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Thursday, April 2, 2015

A good interview


The interview is a major part of the hiring process. In addition to being encouraged by the EEOC, it gives the employer a chance to get a feel for the applicant’s character and a chance for the applicant to be forthright about their resume and anything in their past that may pertain to the job for which they are applying.  If there is a discrepancy, than a chance to elaborate.

We have clients that are not surprised by the findings of screenings, because they have conducted thorough interviews and learned of past indiscretions prior to conducting a screening. Sometimes though the applicant downplays, tries to hides, or refutes an incident. That is when a more detailed examination of the facts needs to takes place. 

Criminal record findings are based on the personal data supplied by the client. The results are not verification of the record. Once the person is identified with the record the original court records should be retrieved for actual verification.  Life is not as television would have us believe. There is not a single repository for criminal records. Records are not always found in the employers home State. To locate any and all records, queries should be made Federal, State, and even local courts.  ("National" record checks)

Here are some examples of how criminal records work with a good interview. Why are these special? It’s what they didn’t and did tell their prospective employers that makes the point. All were interviewed prior to the request for a pre employment screening. Some were forthright and explained past indiscretions. Others rolled the dice. 

  • Fully aware and consenting to a pre employment screening, the applicant admitted to being arrested for possession of marijuana during college, a lesser offense. When the results returned multiple counts of more serious offenses, the applicant continued to deny the convictions. State (Not Maryland) and county record searches revealed more serious charges, but experience tells us that sometimes the charges read more serious than the actual event. Further research of local court records revealed that the charges were accurate. The applicant was arrested and convicted of selling drugs to an undercover detective. A little more than mere possession.
  • The applicant said nothing of past criminal activity. Searches revealed multiple felony drug arrests and convictions. However, FCRA guidelines prohibit the use of criminal records more than seven years old in consumer reports. The deal breaker on this one was not the criminal record but truthfulness and character. The applicant arrived at the interview with an apparent injury saying that he was currently on medical leave, expected to return. During employment verification it was learned from the employer that the applicant was fired weeks before for skimming money.
  • Maryland and out of State searches revealed no records for the applicant. However, our routine searches of the Federal court system revealed past arrests. Again, FCRA regulations prohibited the reporting of the records. When the report was provided the client said that the applicant had admitted to the past federal charges during the interview process. The client wasn’t worried about the long ago indiscretions, but was more impressed with the applicant’s honesty and character.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggests that the report be presented to the applicant and the applicant allowed a chance to address the findings of the report. Before a decision of hiring is made. Allowing the applicant to talk about themselves can yield a wealth of information about the prospective employee. Allowing them a chance to honestly represent their past or defend the findings can yield much more.

Mazzella Investigative Solutions-Services

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