1. #1
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    Default Conditional Offer Rescinded?

    Hi there,
    I searched past posts for an answer to my question, but I could not find an answer. So I am making a new post, and thanks in advance for your advice.

    Issue:
    I was given a conditional offer last month for a part time position. Conditioned upon medical, drug test, background check, and voice stress analyzer. I took every test. I passed the drug test, the medical exam, and the voice stress analyzer (at least that is what the detective told me). Then I got a letter today rescinding the offer "based on the most suitable candidate for the fire department" based on my background information.

    I don't understand. I don't have any felonies and don't do drugs. The worst law infraction I have is a misdemeanor for driving on a suspended license 10 years ago. I told the truth on my questionnaire and disclosed everything I could think of. The only thing I can think of is that I filed Bankruptcy 2.5 years ago (which I also disclosed and discussed). I am almost 40 and a family man. I had to file BK because my business was Real Estate, which tanked with the economy a few years ago. I explained all of that in my packet. This is the only thing I can imagine that I would not pass on. But at the same time I am confused because the detective giving me the voice stress analyzer said that he would not be giving me that test unless I had passed the background. Maybe he wasn't telling the truth, but it confuses me.

    Anyway, I feel devastated and embarassed. The goal is a full time job. But now when I get offered a job in the future, I am going to answer yes that I have had a job offer rescinded due to background, but I am clueless on what in my background failed me. From what I understand, the department is not required to tell me what it was they did not like. I have tried calling and emailing them but they won't respond.

    Do I just give up at this point because of this one failed background? Or is there any hope? And if so, how do I improve my chances in the future, when I don't know what failed me in the first place? I am getting older and don't have many more years to obtain a fire job.

    BTW, I have a bachelors, all fire certs, been through the fire academy, and am a paramedic. So I have done as much as I can in the education department.

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by lj10; 02-10-2012 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Bankruptcy was probably the cause. A lot of agencies see this and will not hire as they feel the applicant is unstable even with his life and finances.

    I know it's a bitter pill but looking at all applications, background checks and there were some that were AAA rated and had nothing against them at all.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Not sure if it was the bankruptcy

    Might be some other reason, like they decided on different person

    Are you sure you have no other police contact?? I see older people have various incidents because they are older

    How about your job history, many jobs over the years??


    Keep on testing and judge from those

    We only asked where you have tested and what the status is, not why you did not make it

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    That sux. I'm about to file myself due to real estate situation. I'd hate to not get hired because of the mess the real estate market caused for many of us. Luckily, I dont think some states check your credit, or maybe if they do, makes less of an issue about it.

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    Captoldtimer, Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. It is a bitter pill to swallow for sure. Unfortunately with being older and having a lot of life experience to add to this kind of job, comes the battle wounds and scars from living for 15 to 20 years longer then the typically aged candidate. Not a whole lot one can really do about it, other than hoping that a department will be more understanding

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    fire5555,
    Thanks for your help and reply. Could be they decided on a different person and are using this to get out of it. I just became a paramedic so my experience is very limited. They told me on my last interview that they were looking to hire with experience, but decided to bring me in for a final interview because they liked how I answered their questions and handled myself during the interview. Maybe they got cold feet. Hopefully it won't be a detriment to me getting hired somewhere else.
    I have been in the same line of work for the past 8 years. Almost 100% of my work experience for the past 20 years is finance and real estate related. That is a question that comes up in my interviews a lot. But for the last 8 years at least I have had only one career. Not sure if that hurts me.

    I hope future departments only ask what your department asked. I would hate to be asked if I have failed a background check, and have to answer yes, but still have no idea why.

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    Want2BAFF,
    I am sure the BK is on my credit, but I did not hide it either. My background questionaire asked specifically if I had filed BK before. I was completely honest and upfront about it, and attached an addendum explaining the circumstances, etc. Unfortunately with the bankruptcy, I had a car and trailer repossessed, and house foreclosed on.

    I would really hope that departments out there would be a little more lenient on this type of thing, given the incredibly large amount of people that got caught on the losing end of the economic melt down. If I were you, I would def. check into the departments you want to apply to in the future and see what their policy is, if you can. That way you won't waste a ton of time, energy and money in pursuit of this awesome job when there is an insurmountable obstacle

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    So after sleeping on it (just got my letter yesterday), I have more questions.

    1) Do I try to contact them again to see if they will tell me exactly what it was they didn't like? I had been contacting them for about a week to see when my first shift would start since I had not heard from them for a month or so. Was getting no response till I got the letter last night. So I would like to give it a little effort in finding out what I am dealing with in the future. But I don't want to alienate them and paint them into a corner where they may bad mouth me to other departments.

    2) Can any of you out there in cyberspace tell me what your department's policy is on hiring someone new that had to file BK in the past?

    3) Is it worth hiring a detective on my own to see if there is something that is showing up in my background that I am completely unaware of? Sounds weird, but who knows with identify theft these days. I have my credit report and there is no ID theft on that at least.

