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Interview after dismissal.

59 replies

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 08:36

Hi all, hoping for some advice, preferably without a bashing please as it’s all i’ve done since last Friday.

So Friday, I was dismissed from work for what they termed gross misconduct. The misconduct was a moment of absolute stupidity and completely out of character, as in all my working life never had so much as a disciplinary until now. My company follow procedures and policies to the letter, nothing wrong that, I accept the decision even if I am extremely gutted. After 7 months of enjoyable work and excelling in performance and KPIs, I have to move on.

After a weekend of beating myself up and applying for as many jobs as possible, I have an interview on Thursday with a company in the same sector but a completely different role. They know I worked at X company, due to experience etc very eager to get me in for an interview. My dilemma is, how to phrase this, how to bring it up at interview, how best to explain.
I know I have to be honest and there is absolutely nothing to gain by lieing.
I’ve completely learnt my lesson about company policies and to make sure I blumming well read them in future.
I really want this job, for many reasons, so does anyone have any advice for me?

OP posts:
JuneDonnelly · 08/08/2018 08:50

If you don't mind me asking, what did you do? Depending on what it was will depend on how you phrase it at the interview.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 09:02

It was termed as call avoidance in a call centre.

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Piffpaffpoff · 08/08/2018 09:03

Agree with PP, we need more info on what happened. Stealing 10k is a different kettle of fish to looking up someone’s records on file for example?

Personally, I’d have to come clean or I’d spend all my time waiting to be “found out”. So if they ask, say that there was an issue with a mistake, and you were dismissed as per procedures. Explain why it happened, be very clear about it being a mistake, that you’ve learned from and given the consequences will never happen again etc etc. And then hope for the best. I had an interview for a new internal post while off with stress and the interviewer knew that and asked me about it. I didn’t slag off my current boss, just focussed on what I had had done proactively about the situation, changes I had made and why it wouldn’t happen again. Got the job.

catsbeensickagain · 08/08/2018 09:10

I've just had to Google what "call avoidance" is. Sounds like it can be quite a draconian policy. It's very much at the mild end of things that in most industries would be termed "gross misconduct" though. I would therefore be completely upfront and explain. It will be on your reference from that company (or clear that there was an issue if you do not list them as a reference). If you explain it in the way you have to us here, regarding it being a moment of stupidity that you have learned from, and in all other ways you are good for the job, I would hope you were in with a chance, and I would respect your honesty. Completely different industry but I have hired someone who clearly explained the reasons for their dismissal to me, it worked out well.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 09:10

I was very naive, and broke a policy without fully understanding the consequences and without malice.

As both companies are regulated by the FCA, references need to be honest and therefore previous employer is likely to disclose it on a reference.
So there is absolutely no way i’m not going to be honest, I just need help to phrase it really.

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ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 09:13

Thanks for all your input, as the company was in the financial sector, gross misconduct without explanation is a huge red flag.
This wasn’t, it was a mistake with no attempt to defraud, theft, assault etc.
This new role is also regulated by the FCA but involves no telephone work, more administrative.

OP posts:
woodhill · 08/08/2018 09:18

Hope you get job OP.

I too googled call avoidance and it sounded very harsh.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 09:33

In the job spec for the new role, I believe I tick all the boxes, competent with computers, hard working individually and part of a team, attention to detail etc.
In addition, I held my previous role for 9 years, no disciplinaries, no sickness records and reliable even through a difficult pregnancy, never late for work etc. That company i’m sure would provide me with an excellent reference. (Would you mention this in an interview to explain character, or would that be too far?)
It’s just this one and it hanging over me. I think I need to write down what i’m going to say and practice saying it out loud.

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BubblesBuddy · 08/08/2018 10:40

Some companies do ask for two references so offer up the previous company if asked. The new company would get a fairer picture of you if they did that.

I’m not up to speed with call centre gross misconduct policies but I’m amazed that’s a sacking offence. It would require training and a don’t continue to do it type of conversation but it seems draconian to me.

Therefore I think I might say, if asked, that it had not been explained during your induction that this was a red flag and gross misconduct, no one spoke to you about it during your 6 month probation and performance monitoring meetings before it was deemed misconduct and that you have learnt that avoiding calls was not acceptable and has blemished your otherwise excellent employment record. You have now realised this type of work wasn’t right for you but you have other strengths which you believe are valuable to employers, etc. Then you can elaborate on what you can do!

Obviously only say about induction and no ongoing monitoring/supervision etc if it’s true! Most employees do not know what is gross misconduct unless it’s spelt out to them. In a new role for you, it should have been. Poor employment practice in my view. Good luck with the interview.

Ollivander84 · 08/08/2018 10:40

Say it as you said it on here. And why you did it
I lost my job for "performance" after 9 years. Was completely honest in interview and got my new job

desperatehousewife21 · 08/08/2018 17:21

Sorry to hear your situation. I work in a call centre who are also FCA regulated so fully understand how strict it can be.
Just today I have been ‘file noted’ which is the v first tiny step on the disciplinary ladder for fucking up (a v honest mistake with no bad intentions) but cost the company £100 in compensation. So I can imagine how much you’ve beaten yourself up. There have been people in my office who have also lost their job to call avoidance.

