This is regarding my first job out of college (one of the top 10 engineering programs in the country) with a large automotive manufacturing company. I have had 15 months of internships (one 3 month term and one 12 month term) with the company and they have offered me full-time employment that is contingent on an acceptable background screening. The job is a manufacturing engineering position with no driving required.
The reason that this concerns me is that I have a list of charges (dismissed) and two convictions (not dismissed) on my record. These charges include:
1. 2003 Minor consuming alcohol ticket – fine paid, no conviction, home town
2. 2004 Minor consuming alcohol ticket – fine paid, no conviction, college town
3. 2005 DUI conviction, no accident, .12 BAC, no aggravating factors, college town
4. 2006 Alcohol intoxication – $100 ticket paid, work town
While the majority of these charges against me never amounted to a conviction they do tend to spell out a pattern (no arrest in 2007 , that was my resolution last New Year’s). Also, I did not think that charges with no conviction would show up on a background check (but they have with other companies recently). Another major company has revoked my offer in light of these charges specifically listing them as the reason. The company that I am accepting the offer from employed me with a background check in December 2005 so I assume that the charges before that were known. They would not be aware however of the DUI or the alcohol intoxication ticket afterwards.
How should I approach the situation with the HR department? Their HR department is far removed from any of the people I have worked with (different state actually) and I do not know if I should bring it up or if I should keep mum about it. Would it be to my credit to come forward with it ahead of time? If the job is not driving related will this affect their decision about whether to continue with the employment?
I really am an honest hardworking intelligent person, which people I have worked with know, but have had bad luck and a careless attitude regarding alcohol related law.
Any advice you can offer will be much appreciated.
Hmmm, you have what I call seriously bad judgment. In fact, I think you probably have a drinking problem and should seek professional help.
Now, as to what you should say to HR? Nothing. If you’ve been asked to fill out a new application or form for this background check, do so honestly. I doubt the juvenile convictions count. However, if this is a reason to disqualify you from the job, no matter your excuse you aren’t going to get the job.
Your supervisor during your internship can vouch for your ability to do the job, but no company wants to make an exception to a rule for a recent college grad. They might make an exception for a highly regarded new executive, but not at the entry level.
That said, I don’t know that there is a business reason to disqualify you since the job doesn’t directly involve driving. However, it is for an automotive company and therefore, they may be more careful about it.
Don’t be tempted to lie. Lies like this will get discovered. If they ask for an explanation you can give them one, but otherwise they are going to make their decision based on the conviction.
And for everyone else reading, please don’t be stupid when you drink. If you are going to be stupid when you drink, stop drinking. It’s not worth the cost you may have to pay later on.