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Not telling the whole truth to ACN

 
#1 Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 00:15

Li Ing Hire

I accepted an offer as an Experienced Hire from Accenture. Orginally told them a bit of a lie on my application form and CV where I said I recieved a 2:1 on my degree when I didn't.

I did my degree a number of years ago and have 8 years of work experiece behind me. HR sent me a form to fill in that asks legal name etc and degree details. Going to put the truth down, but worried that they may notice the 'discrepency'.

Any thoughts (to put my mind at rest or not, cos I've handed in my notice) on what might happen? Could they withdraw my offer? Should I ring the HR rep and tell him in advance?

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#2 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 06:53

THE_LAW to Li Ing Hire (#1)

To answer your questions one at the time:

Can they withdraw your offer?

Yes they can and they can also dismiss you after you started as this would constitute a breach of the duty of trust you have with your employer

Will HR find out?

50:50 chance I would say. these details are quite remote. Then again, I am not in HR but I cannot seem to think ACN crosses check every applications to that level of detail

Should you tell HR?

No, I think you have a good chance of them not finding out. Telling them is not going to earn you any more grace than them finding out later on.

Since you have handed in your notice you have to live with it and hope it goes unnoticed.

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#3 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 07:33

Note to UK Accenture HR to THE_LAW (#2)

To UK Accenture HR - I hope you double check the degree details of Experienced Hires who have just received their confirmation forms. I would also hope you double check anyone who puts a 2:2 with approximately 8 years of work experience (I am sure you would anyway as 2:2 is not normally an entry criteria) and then immediately put into action the process to terminate this guy's / girl's contract!

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#4 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 08:27

Mars A Day to Li Ing Hire (#1)

As much as I cannot and do not condone this behaviour, you are in the situation, and simply posting here to try and make matters worse helps no one.

I suggest, as The Law also suggested, that you simply hope that HR doesnt notice. Or else blame it on an error on your original application form - they might - just might - take the view that your 8 years experience, and the expense/opportunity cost of having to find another hire to replace you outweighs the 'mistake'.

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#5 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 08:43

taxrebate to Mars A Day (#4)

If you can't spell 'discrepancy', I'm not surprised you got a Desmond...

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#6 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 08:57

Note to UK Accenture HR to taxrebate (#5)

Mars A Day - I do not understand your position. On the one hand you do not condone the situation yet you then advocate him/her lying when found out (blaming it on an error in his original application)? It was not an error on his original application - it was a lie on his original application.

What we should, as a community, be clear on - is not to give advice on how he/she can dig themselves out of this hole and yet still get the prize at the end of it, but rather what is the approach with the most integrity. Otherwise what message are we sending to others? "Lie on your original form and it's OK - once you get so far into the recruitment process, they will keep you 'cos they've already spent so much cash on getting you this far?". That is ultimately what you are suggesting.

Li Ing Hire was putting forward a very good suggestion - to ring the HR representative and tell them in advance. This shows he/she has a modicum of integrity - and would no doubt assure many restful nights. Yet we, as a community, do not advocate this - rather we give the singular response to continue their lie throughout their career at Accenture, hope the professionals he/she has lied to don't notice - and then when they do notice - lie again and say it was a mistake.

This is a disappointing response from so many "professionals"

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#7 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 09:22

Dave to Note to UK Accenture HR (#6)

"Li Ing Hire was putting forward a very good suggestion - to ring the HR representative and tell them in advance."

That is terrible advice! You will either get rejected for lying, or if you do get accepted, your line manager and colleagues will all know and you'll be thought of as a liar before you've even finished day 1 on the job.

As I see it, there's only one viable solution. Withdraw. Say something better came up. If they really really really push and are desperate to have you and start offering loads of extra cash to take their offer instead of the "competitor's", then maybe tell them the real reason because at that point you've nothing to lose. But you certainly don't want sleepless nights worrying about your £450K mortgage and your job that could come to an abrupt end the moment someone in HR decides to do a bit of random snooping to dig up dirt on the troops.

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#8 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 09:24

Dave to Dave (#7)

I just re-read and notice that you've ready handed in your notice. Gosh. Um.... I figure you need a job, right? You could try and slip through the net, then start looking for a new job straight away. If you do get fired, then just leave ACN out of your CV and be thankful that you managed to get a few paycheques in the meantime whilst looking for a new job?

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#9 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 09:26

Note to UK Accenture to Dave (#7)

Well - sorry - but he did lie. Therefore he SHOULD be fired if it's ever found out. He SHOULD be terminated from the application process.

God forbid his colleagues would think him a liar......for having lied!

