Misdemeanor Conviction

Has anyone had to deal with a misdemeanor conviction on their record for real estate companies? I am currently applying for jobs and am facing a misdemeanor use of drugs charge that will be a misdemeanor conviction on my record that was pleaded down from a possession charge. Does that disqualify me from many jobs or is HR understanding if I tell them before my background check?

Any experience is helpful with this.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (26)

Jun 22, 2018 - 1:58pm

How long ago was the conviction? Ever look into getting your record expunged or sealed? If you're eligible, should cost about $1k if you hire a lawyer to do it for you.

Array

Jun 22, 2018 - 2:02pm

Ah, my suggestions are post conviction... definitely look into those options once your punishment has been paid, be it probation or whatever.

Array

Jun 22, 2018 - 2:02pm

Depends on the drug, to be honest. If you were slamming heroin in an alley, got caught doing blow at a bar, or were X-ed out at some homoerotic rave, it likely won't just get swept under the rug cause they'll probably think you're retarded. Just being honest.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jun 22, 2018 - 2:28pm

i would suggest creating a very entertaining story to go along with this...i'm talking VERY ENTERTAINING...to the point where strangers who you tell the story bust out laughing...because that's exactly what you are going to have to do...you'll tell future employers the story in your interview...so they aren't surprised when this comes up in the background check. If you humanize yourself and they connect with you emotionally...then some future employers may overlook this.

I'm not suggesting you present yourself as a degenerate...i'm suggesting you find a creative way to tell your story, which will minimize the part where you tell your interviewer that you have a criminal record.

feel free to embellish a little if you need to (so long as you can't be called out as lying)...but it must be knee-slapping funny...even to people who are staunchly anti-drugs.

just google it...you're welcome
  • 2
  • 2
Jun 22, 2018 - 3:08pm

i've interviewed a lot of people when i was at a BB...most interviews are boring. This is a unique way to humanize yourself...and can make the intellectual part of the interview much easier to get thru. All depends on the story tho...i'm not suggesting you lie...i'm suggesting you do what comedians do (like Louis CK, Chris Rock, or any of the greats)...you find the humanity in your experience...maybe you embellish a LITTLE. You can't change the past....might as well make the best of it.

If i interviewed a kid and he had a great story, which led up to him getting arrested...i'd be more inclined to give the kid a pass...vs the kid who just says "by the way, i got arrested for possession last year...figured i'd rather you not find out during the background check"

just google it...you're welcome
  • 1
  • 3
Jul 2, 2018 - 10:03pm

If some punk that was interviewing with me told me that he got arrested doing blow at a bar and tried to make light of it in the interview, I would almost certainly conclude that he had taken no humility out of the experience and ding him on the spot. I would also certainly take it as a sign of disrespect that he thought himself familiar enough with me to joke about it openly.

You're in an industry with a bunch of rules...and you're going to hire someone that behaves like a degenerate because they told a funny story?

OP, do not take this advice . And don't bullshit a bullshitter. You made this bed, now lie in it. If you're lucky, copping to your mistake and leaving it at that may at least garner respect. Knowing how to make mistakes, admit to it, and learn from it/move on without further ado is something most people cannot do. It's a skill that comes with age, and whoever is interviewing you may appreciate it in you.

Array

  • 5
Jul 2, 2018 - 10:08pm

what do you think the alternative option is? of course you'd like to go back in time and change past behavior to erase this...but you can't. You can only move forward.

Its possible that my experience of only working on BB trading desks has biased my perspective (most people i've worked with on those trading desks by the way were degenerates doing blow off girls naked bodies on a regular basis...often this would be the focus of a desk outing...so this kid would fit right in).

i've never worked in a client consultancy based role...which is Investment Banking...every job i've had was sitting on a trading desk...even when i started in IT as a desk developer/desk quant...so maybe they do it differently on the other side of the chinese wall?

just google it...you're welcome
  • 1
Jun 22, 2018 - 3:54pm

don't lie. you'll only make it worse for yourself. be forthcoming, some shops might say "see ya later" before you finish your sentence. others might be understanding. if the shop is running a background check, and you don't bring it up, i imagine that looks far worse.

i can't imagine a place seeing a red flag on the check for blow not question you. until it's expunged from your record (if ever), i don't see a way around it but i'm not a lawyer

Jul 2, 2018 - 10:48pm

It's really dependent on the firm, hiring team, and HR policy / discretion. I'd venture to guess that a minor drug infraction wouldn't raise a lot of stink assuming you're a strong candidate - and the hiring team really wants to bring you on board - and that you're honest and upfront about the charge going into a background check process. Just don't try to hide it from the firm(s) 'cause that would be grounds for rescinding your offer if you do so. As long as you're honest about it, you'll be fine and the right firm wont have a problem with it.

Ace all your PE interview questions with the WSO Private Equity Prep Pack: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/guide/private-equity-interview-prep-questions
  • 2
Jul 3, 2018 - 12:54am

I think there are a lot of sides to the story here in terms of how to approach this. I think you are simply overthinking the issue overall. Let them know ahead of time, and be professional about it. If it is past you and made you into a better person, then do this -

  1. Talk about the event (if asked).
  2. Discuss what you have done since to improve yourself.
  3. What you are doing to avoid the situation altogether (and be a grown up about it).

The idea behind this is to reduce the risk on them hiring you (and future legal troubles). Talk properly, do not curse or just slang talk/non-business words.

The worse they can say is no, but if the group really likes you (and decision makers overall), they will overlook the record and probably hire you on a probation basis until you have proven yourself.

Honesty is the word here. They need to be able to trust you.

No pain no game.

  • 1
Jul 3, 2018 - 11:40am

All you guys throwing monkey shit at want2trade ever hear of Richard Pryor?

He was in a very similar situation to op. He made a stupid mistake, did a little bit of drugs and set himself on fire.

Silly thing to do with the benefit of hindsight but he managed to make a funny story out of it. Few years later he is signing a $40m deal with Columbia Pictures.

If it worked for him I see absolutely no reason why it wouldn't work for a college grad looking to underwrite commercial real estate.

The "add the comedy here" bit will be key though. Want2trade mentioned Louis CK and Chris Rock. I am assuming you are just as funny as those guys in order to pull this off.

Jul 3, 2018 - 2:42pm

Ut incidunt temporibus asperiores quia inventore iure minus quo. Ea maiores dolorum ratione odio quia et. Sed fugit vero commodi fuga odio dolorem. Eum molestiae atque magni et est facere quas. Labore dolores temporibus illo temporibus officiis temporibus. Possimus maiores beatae aliquid fugiat voluptate nisi.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

November 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (40) $360
  • Associates (234) $234
  • 2nd Year Analyst (144) $156
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (34) $154
  • Intern/Summer Associate (107) $146
  • 1st Year Analyst (513) $136
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (394) $84