1. #1
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    Default Unique situation

    Hey guys,

    Looking for some advice from anyone that's been in the same situation or have maybe run into a candidate that has had similar problems or just what you would do if you were in my situation. If you've performed that duties of a background investigator, even better...

    The Overview: I'm already in the middle of the process of testing for a dept (written, physical and psych written completed) that I have tested with before. The last time I tested with them I failed my background. Keep reading... this is where it get interesting. This isn't one of the million I've-got-a-DUI-and-smoke-pot-Do-I-have-a-shot-at-my-dream-job? posts that we see weekly.

    The back story: I won't go into the boring details, but after failing the background I requested my poly and psych reports to try to figure out why I was dropped. In the psych report I found a statement that was false that gave the impression that I had attained one of my certs dishonestly. I contacted the commission, explained the situation and requested that the statement be removed from my file (which they eventually did after some back and forth talks), however at this point I was already out of the current process.

    By the way, Poly revealed nothing notable and nothing about the cert issue. No other red flags in the psych report either. I have no other big issues or concerns in my background (I know everyone always says that, but in my case I'm confident there were no other factors that could have led to me failing).

    My Question: Fast forward 2 years, my question is going forward with this dept again how would you proceed? When would you bring up the details of your previous failed background with them and not make it look like a red flag to the background investigator for this next time around?

    My thoughts: Assuming I make it that far again, I do get an meeting with the BG investigator before they start my file. I'm thinking this would be the best time to mention it, but I'm struggling with how to explain it without their ears perking up and setting off alarms in their head. What would you do/say or not do/say?

    Should I bring up the fact that my poly report indicated nothing about a falsified cert? That it seems unlikely that I could sneak that by the polygrapher when I'm hooked up and she's watching every little twitch on her machine for 2 hrs, but in the 15 mins with the psych Dr. she was somehow was able to sweat it out of me. Also the fact that they changed my report seems worth mentioning because essentially they admitted that they (Psych Dr and BG investigator) messed up.

    It's a sucky situation, but I'm just looking to move forward and not have it ruin my chances this next time around. I was dealt a bad hand, but that's life sometimes. Thanks in advance for taking time to read my novel and offer suggestions and advice.

    Stay safe guys!

    Edit: Sorry, this really is a loooong post. Thanks again if you made it this far and took some time to help me out.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    I've never been in your shoes with something like this. But, I have to say that unless they ask you about your previous background directly, I wouldn't bring it up. If it's the same department they already know you got kicked last go around and why. If it's not asked in writing or brought up by the investigator, why open up that can of worms? Just my opinion.

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    Yeah, I'm hoping it won't come up, but I just have a feeling that it will given it was with the same dept. I know the question of if I have failed a background before will be coming because I remember it the last time around. After they know that I assume they will want more details.

    I guess it's the choice of bringing it to their attention before they find it themselves but opening a can of worms or waiting to see if they find it and then having to react to their questions and concerns.

    The last time around I never got a chance to defend myself and tell the BG investigator that they were way off. My investigator told me she was going to review my info, poly, psych and packet and would get back to me with the results in a week. 2 weeks later I called her back concerned that I hadn't heard from her yet (didn't answer so left a message) and shortly after I got my letter saying I was out. That's why I'm leery of just waiting and seeing. I guess I could have included that info originally, but my original post was getting long.

    Thanks for the reply and your thoughts. Anyone else?
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Of course it will come up. The first question MOST BI's will ask you is whether you have ever been through a background investigation before. This makes their job easy. You will sign a bunch of forms that give the BI access to EVERYTHING. The BI will simply contact the previous investigator and ask for the file. It makes their job easy.

    Your case is simple. YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE THE INFORMATION. BI's do make mistakes as do other "experts" in the process. It is clear that one was made in your case. I would suspect that if another class were hired from the previous list you would have been put into it.

    You want to bring it up right away with your BI. Good luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
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    The odds are not good for anyone who was dropped on a testing process, no matter what the reason, and then getting hired on another testing process. You could be 100% right and still loose. And, yes they will know who you are.
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    They do not ask on the application what departments you have tested for before or are testing for now???