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#10 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 10:40

Mars A Day to Note to UK Accenture HR (#6)

Note to UK Accenture HR - as I also said in my post, posting here calling Li Ing Hire fraudulent in his/her application helps no one. I am not interested in making moral judgements about anyone, and can only assume you have led a blameless existence?

Fact of the matter is, no matter how blameworthy Li Ing's actions are (and yes they are), sitting in judgement on it wont help.

The point of this forum is for individuals to come on here in a frank, open and anonymous forum for advice, share views etc. So he has made a mistake, an error of judgement perhaps. We have I believe a culture of toleration in this country. God forbid we wind up in a society where every mistake in judgement is condemned and flamed publically.

My advise was in this context: Li Ing made the error, and as I dont know him/her or their character, I am assuming it was a one time mistake. So I am giving objective advice on what to do to try and salvage the situation. I am not advocating people SHOULD lie in applications, I am telling Li Ing what maybe the only shot at getting through the application, without judgement.

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#11 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 10:51

Dave to Mars A Day (#10)

I think Mars is right in so far as hoping that HR don't notice is one option. But if they do notice, then simply saying it was a mistake in the application won't work. We've all heard that old chestnut before and know what it means. So, you'll need a far, far FAR better excuse than that. Any ideas what excuse he could use, guys?

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#12 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 10:55

someguy to Dave (#11)

It's not a bit of a lie is it? it's a sackable offense.

Put the truth on the HR form and hope you're otherwise special enough that they don't decide to withdraw the offer.

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#13 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 11:52

otherguy to someguy (#12)

Will less than a 2:1 really make a big deal if the guy/girl has 8 years of experience and an offer? Having successfully gone through the process clearly ACN think he/she is good enough.

I don’t like this mentality of being tainted for life if you didn’t get the right degree classification. How many of us bent the truth at some point during our working lives? Saying that, it would have been wise to tell the truth from the beginning- that’s what consultants on this forum pride ourselves on.

I wonder if he/she were to put the right info on the application form now will they really cross-reference it with what was on the original form/cv?

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#14 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 11:57

Note to Accenture UK HR to someguy (#12)

Sorry Mars - I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not one to say I have led a blameless existence - and everyone makes mistakes. What matters is how we react to these mistakes.

I do not believe that "sitting in judgement" - as you rather patronisingly call it - means expressing disgust that someone who has lied on his application form and CV takes a potential dream career choice from someone who has not.

Furthermore I am disappointed - and it seems I am in the minority - that you are offering the advice that he/she try to see if their lie can hold water through their career, and not to own up. This does not recognise that a mistake has been made. Why should the situation be salvaged when he/she has taken the position of someone else? What is "salvaging" in your mind except to carry on lying?

Your view seems to be one of how best Li Ing can lie and cheat their way to getting into Accenture. Whether you consider me sitting in judgement or not, I consider this advice unprofessional and ill-judged - and lacking any moral compass.

As I said though - this is a free forum - and we'll agree to disagree.

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#15 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 11:58

Mars A Day to Dave (#11)

Dave my thinking is that IF the 8 years experience and cost of replicating the process outweighs the 'mistake' then simply putting it down to a data entry error wont hurt too much. If they take the decision that he is obviously good enough (which he obviously is) then the fact it's an old chestnut we've all heard before will accomplish the need for some basic reason for HR to file.

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#16 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 12:18

THE_LAW to someguy (#12)

This thread has naturally raised a few eyebrows; naturally it is a rather emotive topic.

Remaining entirely unbiased here, I really think you will not be any better off coming clean now.

I am leaving aside any ethical condundrum here, I am being pragmatic.

An important factor to bear in mind is that ACN will most probably view this as a serious integrity issue; which could get them to revisit whether or not to let deal with clients on their behalf.

However, companies will usually only go as far as sacking you should they discover a lie in your application, if that lie is in direct conflict with their decision - e.g. if they would otherwise not hire you based on the truth. I think in this situation, it is unlikely to be such as case.

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#17 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 13:48

Another Anon to THE_LAW (#16)

Lie to your hearts desire dude and good luck if you can get away with it! Anyone being judgmental on these forums is just a hypocrite in my opinion - no saints here and nobody has a right to judge.

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#18 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 14:01

Dave to deleted (#0)

I just checked Accenture's website and found their code of ethics at http://www.accenture.com/NR/rdonlyres/88C035EB-DAA1-44F9-BEC2-411C87DB788A/0/Accenture_Supplier_Standards_of_Conduct_English_Dec09.pdf

I couldn't find anything specific about employee honesty? Could be a technical loophole you could use?