I just always think honesty is the best policy, I reckon the new place will see you for what you can offer.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 17:26

Thanks desperatehousewife21. I suppose the worst thing about it all was I really really did like the job, I just made a silly, out of character mistake.
There have been numerous dismissals for various reasons at my old company, I had no idea it was so strict.

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desperatehousewife21 · 08/08/2018 17:32

Mistakes do happen we are only human Smile just give the interview your all, be positive and smile.

Do come back here and let us know how the interview goes.

flowerythorns · 08/08/2018 17:43

Blimey. I've just googled too Shock

Here's one example

I work at home, and I heard the tornado sirens. I immediately took shelter. I failed to log out of the system properly, which caused me to sit in an idle status for a long period of time. I was accused of call avoidance and fired.

Joe66 · 08/08/2018 17:45

Use your mistake as a positive learning curve. Your previous employer is unlikely to give much of a reference. They are usually 'miss x was employed from x June to x September and left our employment on x (or if they are nasty was dismissed from our employment). I would contact hr at your previous post and ask what a reference will say. Then turn it into a positive. I learned to pay extra attention to detail, to learn policy and procedure, and that a call centre is not a good fit for me because I excel at direct customer facing roles because i read body language well and interact with empathy, I also learned the benefit of good training and how it should be clear and unequivocal, I need to be engaged in my employment and need to be kept stimulated etc etc. I think I remember your thread, and you seem bright and capable. We all screw up sometimes. I wish you well Cake

Katescurios · 08/08/2018 17:55

@prosecutors that's a very American example . In the UK call avoidance usually when staff members deliberately put a walk away code in to the phone system so that they move back to the bottom of the available lis t. This means the next call goes to a colleague rather than them. It is considered gross misconduct in most call centres because you are deliberately taking steps to prevent having to do the work you're paid for, and creating additional work for colleagues

OP if I read your posts right, you were with this company 7 months and the previous company 9 years. They may not ask why you left in the interview, if they do you could just say it was nt a good fit for you, that you think the company you are interviewing with will be a great fit though because....

Katescurios · 08/08/2018 17:56

That should say @flowerythorns I have absolutely no idea why my kindle auto corrected to prosecutors!

Gwenhwyfar · 08/08/2018 18:06

"This means the next call goes to a colleague rather than them. It is considered gross misconduct in most call centres because you are deliberately taking steps to prevent having to do the work you're paid for, and creating additional work for colleagues "

How is it any worse than people in a normal office not answering the phone, or leaving a phone call that comes to many phones for someone else to answer? Or taking an unauthorised break? Lesson to me from this is don't ever work in a call centre (well I already knew that from friends who get their wages docked when making notes on the last call rather than being on the next call).

Katescurios · 08/08/2018 18:37

The difference between a normal office is that call centres are targeted on things like answering 80% calls within 20 seconds, answering 95% calls made to the service..... for many call centres they get financial penalties from their clients if they miss those targets, or they may not be able to obtain new contracts. So there is a direct financial detriment to not answering calls. Whereas in other office environments the calls have less importance.

It’s not an environment that suits everyone, but in my experience these targets and the importance of adhering to schedules and following processes is made clear during induction.

Biggreygoose · 08/08/2018 18:54

If the op is the same as the threads I read recently then this wasn't a single mistake . This was over a period of months the call avoidance and dropped calls was going on. Also it was an outgoing call centre and due to the actions of the op people were cold called with no one at the other end. Something for which the penalties can be severe.

Op gave spurious excuses of IT issues (which they never raised until caught) and stress (which again they never raised until caught).

Basically the op in those threads spent months pushing it as far as they could until they got caught and fired. In that case I don't think there was particular malice either, just the consequences weren't immediate so they pushed it further and further until it couldn't be ignored.

If it is the same op (if not , I apologize) I wouldn't touch you with a barge pole. You failed over a period of time to complete a core duty and failed to raise pertinent issues in a timely manner.

HollowTalk · 08/08/2018 19:00

@biggreygoose, I agree, these things were occurring over a long period of time.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 21:07

I can assure you, I am a different OP.

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ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 21:13

I actually read them threads myself when I was told it was classed a call avoidance. My previous company was inbound only, no cold calling. Which I am thankful for, as I hate that myself.

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BakedBeans47 · 08/08/2018 21:14

How is it any worse than people in a normal office not answering the phone, or leaving a phone call that comes to many phones for someone else to answer?

You often have performance and call handling targets in call centres and also people can do things such as answer the call and hang up to inflate their call stats. Of course if call centres looked at the pressure they put on people to perform people might not feel the need to manipulate stats

OP I’d find out what they’d put in a reference. The co may be FCA regulated but it doesn’t sound like you’re in a regulated position yourself. Admittedly I was made redundant rather than dismissed for misconduct but when I left a large bank my reference literally had my dates of employment and that was it.

ListenLinda · 08/08/2018 21:40

I wasn’t regulated no, I was a CSA on inbound calls. The new role is also CSA but not in a call centre and no telephone based work.

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