Why Do Job Interviewers Ask if You're a Criminal?

During my last job interview at a company that shall remain Wal-Mart, the man interviewing asked me if I was ever convicted of a crime or felony. I thought this was odd considering job interviews are supposed to be objective things. You're not allowed to be discriminated for being a midget or a ginger or an amputee or an Army veteran, or a transvestite, or a 3-foot-tall legless drill sergeant with red hair wearing a dress. So why would they discriminate against someone who made a mistake once and got out of jail? It shouldn't matter!

Plus, even if I was a criminal, do you really think I would tell the truth? That's part of being a criminal. You wear the white and black striped shirt with the black knit cap and raccoon makeup over the eyes and you don't tell the truth. Why would they expect a criminal to be honest with them? Maybe if the criminal told the truth that would prove they were capable of doing the job honestly and actually put them on an even platform with the other job candidates.

Having been convicted of a crime in the past isn't as bad as having committed a crime and never being convicted. Why don't they just ask you "What's the most fucked up thing you've ever done?" I think that question would probably yield much more informative answers to picking the right candidate for the job. What's worse, some guy who was arrested for breaking into a vintage cheese store to stop someone they thought was a robber and turned out was just the manager (me) or someone who as a child used to torture small animals, but no one knows except him? Clearly the former is the better choice for the job because guess what? That other guy who tortured animals is probably going to be a serial killer some day and that's bad press when the investigators come to your cheese store and start asking much more detailed questions about your latest employee.

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