Need interview advice

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Trader03, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Trader03


    Hello all -

    I have been following elitetrader for a while now and needed some advice from the professionals on this site.

    My issue is that I had a problem with drinking for about 10 years and along the way have gotten a couple of DWIs starting in 2002. The issue is that I have applied for a couple of jobs with very good companies and have gotten to the stage of an offer letter. Upon recieving the offer letter, there is a question about if I have been convicted of a crime. On one of them a couple of years back, I didn't fill it out hoping that they would call so I could explain myself. I never was called or did they answer my phone calls. The other time I was totally honest just to have the offer taken back. After that, there have been two more jobs where they did a background check not to call me back.

    Now, I have another interview with the same question, any advice on how to handle it???

    Also, let me add that I have been sober for 3 years now and really enjoy life. No feeling sorry for myself.

    Also, I have great experience working in the online trading industry. These experiences were before my legal troubles or the company's application never asked.

    Thanks for understanding!

    Your help is greatly appreciated.
  2. hughb


  3. Trader03


  4. Drew07


    I would just check "no" and hope it isn't checked up on. If it becomes an issue then you can talk your way out of it when it comes up. I think for the most part if you look like a good candidate for a position then some minor screw ups in your past shouldnt be too much of a problem. I was arrested with a fake ID and charged with misdemeanor "fraud"--not exactly the best looking charge when you apply for a job with banks.
    Talk to a lawyer about having your criminal record expunged/sealed assuming you haven't done so already....that's what I did and it hasn't been an issue since.
  5. Trader03


    I did that the first time around and I think because they did check, which almost all companies do, there was no offer. I am sure because I lied. I spoke to a lawyer, but my state doesn't allow guilt to be expunged/sealed.

    Thanks for the help.
  6. Drew07


    What position are you applying for? I hate to hear you're having a tough time with this...I can kind of relate to it. I suggested not disclosing this info on an application because you really can't explain your situation on paper. A face to face interview can help you out a lot in these situations IMO....otherwise youre just some faceless name on a paper with a criminal record. I had an interview for an internship with Merrill Lynch, I was straight forward when I was asked about any criminal background I said that I had been arrested a couple years back for having someone elses drivers liscense on me and that a misdemeanor charge may appear on my record. Surprisingly enough, it really didn't seem to be that much of an issue....I was later offered a position that I wasn't unable to take for unrelated reasons.
    Don't get too discouraged about it, it could be a lot worse.
  7. cstfx


    It is relatively easy to expunge a misdemeanor charge. In effect, most misdemeanors are not counted as "crimes" as they are not felony level, something that makes it difficult to get past in this industry. DUI's, especially if there is more than one, tend to put you at that felony level, as there tends to be jail time involved the more you get, and as the original poster said, he has had a few.

    If you lie, they will find out. Everyone does background checks in this day, and it is relatively easy to do with these records available on the net for anyone to purchase (your criminal history is not a private matter, but a public matter, and unless it is sealed, anyone can get to it.)

    If you truly have just DUIs, tell them upfront and ask them would that preclude you from being hired. I don't know the relevant securities law on this, but you might want to speak with a lawyer too, especially if you are trying to get a securities job. After all, alcoholism is a disease, and you are not supposed to be discriminated because of it.
  8. Trader03


    Thanks for the kind words.

    The position is a sales position that does require some traveling. The problem is that the main headquarters is in another state so I have not met the HR Manager. I have only interviewed with the manager of the office in my location.

    Yes, the good thing is that I am healthy and happy. Just need to find some work:)
  9. Trader03


    Great points. I have more than one. Because of that, I believe I have had this issue about getting job offers. Yes, I agree. Being upfront and taking ownership is the best way. Again, the good thing is that I have been sober for 3 years so things could be worse.

    Also, it is not a securities job.

    Thanks for the advice.
  10. Drew07


    What kind of experience do you have? What do you have to offer? What are some positive things that you can focus on rather than the negatives?
    #10     Mar 3, 2007