To Disclose or Not Disclose: That is the Question

back to blog


By Michelle Pyan, President of Commercial Investigations LLC

For many employers, the information found in a background investigation can often inject more ambiguity than clarity into the hiring process. The same can be said of job candidates who may be uncertain about if, how, when, or to whom they should disclose information about a past indiscretion.

The many dimensions of this issue were highlighted in the responses to the below question which was posted as a poll on the LinkedIn page of Liz Ryan, founder, and CEO, of Human Workplace:

I am job hunting. I have a DUI from three years ago. It will surely come up in a background check. Should I mention it in the interview?

The question clearly struck a chord with Liz’s followers. It racked up 19,627 votes, with respondents nearly split on the issue. When the poll closed, the results were as follows:

53% – Yes, be upfront about it.

42% – No, wait and see if they ask.

5% – Other

If that wasn’t enough to make you wonder about the most appropriate action, there have been 254 additional comments that cast further doubts on the best way to proceed. Here are a few examples: “Depends on the job.” “Depends on who conducts your interview.” “Depends on the size of the organization.” “Depends on the type of company you are applying to.”

In considering the broader question of disclosing information about a past indiscretion, it is helpful to understand how the background screening process works, what information can be shared, and how companies may act on what they learn.

Read more

Sorry, Comments Are Closed