I have cleared interview of a major tech company and right now background checks are going on through third party company.

I had a small issue of being charged with a misdemeanor that is a reduced form of DUI. The charges have been resolved and I am trying to move on with my life. What is the best way to address this when applying for jobs? Should I just hope they do not find it on the back ground check or if they do that they will ignore the problem? If I have not informed the company of the issue is it too late for me to address it?

  • 6
    No one can predict how a particular company will do.
    – user8365
    Jun 23, 2013 at 11:12
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    Did you include this information on the original paperwork? Hoping they don't find the incident can make the reaction worse. Jun 23, 2013 at 23:25
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    To potential future answers or future readers of this question. Note that it is tagged with "united-states" and may not be providing information that is correct in your culture or environment
    – user5305
    Jun 24, 2013 at 14:31

4 Answers 4


If you look on the website of the company that you indicated is doing the background check (http://hireright.com/Background-Checks.aspx?apsi=0) you will see that they include criminal record searches as part of their process. Thus, they have a pretty good chance of detecting this part of your background.

So, it makes sense to me to get out in front of this, rather than just hoping they don't find it. Tell the hiring company about this now.

In the many years I've been interviewing potential hires, I'm always far more favorable when people are forthright and tell me about potential red flags in their background, rather than waiting for me to discover them on my own and confront them. I don't like to see interviewees try to "sneak one past me". Past problems I can deal with. Present sneakiness (or lying) is far more problematic.

You won't always get hired when you tell potential employers about these issues, but in my experience, you'll have a much, much better chance when the news comes directly from you (with your explanation about how you have changed things), than if the news comes from a third party.

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    I have a misdemeanor on my record from when i was 18 (nothing serious, small town cop decided to upgrade a ticket after the fact) when i get to the background check of a new employer i always inform them that they may come across this on my record and i provide a brief story as to how/why i got it. It has not sour'd any job prospects for me.
    – jesse
    May 29, 2019 at 18:19
  • Also be fully honest with the reason you got arrested and the outcome don't leave details to be misunderstood in a simple google search or the result of a background check. Apr 6, 2021 at 14:34

The best course of action when you are informed of a background check is to be proactive and inform them of any information they are likely to turn up during the background check. The company is more likely to react negatively to having a recent conviction show up on a background check if they were not aware prior the check. Many times the conviction will not prevent your from being hired but your failure to disclose the arrest might be.

Many times companies will ask you either on the application or on the background check form if you have been arrested. If you are less than honest on this part of the form then it may cost you the job. I have seen many times over the years where people will start work before their background check comes back only to be walked out in their first few weeks because of a problem in their past. Many times if they had just disclosed at the outset it would not have prevented them from being hired.

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    I don't live in the USA. Can they really ask if you have been arrested? Surely only if you've been convicted and not subsequently pardoned? Jun 24, 2013 at 18:00
  • @KateGregory Yes they can ask. Some back ground checks will find out if you have been arrested, though not convicted. And even if you have had clemency granted on a conviction it can show up on some checks. I worked as the Team Lead at a Nuclear power plant and had one guy that had his access revoked because he answered no. He had been granted clemency but it still showed up on the check so it was taken as a lie on the application. Jun 24, 2013 at 20:22

It really depends on the state and how the background check is performed (ie. national or country, etc). In your case, I think if it is misdemeanor and a DUI you should be fine. As long as you are not driving you should be fine.

  • Hi, welcome to the Workplace. You're currently answering a question that is almost 6 years old and an accepted answer, please, try not to do that if you don't have a "life-changer" information. May 29, 2019 at 20:28

background checks cost less $50 for individuals and large companies probably have an account. You have to tell them. If you don't, its no job.

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