Tuesday, February 1, 2011


My favorite question on my application is - Have you ever been convicted of a crime or misdemeanor? If yes, when? Usually, it's blank, but nothing gets me more excited then when I see that it's filled out. Because with each crime, there's always a great story.  One of my all time favorites read, "Will explain in person..." As soon as she sat down, she launched into her tale of woe...
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I moved to Saratoga as he had a store up there. One night we had a big fight and he left. I was so distraught, I took too many ambien and passed out. My 10 year old daughter called 911 and I was arrested for child endangerment. I mean, I'd never taken a pill in my life...

As I nodded in disbelief, I was caught between a state of sympathy AND hysterics...NEVER taken a pill in her life...I knew she took pills when she shook my hand...

So I got my daughter back and my boyfriend and I decided to split. LONG PAUSE. And then last week my puppy was killed...

At this point she starts to cry...

"OH NO!!!!!" (Animal stories ALWAYS pull at my heartstrings)."What happened?"

"I was at my boyfriend's house getting my things and his father killed the dog."

"ON PURPOSE????!!!????!!???"

At this point she's completely hysterical and simply nods her head the way my 4-year old does when I ask her if she hurt her keppie (that's Yiddish for head).
"What do you mean he KILLED the DOG?"

"He ran him over with the car..."

"You have to be kidding me!"

"Nope...he did. And I was so upset that I didn't know what to do with myself so I drove to the nearest bar. I had two glasses of wine...and on my way home got pulled over FOR DWI!!!! I had never been drunk in my life..."

I instantly looked for hidden cameras because you can't make this shit up...

In my ten years of recruiting, I've never been speechless...after this interview, I can never say that again. First, I handed her a tissue. Then, after we finished talking about her career in fashion, I explained that her record should not hold her back as long as she's honest with potential employers. She didn't need to include ALL the details, but just what each conviction was for (OY VEY!).

This holds true for all of my candidates. The bottom line is we all have pasts...some more illustrious than others, but no one's perfect. So if asked, or if you know a client is going to do a background check, be sure to tell everything up front. Whether it's bad credit, a DWI or even a misdemeanor for shoplifting with your pledge sisters, as long as you're honest, most employers won't care.

When I first started recruiting, I had a great candidate, right out of school who landed an AMAZING job at an established financial company. As he was filling out their background check, he called me to say he had been busted with drugs in college. I said was it a joint or 6lbs of cocaine? He said it was a few hits of ecstasy. I told him not to worry and to just mention it accordingly.

He got the job.

Three months later, the company felt he was doing so well, they wanted to promote him. This required a more in depth check. The results revealed that he was convicted of a felony for intent to sell as he was caught with 500 HITS OF ACID!!! Needless to say, he lost the job. And since the Dead stopped touring, he might still be unemployed...I'm not sure. But he didn't lose it for the crime...he lost it for lying.

So always tell the truth...besides setting you free, it will keep you gainfully employed.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

No comments:

Post a Comment