies a stranger that you sit there and talk to, all while searching to find common ground.

You have to say the right things, acting in the right manner, with the right body language in order to put them at ease and unlock the right reaction. You must prove yourself worthy, but are not to come off as desperate or needy, seeing as that will surely turn them off. You obviously want something from them. And they are the decision maker to it.

Okay, before everybody gets all “me too” movement on me, lets break this down.

When bringing up your past in a job interview, it’s all in the execution. It has to come off a little more on the smoother side. And this is done through repetition and practice. However, it must also come off as genuine and sincere, as there’s a line to balance. So you’ll have to channel your inner acting skills for this one.

Although we’ll explore this in more detail in a future post, you must draw upon your past experience and what you’ve endured by applying it to make a connection of how it pertains to the job at hand.


For the person out there who was never convicted of bank fraud, things are a lot less complicated in their job search endeavors than for someone who let’s say WAS CONVICTED OF BANK FRAUD.

You see, the first group are in a privileged position to simply show up prepared, and they got a chance. Good for them. But when you sprinkle in misdemeanors and/or felonies into the pot (no pun intended), you get a very different result.


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This unfortunate group obviously gets treated different. They are shunned. They are ostracized. They are considered damaged goods.

Many employers (if not all) wrestle with having major trust issues in their hiring. But you should expect this, and understand it. And that is once again cause you’re a felon. That said, you have to be ten times better than any other asshole who walks through those doors, in order to (somewhat) level the playing field.

Qualifications alone aren’t going to cut it at this point anymore. So you must have your shit together in order to even have a remote fighting chance.

You want to put yourself in a position to get the position.

The Educated Felon

Study the hell out of the company you’re going into asking for a job. Know the history, facts, and all sorts of other information about them that could separate you from the other bozos. A simple google search and going on WIKI can give you what is needed to take to that interview.

Don’t show up empty handed either. Bring your paperwork with you (resumes, reference letters, business card) that you can leave behind. Not to mention, dress well, speak polished, and hold your head up high. The point is to make enough of a great lasting impression, in order to make up for certain reservations they may have about hiring you. It also shows that you’re taking the opportunity seriously and are an adult in how you go about approaching things.


You may be under a tremendous amount of pressure with everything going on that you feel utterly overwhelmed. Your family, legal, and financial responsibilities can all pile up, as life can be extremely inconsiderate seeing as how it doesn’t ever give breaks. Not to mention, the sheer effort of searching for a job is a job. So with all that, anxiety can grow and steadily build until you’re about to topple over. Surely you’d welcome a much needed distraction to all the stress and chaos happening in your life, right?

Once again – I get it, as I’ve been there. But you have to realize this (potential job) is something that can change your life for the better. You need to be laser sharp and focused on the prize. Not distracted by mind altering substances. And believe me when I say I’m not one to be a party pooper, just get the job first. Never mind anything to do with probation, but you still may need to provide bodily fluids to get the job.

How would you feel if you got a job offer (as they were willing to overlook the felony), only to now be worried and scared about passing a drug test, which your employment would be contingent on.

Yes, you can get a cleanser. You can get a whizzinator. You could even buy over priced urine off your neighbor Larry (just being real). But you don’t need more distractions, and you certainly don’t need any additional obstacles getting in the way, just cause “you’re stressed” or “can’t deal”.

Look, this is not for the weak. You’re going to have to exercise some inner strength through it all, but you have the opportunity to come away from all this and be extremely proud of the person you see in the mirror. So have respect for the process, and in turn for yourself by not sabotaging your chances.


So I was talking to my sister on the phone and venting to her about some of the job interviews I’d been on. I mentioned how it can all be a bit nerve wracking having to sit there in front of a stranger, explaining your whole messy situation to them. And while I’d hardly call it lying, I did say I had to exclude certain details of my life when I was talking.

My sister said why don’t you tell them the truth; Um yeah, okay. How’s this for the truth….

That I’ve been out for work for six months. That I’m caring for my elderly parents, and that if hired I’ll need certain time off in order to take care of them. Or that I can’t lift more than fifty pounds cause I’ll throw my back out. Oh, and that I’m a convicted felon.

She said yes…. whats wrong with that. Let me just say that I love my sister. I really do. But she’s an idiot when making a statement like that.

The truth is that reality is sometimes just a little too much for someone to handle, and they view it all as drama.

Now is not the time to unload your life on a stranger, no matter how comfortable you may feel inclined to be at the time. They are not your therapist. Not your friend. You’re speaking to them about an employment opportunity. This is business, not charity.

And even though it may be your reality, you wanna keep things to a minimum, and to yourself. So refrain from divulging too much bullshit about your life, too soon. Especially in the early stages. And for even more clarity, go back and (re)read #3.


You need to mentally prepare yourself to the notion that even despite how well the interview goes, you still may not get the job. More importantly, you must not allow the disappointment to derail any progress you’re currently making. Easier said than done, but the way to do that is to play the field. Meaning, you have got to get through many job interviews in order to hit pay dirt.

Dealing with rejection is not an easy thing. However, you’re able to recover much quicker when you have other options. Not to mention, the added benefit of getting more and more comfortable talking to employers, thus giving you the ability to see what works, and what doesn’t moving forward.

In turn, you learn what to say, and when to say it. And believe me when I say it all factors in towards helping you relax when initiating a conversation on your background. Surely there will be setbacks in the road traveled by the person with a criminal background, but your insurance policy is to not have all your eggs in one basket.

Okay, so this is the part where you may be saying…. but felon, what about the background check. You didn’t even talk about that. Well, that’s because this post was about the INTERVIEW.

AFTER the interview is when the background check comes into place. And we clearly know that’s the biggest hindrance and obstacle preventing you from victory. But you need to take baby steps in order to get there. As weird as this sounds, THEY NEED TO LIKE YOU FIRST.

Yes, you need to come off as likeable in order to better explain how your background should not deter them from hiring you. Could you bring it up right then and there in the interview. You could. But it could also be a disaster. Sometimes it pays to do it in two steps. Stay tuned for a post on how to handle that.

Wrapping it all up, the name of the game is to not allow anything, let alone a felony or criminal background to interfere in your attaining a better quality of life. In all sincerity, you have to want it. That I can’t help you with. But hopefully you do, and in doing so you’ll use one of these tips and apply it in your pursuit.

Educate yourself on your situation, cause nobody is going to do it for you. Stay well and out of trouble.

The Educated Felon