When being honest can mean not being hired

When being honest can mean not being hired

SINGAPORE - Most of the job interviews he goes to end abruptly.

It is not because he is unsuitable for the job.

Rather, it is because Paul (not his real name), 38, had been to prison.

In 1994, Paul was jailed five years for intent to rape his then-girlfriend and for drug charges.

Since his release in 1999, when he fills up job applications, he usually admits that he had been jailed.

That is when the awkward moment comes during job interviews.

Said Paul: "I don't want to lie and (I) make it a point to tell my potential employer of my convictions.

"But the moment I tell them, they either just end the interview immediately or tell me they can't hire me."

Paul has applied for countless jobs since his release, mostly for warehousing and factory positions. He has been to many interviews, but he faced the same response each time he told people about his convictions.

Checks by TNP for news reports regarding Paul's conviction came up with no results, making it appear that the incident had gone unreported in 1994.

"I am trying to move on with my life and be honest by coming clean. But my honesty leads to my downfall," said Paul.

He now has a job, earning $1,700 before CPF deductions. But his employer of three years knows nothing of his past.

Paul said he chose to conceal his past when applying for the position in a warehouse because he needed a job badly and could not take the rejections he kept facing.

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