5 things to know when seeking employment after rehab

5 Things to Know When Seeking Employment after Rehab

The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights reported that in 1980, 40,900 people were incarcerated for drug offenses, and by 2013, the numbers increased to 489,000 for drug-related crimes. For people in recovery, learning to skirt around the subject of criminal convictions during a job interview is an essential skill for workforce reentry.

“More than 600,000 ex-criminals experience barriers to employment after being released from prison. One in three Americans are arrested by the time they’re 23 years old (1)
-news.vice.com

If a question asks me about my criminal history, will I jeopardize my chances of getting hired if I mark “yes” on the application?

Not necessarily. However, employers are limited to the types of questions they can ask about your convictions. They can also do a criminal background check on you, so if you answer dishonestly, that will automatically disqualify you for a job interview.

How should I answer a question about my convictions during an interview?

Do not volunteer too much information. If they ask, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” If the answer is yes, just say “yes.” If they ask for more details, briefly mention that you regretted it but emphasize what you learned from the experience. Bring the conversation back to your qualifications for the job.

What should I avoid during the interview?

Avoid nonverbal cues that may send the wrong message. Lack of eye contact, constant fidgeting, stiff posture, and too many “fillers” (e.g., “ummm”) are gestures to avoid while speaking to the interviewer because they exhibit nervousness and lack of confidence.

What’s the best way to answer a question about my weaknesses?

Focus on what you did to correct your mistake. For example, if an employer talked to you about a concern, explain what you did to rectify the situation.

Who would be good references for my job application?

If you have turned your life around after receiving treatment for a dual diagnosis, you can use your substance abuse counselor as a reference. It’s one of the most promising references you can give because it is evidence that you are serious about turning your life around and living productively. Prison ministers, parole officers, and education officers would also make great references.

To learn more about New Method Wellness’s program, call (866) 951-1824!

1 Barnes, Robert, Michael G. Turner, Raymond Paternoster, and Shawn D. Bushway, “Cumulative Prevalence of Arrest From Ages 8 to 23 in a National Sample” Exit Notice, Pediatrics (January 2012): 21–27.


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