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I had worked for an IT consultancy, I'll call "B" 5 months ago. They fired me during the probation period. I only lasted about 40 days in that role. I have just recently reapplied there, out of curiosity, and had been invited to an interview. I was liked a lot and given a fantastic job offer. My question is, can I take it?

I worked with B back in April, as a junior software engineer and I had bad behaviour. I wasn't honest, I didn't do as I was told. I learned from it all. However, I have greatly annoyed company B after I was fired, by deliberately joining their training sessions (while not part of company B anymore). I mostly did this for retaliation and fun. I'm a young guy after all and we all do stupid things which we learn from

My question is, can I work for them again? The employees who interviewed me are completely different people and haven't heard of me at all. I will also be working the same role, junior software engineer, in a new department. But I'm still afraid I may bump into the 2 managers I annoyed greatly. I might also encounter some of my ex-colleagues who knew of my past bad behaviour and might rat me out

When I interviewed, I pretended to be completely new to company B. I never mentioned having worked for them before. I deliberately hid the truth because I would suspect if I told them "Yes I worked here before and was fired" they wouldn't consider me. The 2 managers (who were mad at me) know my name. I stick out to them. So if anybody asked them who I was, what I did, they will surely speak badly of me, and tell others to avoid/fire me.

If I took this job offer, what are the chances that they'll find out my past?

Another question, should I come clean now? My interviewer absolutely loved me, he has respect for me. If I told him about the past, I fear he would no longer want to hire me. However, maybe if I can explain to him that I learned from the past, and that we all make mistakes and we learn from them. Would he look past it? I don't know

A bit of context, I'm from Western Europe, and this role would be remote. So I imagine there could be less chance of bumping into people

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    In my opinion you made a serious mistake by concealing the fact that you previously worked for this company and were let go for cause. I'm almost sure you must have filled out an application that asked that question and you probably lied. Now the problem is what will they do once they discover the truth?
    – jwh20
    Sep 19 at 19:45
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    You lied during interview and that is a sufficient cause for firing you, so as soon as they will find out you will be fired again. I dont really understand what you are expecting.
    – Maxime
    Sep 19 at 20:26
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    "When I interviewed, I pretended to be completely new to company B. I never mentioned having worked for them before" You haven't changed ;-) Sep 19 at 23:39
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    Just disguise yourself with a fake mustache and glasses and hope for the best. Sep 19 at 23:45
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    I have seen this exact situation a long time ago. A guy at a call centre I worked in got fired after two weeks. About six months later he walked in again as a new starter. His former manager walked him back out of the door. It must have been fairly humiliating for all involved, you should do everything you can to avoid this.
    – Dustybin80
    Sep 20 at 9:38
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Everything is computerized. Anytime they type your last name into their system, their HR database is going to find your previous employee record.

And then, there is your social security number (or if you're not in the United States, whatever they call such an identifier in your country). Without a different social security number, their systems are not going to allow them to create a second record for your payroll, for your medical insurance, or for your retirement account.

So ask yourself, how do you want them to find out? Do you want to be the one who tells them before you accept their offer? Or do you want them to find out on their own during your onboarding process?

If you really want this job, you should come clean to the hiring manager, the person who was the most enthusiastic about you. That person can be your advocate inside the company.

Now, will you get the job? Or will the offer be withdrawn after you disclose this? I don't know. But going ahead without telling them is a sure fire way to get fired again, but this time, with the risk of security or the police getting called on you.

