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help! how to explain it all at interview??

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i am a nurse, but was dismissed from my job back in march for gross misconduct. i had gone off sick and obtained a doctors note which my new boss asked me to post to her home address. i saw the doctor on the 14th (called my boss on this day to say i'd been signed off), posted it on the 15th and she received it on the 16th. i went back to work....everything was fine....then got a phone call from my boss on a saturday morning to say i'd been suspended as they believed i had changed the issue date on my sick note. my union was with me all the way, and i had my disciplinary hearing about a month later. in this hearing they presented me with new evidence (which they should have given to me before) which was a statement (which they had to print off an e mail), from my boss. in this statement she had lied about many things, and it emerged that the sick note was kept at her house for a week before being forwarded onto HR. the hearing was postponed in order for the company to investigate my boss. however 4 days later i received a letter in the post to say i had been dismissed with no notice for gross misconduct. i should add that i had gone back to my doctors and obtained another sick note with the correct dates, so there was no question that i had taken any unauthorised leave etc. i had nothing to do with changing the date on the sick note, as i had absolutely nothing to gain by doing so! i'd had a few problems with my boss when she started....mainly asking me to take on more responsibilty, bitching to me about other colleagues and the company itself etc. however i just put it down to her being stressed with her new position etc. before she went for the job, all our other colleagues were insisting that i applied for the position but i wasn't interested. my union thinks that she was the one who changed the dates in order to get me 'out'.


i had my appeal which was unsuccessful.....but my union were all for taking the case to tribunal due to the fact i did not have a fair hearing or a chance to give my side of the story. however i am also employed by a nursing agency and have been for 7 years. because i was effectively still employed (with the agency), the union told me that i would get virtually no compensation if i won the case as i had not lost any earnings. therefore i decided to just close the chapter and continue with my agency work and start looking for something more permenant in the future.


however.....agency work has of course dried up to virtually nothing, and i haven't worked for nearly 2 months. as you can imagine financially things are getting pretty desperate now! i have applied for a few jobs, had 2 telephone interviews this week..waiting to hear if i get shortlisted. i have also applied to work extra shifts at one of my local NHS hospitals.....i was totally open with them about the reason for my dismissal but i am still waiting for my previous company to provide a reference.....its been 7 weeks now since one was requested?!


what i'm struggling with the most is how to explain all of this in interview?? i have explained it by giving a brief description of what happened, but then with a positive spin at the end.....about how i've now revaluated my career etc etc.


i do struggle a lot when it comes to explaining it all as i haven't quite come to terms with it myself! i have an unblemished 10 year career and this whole thing has shaken me to the core?! i think i'd find it easier to explain it if i was guilty!! but being totally innocent, its hard to explain it all without verging on bitching about my old company....which i know is a big NO NO!


so any advice? sorry if i've rambled on....would just be nice to be able to sort this all out so i can be more confident in interviews as its affecting my whole performance at interview.



many many thanks !!

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Hello there and welcome. This sounds awful for you, what a horrible manager. I'm sure you'll get lots of support here.


One of the things people say at interview is that there was a personality clash or that the chemistry wasn't right. Would that help at all?


HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Hi coleslaw.......... believe me I know how management a) will collude to save themselves b) manipulate so you are the one at fault.


My wife is a nurse and one course of action we had in mind until the employer decided to pay her off was to complain to the NMC over professional misconduct. You were probably advised correctly by the lawyers as you needed to prove that you were affected in your purse. I am assuming that the manager is a nurse and subject to the NMC guidlines. You can check on the NMC site as to whether she is on the register. If she is complain about her and any other manager that was involved in this sordid affair. Here are the codes http://www.nmc-uk.org/Nurses-and-midwives/The-code/The-code-in-full/


So once you have lodge a complaint your answer is on interview........... "My lawyers stated that I had no losses to recover, however I am unhappy with what happened and have lodged a complaint with the NMC for Professional Misconduct, Untruthful behaviour and Bring the Profession into disrepute.


You don't have to go through with the complaint only as far as to when you get a full time job. (Although I would as the behaviour is appalling).


Good luck keep us posted as to how you get on.

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thank you all for your replies!! papasmurf.....good idea!! i hadn't thought of going down that avenue before....so something to consider!


i try and keep the explaination brief at interview but its so difficult to try and package it all together in a simple way! i start off by saying how much i loved my job....and list some of the things i did to improved the service etc. then i go on to say about what happened but finish off with a positive spin at the end. kind of like a s**t sandwich....start off good.....bad stuff....but end up with good stuff!


i have practised saying it all in front of friends, but its when i get to interview that i clam up and it all comes out wrong, or i end up adding stuff to it and then regretting saying things. its also affecting how i answer their other questions cos i'm just trying to speed up to the point of me having to explain why i left my last job.


funnily enough its the NHS interviews that have been the most sympathetic, but the private compaines are the ones that question me pretty hard over it all.


i've applied for another 5 jobs so plenty of practise ahead of me i hope! i guess its a case of just selling myself the best i can and hoping someone will give me a break. i never in a MILLION years thought i would be in this position.....


thank you all for taking the time to reply to me....i will let you know how i get on!

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