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How do I explain a job termination in an oral board interview?

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  • How do I explain a job termination in an oral board interview?

    I messed up big time, and possibly right the wrong damn time. I recently got terminated from my job for violating a company policy for which I should have known better. Give you guys a breakdown of what happened:
    Had a member come in regarding questions about her account. As I’m helping her, we strike up a pleasant conversation. She starts to flirt a little, saying that I had an amazing smile and even said that I looked exotic which led to her asking my nationality. I kept it professional at that point, finished helping her with the account. We chat a little more, and I’m thinking to myself I should ask for her number. I chicken out, and tell her if she needs help with anything just come find me. She leaves, and that’s when I should have completely dropped the thought of getting her number. But nope, I see her number on the account and decide I’m going to text her once I’m off work. Fast forward, I’m off work I text her and let her know who I was. We exchange a few texts, I tell her that she was a great conversationalist and that she was cute. She replies with a Thank You and with a happy face emoji. At this point I’m thinking everything is smooth, it’s late so I wish her a good night. I’m off the next day, so I send her a text mid morning if she wanted to meet at a cafe later that day. I don’t hear anything back, so I go on about my day. Later in the day I receive a text from her stating to not text her anymore. I was surprised but I’m a respectful guy, so I apologize and say I didn’t mean to alarm her in anyway. I go into work the next day, and 30 minutes before I was off I was pulled into the office by a manager. She tells me to sit, and says that I had a member complaint and that it would have to be investigated. She tells me what happened, says that the member felt extremely appalled that I contacted her on such a personal level. I knew I had f*** up big time, she list the violation “unauthorized use of information” and places me on 3 day suspension. 3 days go by, come into work and yeah I was terminated. Manager was nice, said it was a unfortunate mistake especially with me being with the company for three years and being a really great employee.

    I know I’m done for at least awhile joining the police force, if I was a background investigator I would look at that and say this dude would be a liability. I know it’s a huge red flag, but I was hoping with a good work History before that violation would I still have some type of shot. It looks really bad on paper, and right before I was terminated I had just put in for a cadet position.

  • #2
    There's no question in here.... But I would explain it fully and honestly, and don't put too much "background" in it
    Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
    USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
    "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
    Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD

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    • #3
      Originally posted by J2H View Post
      There's no question in here.... But I would explain it fully and honestly, and don't put too much "background" in it
      The question was in the thread title................it even had a question mark
      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

      Comment


      • J2H
        J2H commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey, don't you sass me! :-D

    • #4
      The question is, should I pull my application before I make it to the interview process? Took the Pellet B, did well on that, and now I’m waiting for the PAT. I absolutely know the seriousness of my past actions, and I know for a fact it won’t happen again.

      J2H could you explain a little what you mean when you say don’t put too much “background” into it?

      Comment


      • J2H
        J2H commented
        Editing a comment
        Don't be like, "this is all what led up to this and so, back in xxxx when I was xxxx" Just be frank and upfront. That's if you make it that far.

    • #5
      The termination is just a symptom of the problem. The real problem is a judgement issue.

      We often deal with people one-on-one, with no adult supervision or even supporting witnesses around, and making accusations against police officers, of inappropriate advances, are quite common. Having already demonstrated a judgement problem in this area, just makes you harder to defend, even in incidents where you are 100% innocent of any wrongdoing. Not all agencies may be willing to take on that risk.

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      • #6
        All you can do is tell what happened. As noted above, it is a judgement error. You are going to be getting addresses and phone numbers all day long. I'd go forward with the process just to see how you do but, don't be surprised if this incident is too recent for a lot of places to overlook.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by just joe View Post
          All you can do is tell what happened. As noted above, it is a judgement error. You are going to be getting addresses and phone numbers all day long. I'd go forward with the process just to see how you do but, don't be surprised if this incident is too recent for a lot of places to overlook.
          yep

          No chief is going to want to hire a stalker.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #8
            The fact you were terminated isn't what your issue is. It's the fact that you thought it was appropriate to take a client's information, contact her, and attempt to meet up outside of the professional sphere of your work. As a police officer you will encounter victimized women seeking protection and relief and the only thing stopping you from crossing that line will be your morals and the threat of termination. Careers have been ruined over stuff like this, as you have just discovered.

            It's 2019 and the #metoo era; you should know that something like this is a bad look. I believe you misinterpreted her kindness as attraction and made a bad mistake. You need to put significant time, personal achievement and evidence of responsibility between this and any potential employment in LE.

            As a rule if thumb you should never mix business with pleasure. Almost nowhere is this more apparent than in LE. If I were you I wouldn't bother trying to move forward. When it comes up in your interviews and background, it'll be the reason you aren't hired as it shows you can't be trusted with sensitive information.

            Comment


            • Armstrong26
              Armstrong26 commented
              Editing a comment
              I was thinking about applying for a community service officer position in my city. Would that be a good idea? My logic, it allows me to get out out there and serve my community while putting considerate time between things I need to work on. I enrolled back in school (started college and then left to start working). Luckily I have a job interview at a bank, I’m hoping I get that job. Yes I’m definitely around sensitive information, but I wouldn’t make the same stupid judgment call again.

            • Saluki89
              Saluki89 commented
              Editing a comment
              Being a CSO is probably a good idea, but they will most likely do a background on you and will want to know your work history. If they call your previous employer (which they probably will), this will come up. Go get a degree, work, stay out of trouble, and let this incident fade further into your background. Maybe by the time you reapply somewhere your previous manager will have moved on and the details of your termination might not be so specific when given to the BI. However, you may not be able to escape this; just always be honest and forthcoming when asked about it and do not ever lie during your background. You made a bad choice; it's not the end of the world and it shouldn't define you. Moving forward you just need to own it and make sure that your future employers can trust you. How you accomplish that is up to you.

              You may also want to consider joining a guard unit or going active duty. This incident may prevent you from getting a security clearance but it may be worth a shot; the worse they can say is no and I don't think being denied entry into the military will show up in a background check (I may be wrong though as I'm not prior service).

          • #9
            You're probably going to be a DQ for poor employment and judgment. Your explanation was fine and spells out the entire incident. I'm just not thoroughly convinced the scenario went down exactly like you described due to her actions being pretty extreme if it was a innocent as you said. I'm guessing you should get at least 12 months of good employment before applying to another agency..
            LAPD Background & Forums Site

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            • Armstrong26
              Armstrong26 commented
              Editing a comment
              That’s what I said to myself also, her actions seemed a little too extreme for what had occurred. But I can honestly tell you that’s how the whole situation went down.

          • #10
            Thank you to everyone that gave their input, it was greatly appreciated. I know I messed up big time, and I do want to put some time behind what happened. I’m going to withdraw my application, and wait another year or two. I’m definitely not a stalker, just made a very stupid choice.

            Comment


            • #11
              So you know this was a poor judgement issue on your part, that is clear.

              In Law Enforcement, you have to know people will try to manipulate you to get what they want, maybe not a bribe, but make no mistake flirting and so forth will happen if someone thinks it will work. My opinion based on your info, is that she was probably flirting with you and you fell for it.

              Also in Law Enforcement, you will have access to an incredible amount of personal information about people, and to misuse it would be criminal in certain cases.

              Not to beat you up about this, since you seem pretty realistic about your situation. Give yourself some time, and try again .
              John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

              Comment

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