    Thanks again for all your help and responses. Hopefully I can get the answers I need so that I can find out if my obstacle is small enough to overcome in the short time I think I have. Also hopefully my predicament will help others out there in the same or similar situation.
    Last edited by lj10; 02-10-2012 at 11:40 AM.

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    From what I've heard, in FL, they don't care as much about the credit issues, maybe because of the collapse in the market, etc. I'm not sure really. I asked a friend of mine in FL who's a FF and he said they dont check credit in many depts in FL bcause then "we'd all be F'd." Lol.

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    Ha, ha, maybe I should move down there

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    ^^^ And in NC, I've never seen a credit check.

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    we do a credit check, but it is not an automatic disqaulifier

    in my opinion if you hire someone deep in dept, or kind of bad credit history that person may bring the problems to the job

    as far as hiring an investigator, all you need to do is vist every county/' city courthouse, police, sheriff and do an open records request on yourself, to see if they have ANY contact whehter arrest,citation, or even a witness

    also, do a driver's licencse check on yourself to see what it shows

    you can try to talk to them again never hurts

    also, not sure if this is open to the public, but is one search we use

    http://www.accurint.com/

    i do not know ay other reputable ones
    Last edited by fire49; 02-10-2012 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Want2BAFF. View Post
    ^^^ And in NC, I've never seen a credit check.
    Charlotte does credit checks. Not sure what criteria they are looking for

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    The letter arrives informing you that you are out of the process. You’re devastated. You don’t know why. You want to know. Maybe there’s something you can do, someone you can talk to convince them you’re the guy they need; there has to be a mistake. Just give me a chance to prove myself. Your calls would probalbly go unanswered.

    Many agencies do a chedit check of candidates as part of the background. Some are taking a different look at credit because of the economy. Still a chief doesn't want the thought of bill collectors coming around.

    Keep in mind this was a part time position. As the letter stated they selected other suitable candidates. This is a standard form type letter. Could have been others closer to the process. Volly's, relatives, etc. You could honestly state what was in the letter. The background packet usually doesn't ask if you have had any offers rescinded. You were not selected.

    Could you have come on a little too strong. Calling to see when your start date was going to be?? This is common for older life experience candidates. Understand you're applying for a snott nose rookie position. You have no power. You need to leave your time and rank aside.

    What do you do now? You feel hurt, angry, frustrated and betrayed. Well, there is not much you can do. If you push too hard you might hurt your chances of getting on somewhere else. Even if you are able to get someone to talk to you, you probably will never really find out why. It just happens sometimes for whatever reason.


    My advice. Go through the denial, anger, and depression. Lick your wounds and accept what happened. Then, regroup and get back out there and test again. If you made it this far, chances are you can do it again. Maybe with a better department than you hoped for, especially since you are a medic.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-11-2012 at 02:57 PM.
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    Is this before or after you have the ability to explain your situation (if credit's bad)?

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    While it's obviously difficult to get a complete picture from a message board thread, it seems pretty reasonable to believe your lack of experience was a limiting factor, especially en lieu of the fact they said they preferred it.

    From an anecdotal perspective, I don't know of any departments in my region who hire medics without a little street time under their belt.

    Maybe they gave you a conditional as a backup, in case there were some unexpected snags with other more qualified candidates?

    I don't sense any other red flags. A lot of people are hurting financially. I know of many people in my department who have foreclosed on their houses. My LT purchased his house with 20% down TWELVE YEARS ago with no subsequent HELOCs and even he is underwater!

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    fire49, thanks for the link. I will check that out!

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    Captbob and powerhourcoug,
    Thanks for the reply, it actually made me feel better! I took your advice and spent a couple days licking my wounds, ha ha, thus the late reply. I did fire off one final, respectful email to them on Friday asking them to kindly let me know, if they were allowed to, if there was something in my background that would hurt me on future applications. I don't expect to get a response, and I won't pursue them any longer.

    In the meanwhile, I am pulling my credit report again to make sure there is nothing on there I don't know about. I don't have any debt anymore, and have not had issues paying bills since three years ago, but they may not care about that. I am also going to find a investigator to just do a background check on me, using the packet I filled out, to see if he finds anything I am unaware of. I don't want to get caught off guard again in the future.

    BTW, Captbob, I have your interview courses, and I credit you with the positive outcomes I have had in all of my interviews to date. I have interviewed twice, and am in the top 5 with one department, and of course almost got hired with this one. Thanks so much for putting your course out there!

    Finally, things continue to be strange. Even after that letter was sent to me, the department is still calling references and past employers of mine. I find that strange. Maybe the background person did not get the memo?

    Thanks for all of your replies and support!

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    Some places allow you to request a copy of some of the reports (poly, psych) that the background investigator used to create their report and recommendation. I've done it in the past and it was eye opening to see what was inferred about me based off simple harmless statements and observations and well worth getting a look at if you can get a copy.

    Best of luck!
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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