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A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:10 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
Posts: 266
Thanks so much! It is next week, which gives me some extra time to prepare. It's a large company so I am tempted to call their HR department and see if this incident would disqualify me - it happened last spring and was resolved last summer. I have talked to other people in the organization and they've heard from their departmental hiring managers that it shouldn't be a factor, but I'm a worry-wort, in case you couldn't already tell!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:17 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
I've known some very good people who are very successful who have done something stupid or had some bad luck and ended up with a criminal record. I would just be prepared for a question about the criminal infraction, be upfront about it (its worse not to disclose the arrest or infraction on a job application and have the company find out about it later in their due diligance), and explain how you learned from the situation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:02 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
Posts: 266
The big day is this week. Any last minute tips? Should I bring a cover letter to the 2nd int., or just my resume/references? Would kahkis with a button up and sweater be too casual to wear? How about a non-suit skirt (black with subtled black detailed pattern), button up white blouse and open-toed shoes? It's going to be so hot and I know that I'll also be seeing the first person I interviewed with, and will have to wear the same suit jacket (different shell underneath) if I go the suit route.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:21 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1356
Bluebell wrote:
The big day is this week. Any last minute tips? Should I bring a cover letter to the 2nd int., or just my resume/references? Would kahkis with a button up and sweater be too casual to wear? How about a non-suit skirt (black with subtled black detailed pattern), button up white blouse and open-toed shoes? It's going to be so hot and I know that I'll also be seeing the first person I interviewed with, and will have to wear the same suit jacket (different shell underneath) if I go the suit route.


These questions are impossible to answer generically; every company is a bit different. But I would not bring a second cover letter if you already submitted one with your resume. Just bring a spare resume or two and your references.

If the people you interviewed with the first time were wearing suits, then you'd probably do well to dress formally even if it means using the same suit jacket you wore before.

I've worn a suit to interviews at several jobs where everyone was dressed casually, and while I stuck out like a sore thumb I still felt better being overdressed than under. Going back to my second interviews at those places, though, I was more casual.

It's funny, everyone's definition of "formal" and "casual" is different. I was invited once to a wedding and was told to wear informal attire, so I arrived wearing a nice shirt and trousers but no tie or suit, only to discover that all the men there were dressed in suits -- to them "informal" meant "no tuxedo" but you were still expected to be wearing a suit.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:38 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
Posts: 266
Yeah - I will probably err on the side of too formal for the interview, though I think the other options I described would probably be appropriate for coming to work at the organization on a day-to-day basis. Of course, I can wear shorts and flip-flops to work now, so I feel like a fish out of water wearing anything much nicer than some jeans and heels! One former co-worker even wore sweats to work - too casual, even for a slob like me!

Any idea of questions to be prepared for or be prepared to ask - this will be a higher-up, so I don't really know if I should be ready to answer a different set of questions (maybe more skills-based?) or if the person will just be getting a feel for me to confirm the first interviewer's desire to choose a candidate.

Also, regarding what I wrote in the OP, if they offer me the job, would it be okay to say something like, "I'm prepared to accept this job, but would like a day or two to think it over more fully," then tell them I will give my two weeks once reference/background checks are cleared and a formal offer is made with HR's approval?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:46 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:05 pm
Posts: 1356
I meant to say "Good luck!" in my last response, so will say it now ;-)

I do think it's good to dress more formally for an interview than you would if you were coming to work, especially in a case like this where you're meeting with a more senior person. As I said before, it's impossible to predict what kinds of questions this person will ask, but presumably he or she has gotten a report or general impressions from the people who first interviewed you, so this is most likely to be a meeting where the person wants to meet you, get a gut reaction, see who you are, find out what you think, etc.. But everyone approaches interviewing differently, and you should be prepared for anything -- even the hoary old canned interview questions like "where do you see yourself in five years" or "what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" I hate those questions and refuse to ask them myself when I'm doing interviews, but you have to be prepared for them.