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    There's exactly zero chance that OP won't be found out. The moment they register for medical, banking, and tax records, the jig will be up, then they get to be fired again.
    – Nelson
    Sep 20 at 3:27
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    I agree with your answer, but could you explain the "risk of security or the police getting called on you" part? I don't understand why that would be the case.
    – kirbby
    Sep 20 at 10:09
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    @kirbby, Just imagine. You fire someone and 5 month later, that person comes back to work for your company under false pretenses. This is not normal. I would fear potential sabotage or potential theft. At the very least, I would want the police to ask them a few questions and issue them a trespass notice. Sep 20 at 20:05
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ, In the United States, a "trespass notice" doesn't mean that you've trespassed. It's a just formal way of notifying someone that they should leave the property and never come back again on the property for any reason (unless they want to get arrested and charged for trespassing). Sep 22 at 0:11
  • Deleting my comments as well. Thnx for the "trespass notice", didn't know that. Sep 22 at 9:03
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I refer you to this answer I wrote a few hours ago:

The absolute, completely worst thing you can do is to lie about it. That would be the end of your chances with that company now and at any point in the future, because nobody wants a liar in their company.

While it seems that the HR team here didn't meet my definition of "minimally competent", at some point somebody will put two and two together and you'll be walking out the door.

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  • Well actually ... would they be allowed to fire him, on what basis?! Would that be unfair dismissal?
    – Fattie
    Sep 20 at 16:42
  • @Fattie The general opinion here seems to be that he would be fired for lying at the interview (and assuming this is found out during probation time, when the strong worker protection of Western Europe is not yet in force). Sep 20 at 16:50
  • "fired for lying at the interview" true, but, I mean, did he? it could be more "their mistake!" anyway - just a theoretical issue. it's clear what oru OP has to do.
    – Fattie
    Sep 20 at 16:54
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    @Fattie Considering OP had a probation period the first time they worked there, I think it's fair to assume they'll have one this time as well. During a probation period you can usually get fired without cause at any time (just like you can just quit without notice).
    – Dnomyar96
    Sep 21 at 8:17
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I am going to try to give an actually constructive answer, where to go from here:

The facts are

  1. you have lied to the currently recruiter, or, "spectacularly omitted facts"

  2. regarding the absurd question "Will I be found out", you already know the answer

  3. as you yourself have said, you want to come clean to Current Recruiter

What to literally do right now ... how to proceed:

What you have here is a severe language problem. All of life is about word combinations. Here, we have a challenge.

The best I can come up with:

Right now, email current recruiter Steve and say:

Steve, thanks again for your positive response to the amazing blah programming position. Steve, just to be clear, you're aware I worked briefly for Mega Co (March 2020) but unfortunately had a falling out with manager Joe Person and left? I assumed you would have known this but of course I want to do the right thing and it just occurred to me in such a big organization it may be a separate structure? Just wanted to mention this to ensure all is correct! At your service, kindly Jack

I really think that's the best you can do.

I would honestly just copy and paste that and send it off.


Philosophy corner:

You know how there are some people that like shoplifting as a test of skill and daring (even though they are not in the slightest criminals, they often put the items back as a further test; after all, special ops forces ("spies" as it were) do exactly this sort of thing in the real world to train their nerves.)

My guess is you have that personality type. As someone already told you in the comments, it's clear you have great ability at selling yourself. (Like, say, Steve Jobs.) All you have to do is get off the path of "shoplifting" and apply your life to selling yourself. Once you realize this you'll be wildly successful. Enjoy.

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Here's the thing about any employment relationship: It's always a two-way street. Even if you think you were fired solely because of things which were within your control, there is a chance (I'd say a good chance) that there are some things which contributed to your termination that were not under your control. The bottom line is, this company has fired you in the past, and because they have fired you in the past, they may fire you in the future. Of course, this is true of any company, but it is more true of a company which has been shown to have actually done the firing, of you, previously. Therefore, I would tread extremely carefully around any offer this company makes, as you are certainly at higher risk of being fired here than at a different company, even if you are not at higher risk of being fired than any other employee of the company.

Personally speaking, I would never work for a company which has fired me before, I would have never even accepted their interview request. The reason why is mostly the same as why "job hoppers" have a bad rep amongst employers; if you are likely to quit then I don't want to spend the time in hiring you. Conversely, if you are likely to fire me (more than any other company) then I don't want to spend the time interviewing with you. But since you already did, I would tread very carefully around their offer, and look to work somewhere else if you could.

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