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Addressing felony drug charges in a job interview

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2021 | Drug Trafficking |

Trafficking drugs in California can result in serious legal consequences that last for years depending on the offense. After meeting the requirements to leave prison, many people find it challenging to acquire employment with a felony on their record.

Fortunately, despite the hurdles of addressing a felony drug conviction during the hiring process, people can strategically provide context and still highlight their valuable skills and competencies. While it may take some time, finding a job post-conviction is doable and worthwhile.

A serious crime

Drug trafficking is a serious crime and one that many employers may struggle to look past. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, officials determine the consequences for trafficking drugs after assessing several factors including the following:

  • Drug quantity
  • Collateral damage
  • Drug schedule

Even though felony drug charges may vary significantly in terms of seriousness, employers often only recognize a felony drug charge for what it is: a felony. People have to learn how to strategically explain their situation and how to redirect the interviewer’s attention from mistakes made to lessons learned.

A poised explanation

The wisest way for people to answer questions about their felony charge is to respond with confidence, honesty and integrity. According to Chron, people can and should provide context about the meaning of their charges.

Once adequately addressed, people should redirect the attention to the lessons they learned that enabled them to develop and strengthen important skills. For example, if a person took advantage of educational opportunities while imprisoned, they can highlight how these experiences improved their understanding of specific, job-relatable skills. From here, candidates can explain how their experiences will enable them to make a difference in the workplace.


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