My feeling is that if you want the job and they offer it to you, it's okay to accept on the spot but tell them that you won't give your notice at your current job until the references/background checks etc are cleared and the offer is formal.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:17 pm 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
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Forecast looks like it will be a lot milder tomorrow, which is good news. Fingers crossed that all goes well, and thanks to all for the advice. I'll be getting things ready and checking back in, if there's any more last-minute advice!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:24 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
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I completely bombed the 2nd interview. If, perchance, they do select me, they asked when I could start. I said "2 weeks from HR approval and a formal offer." They said they couldn't make an offer w/out approval but basically I was alluding to needing to be OK'd with the CBC, but of course couldn't come back and say that directly w/out raising red flags. Any idea how to approach if I am offered the job? I would love to start ASAP (i.e., give my two weeks immediately) but I am terrified that they'll renege because of the offense mentioned previously in the thread. That would leave me either 1) jobless, or 2) crawling back and saying I decided not to take the job after giving my 2 weeks at current job. Neither is particularly appealing, especially b/c I HAVE to have health insurance, so even though I have an emergency fund, I could not qualify for my own insurance to pay out of pocket and SURE coudln't afford the medical bills w/out insurance. Any thoughts on how to handle it or what course of action I could take if I am offered the job and need to give notice before clearing the CBC?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:44 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
When they asked when could you start, all you needed to say was 'I have to give two weeks to my current company, but I could start the Monday after that.' They will send you the offer (if they want you), and it will have a start date and a starting salary. Then you begin negotiations, if you do that kind of thing.

I'm sure whatever trouble you got yourself into will be discovered, or they don't care about it, and that would result in a job offer.

I don't know what you did, but you are really focusing on this BAD THING so much that it's taking over your life, and your ability to act normal in an interview and get a good job. Relax a bit, and I'm sure things will work out.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:31 pm 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
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I have no doubt that it will be "discovered," as I would disclose it on any necessary paperwork. What I'm saying is that my impression was that I'd get the offer, give my two weeks, then start, with the paperwork and background check to be done at that time (I have friends who work there, too.) I am worried that in that interim (after giving my notice and submitting to CBC before start date) that an offer would be rescinded and I'd be SOL, if you will. I wonder if I should just call human resources after getting a job offer but *before* putting in my two weeks (like, the same day) to see if I should worry about it. (You can read the original post and subsequent responses for more on this, if it may help.)

I wish I could relax. It is probably my worst character flaw. I am generally easy going but I am a worrier. Also, interview took place on the one-year anniversary of a loved one's death.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Oh I see what you're saying. Once you get the job and accept is when they do the background check. Aha!
Now I understand your position a bit better. That's tricky.

I guess for now, you just have to wait for the offer, and pray. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:18 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
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I was extended a job offer and accepted. I will start in 2 weeks. I have yet to resign from my current job. I spoke to 2 people in HR and both of them said that the prior misdemeanor shouldn't be cause for them to withdraw the offer. However, I am still nervous (will tender my resignation on Monday) so I may speak to the person who handles HR for the department I'm hiring into and ask her about it. Do you think this is a good idea, bad idea, or should I just not worry about it? Like I said, I don't want to give my notice until I am assured this will not be problematic.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:01 am 

Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:37 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Upstate NY
Didn't you fill out some kind of paperwork on your application which asked you about any past offenses (misdemenors or felonies)? If so they already know about the infraction/misdemenor, and I would really not ask the HR person whether the past misdemenor would have any bearing on your offer. If nothing else, this will throw flags up that you are a huge worrier!! I work in accounting but the HR director is right next to my office and when he gets someone behaving in any way out of the "norm" he generally doesn't get a good feeling. Of course all HR people are different, but I think you should just worry silently. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:46 am 

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:27 am
Posts: 266
I was sent the CBC form and signed and returned it. I also spoke to the woman who does HR for the department - I didn't tell her the specific offense (just said misdemeanor traffic violation) and she said it wouldn't be a problem, just a formality for any run-ins for financial irregularities, fraud, etc. Will do my best to quit worrying now. I am a huge worrier/pessimist, unfortunately. But I am fully prepared to make my case if my integrity is called into question about it.


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 Post subject: Employment background check affects job offer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:12 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 1
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) applies to employers, landlords, and lenders. If the employer does a background search and turns up negative information, which causes him to deny your application, then he must show you the negative information and tell you where he got it. Then you have a chance to refute any wrong information. You can also get any wrong information removed from the http://backgroundsearch.com companies.


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