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Of course it will come up. The first question MOST BI's will ask you is whether you have ever been through a background investigation before. This makes their job easy. You will sign a bunch of forms that give the BI access to EVERYTHING. The BI will simply contact the previous investigator and ask for the file. It makes their job easy.

    Your case is simple. YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE THE INFORMATION. BI's do make mistakes as do other "experts" in the process. It is clear that one was made in your case. I would suspect that if another class were hired from the previous list you would have been put into it.

    You want to bring it up right away with your BI. Good luck to you!
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Thanks for the reply Chief. Your opinion and advice on my situation is most appreciated.

    I don't know for sure, but I have a hunch that my BI will be the same woman. She handles most of the candidates files by the sound of it, and if that's the case it might end up helping if she is somewhat familiar with the details. I will lay it out there as I did here with all the documentation that I have and my updated psych report with the correction and avoid casting blame.

    Like you said, everyone makes mistakes. I have no beef with this Dr. or BI, but just want a fair shot this time around.

    Thanks again.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    The odds are not good for anyone who was dropped on a testing process, no matter what the reason, and then getting hired on another testing process. You could be 100% right and still loose. And, yes they will know who you are.
    Yeah, unfortunately I am inclined to agree with you. I will see this process till the end, but if it ends with the same results I think opportunities with this specific dept are limited, unless they need a janitor. Thanks for the reply.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire5555 View Post
    They do not ask on the application what departments you have tested for before or are testing for now???
    While I know that a lot of depts do, this particular dept doesn't. Not sure what your point is though. Maybe you could clarify?
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    we ask to list any city you ever tested for and what your status is with them

    so if the one you are looking at did that, they would see you are a repeat customer, but sounds like if only one person does the background checks, she more than likely will know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    I have no beef with this Dr. or BI, but just want a fair shot this time around.
    If you were in their system during background they have your SS#. So would the psych doc. So they will know you were in the last process.

    I hope that the steps you took to correct the record didn't ruffle feathers, especially the psych doc who they could still be using. Yes, you were right. But that some how doesn't play well. It's kind of like you haven't even been hired yet and you're causing problems???? It sounds like you are not a younger candidate????

    I hope it works out for you. Have you made it on any other lists?

    Did you know when you were DQ'd 2 years ago because of the psych you could have appealed to get a second opinion under ADA law?

    What do you do if you have not passed the a part of the medical or psyc test?

    Pre-employment medical examinations must comply with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and in California with the California Fair Employment Act Section 7294.0(d) of title 2 of the California Code of Regulations states:

    (2) Where the results of such medical examination would result in disqualification, an applicant or employee may submit independent medical opinions for consideration before a final determination on disqualification is made.

    What this states is that if you have not passed a medical or psychological test that was part of a medical, you should be given the chance to obtain a second opinion. Cities and agencies might not be aware of this law. Most people are unaware that they can appeal the decision.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 02-18-2012 at 08:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    If you were in their system during background they have your SS#. So would the psych doc. So they will know you were in the last process.

    I hope that the steps you took to correct the record didn't ruffle feathers, especially the psych doc who they could still be using. Yes, you were right. But that some how doesn't play well. It's kind of like you haven't even been hired yet and you're causing problems???? It sounds like you are not a younger candidate????

    I hope it works out for you. Have you made it on any other lists?.
    Yeah, I can see where you are coming from. Don't want to get that Rep before I step foot in a fire station but I didn't have much of a choice. Had to get that statement out of my file. The hiring process is run by the civil service commission and I have heard that the dept is pretty hands off so that might help keep things separated. Only time will tell. I have made it on plenty of lists too with no issues, just not high up enough. Even with this dept I made it to the eligible roster the first go around. They just didn't have enough academies that year. This is my third time testing with them.

    I didn't know about the Ada thing though. Good to know going forward, however I don't think it would have made a diff. The actual report by the Dr. stated she recommended me for hire. The BI made the call based off her inacurate statement and didn't recommend that I should move on.

    Thanks for the advice and the reply Capt. It's most appreciated.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 02-18-2012 at 10:01 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Sounds like Denver fire...

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