Discussing your crime will probably be both the scariest and trickiest part of the interview process. Consequently, it is extremely important that you:
1.) Think about what you are going to say.
2.) Write down what you are going to say.
3.) Rehearse what you are going to say.
Although, you are not required by law to tell all of the details of your crime to a potential employer, they are not necessarily bound by law to hire you either. Even though, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against you because you are an ex-offender. However, discrimination for that basis alone is often very difficult to prove. Consequently, the more information that you are willing to provide to the employer the more honest you appear and the more willing the potential employer is to hire you.
Please note, this does not mean that you should disclose every detail of your crime. It means that you have to learn how to strike a delicate balance.
As an ex-offender the whole objective of the interview is to give the potential employer the opportunity to put a human face to the crime(s) that you may have listed on your employment application.
This person needs to see you not as a victim but as someone who is:
1.) Competent and capable of doing the job.
2.) As someone who for whatever reason made some extremely bad choices.
3.) Someone who recognizes his/her past mistakes and is remorseful.
Violent offenders particularly those convicted of capital crimes such as manslaughter and first degree murder have to understand that regardless of how much time that they may have served in prison, in the eyes of a potential employer time can never make up for the loss of life incurred by the victim(s). Nor can it make up for physical, psychological and/or emotional trauma that living victims may presently be experiencing as a result of their actions.
The reality is that regardless of what circumstances led up to your committing a crime, the fact remains that you did commit one. In some cases, such as self-defense, you may even have felt that you had no options.
Unfortunately, in the eyes of the courts in particular, and society in general, there is no just cause for violence. This holds true whether it was done in self-defense or due to some psychological problems, childhood trauma, and/or alcohol and drug addiction.
The best advice I can give you, if you are a violent offender, is to face the fact that whether for seemingly right or wrong reasons, you committed a crime. Then try to determine what factors led up to it, explain what you are doing to rehabilitate yourself and provide evidence.