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#19 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 14:37

Note to UK Accenture HR to Dave (#18)

That's because this is the supplier code of conduct and nothing to do with employees.

I am an Accenture employee - hence why I feel so strongly about this. The internal code of conduct clearly states "Misrepresentation of qualificiations" as grounds for Summary Dismissal.

There you go!

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#20 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 15:51

anon to Note to UK Accenture HR (#19)

Just asking but if you are and ACN employee; why not write to HR at their email address, which you'll inveriably know rather than posting on this forum as "note to ACN HR" hoping they will pick it up?

Are you worried you might be labelled?

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#21 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 16:38

Note to Accenture HR to anon (#20)

I have already done so.

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#22 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 16:48

Anon to Note to Accenture HR (#21)

Firstly, I don't get the hype on here about everyone lies etc etc.

This is an important issue of integrity. If someone is prepared to lie on their application form, why would you want to trust them?

Companies have criteria for applicants for a very good reason and why should someone be able to lie their way round them. In lots of cases the number of positions available is very limited so is it fair for a genuine, qualified candidate to be excluded because of a candidate who is not qualified and who has been deceptive?

If someone finds it so easy to lie about something as (relatively) simple as qualifications, what other things are they prepared to lie about or have lied about?

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#23 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 16:54

President Clinton to Anon (#22)

I did NOT have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky! Unless you count BJ's.

So, even the president of the USA lies.

History has taught us that whether something is a lie or not is a matter mostly of whether or not you can get away with it.

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#24 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 16:54

Jameson to Anon (#22)

Completely agree with Anon. I think we need to ask ourselves one simple question - if you applied for your dream job at Accenture with a 2:1, and your application was rejected because someone with a 2:2 had lied, then how would you feel?

Ask yourselves again - if that person had been advised by a community of professional consultants how to continue the lie to get their place at Accenture - how would feel about Consulting?

Despite the inevitable razor-sharp responses - I'm guessing most of you would realistically be disappointed, if not disgusted.

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#25 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 16:57

Anon to Anon (#22)

Do Note are you going to ask HR to verify all quals of every applicant worldwide on the basis of an anonymous post on TC?

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#26 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:01

Anon to Anon (#25)

"Do Note are you going to ask HR to verify all quals of every applicant worldwide on the basis of an anonymous post on TC?"

Why are you asking this question like it is a ridiculous thing to do? For an organisation like ACN the integrity of their people is key. I am sure they would want to act in cases like this.

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#27 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:13

Dave to Anon (#26)

What about people who exaggerate or manipulate during appraisals?

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#28 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:22

Anon to Dave (#27)

Dave - you are right. Forget everything else I have said on here. Everyone should be able to lie and cheat as much as they want to. Who needs integrity eh.

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#29 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:25

Note to Accenture UK HR to Dave (#27)

There is a line between lying and exaggerating. Consultancy thrives on "selling" yourself, your company or your offerings. It's called "stretching the truth" - truth in this case, being the operative word. This case isn't about stretching the truth, it's not about selling your offering - it's a fundamental deception.

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#30 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:33

Dave to Note to Accenture UK HR (#29)

What's the difference between a company that over-sells its experience (I am NOT saying ACN does that by the way!) and an employee that over-sells his qualifications?

You could say the latter involves saying something that is factually incorrect. However, lying can also involve not telling "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

If I was him however, I'd be more worried about the sleepless nights and risk of getting caught at the most inopportune of times.

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#31 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:47

Note to Accenture UK HR to Dave (#30)

Well - I think that you want to use the analogy of a company, then lying to get business - which includes unfairly denying the opportunity for that business to competitors - would probably fall under some component of anti-trust law. In this case there is a legal, not only ethical, standpoint.

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#32 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:48

someguy to Dave (#30)

@Dave: overselling does not equate to a bald-faced lie.

@otherguy: If you can't be truthful about something as straightforward as "did you get a 2:1" then you can't be trusted with my client. To turn your question round, what if someone who worked hard for a properly earned 2:1 was turned down for this joker?

It may seem like the same thing to you amateurs but that's why HR are so paranoid with background checks these days, because of the actions of a few untrustworthy liars.

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#33 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:58

Dave to someguy (#32)

What if his 2.2 was in a hard subject and he is merely 'overselling' to ensure that he is on a level playing field with all the grads with firsts in media studies and modern languages?

Also, overselling does amount to lying in my opinion. It is a form of deception - leading someone to think you're better at something than you are.

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#34 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 17:59

Ned Flanders to someguy (#32)

high 2:1 = 62% = stretching the truth, subjective area, requires quantification of "high"

2:2 = 2:1 lie

No hard feelings Li Ing Hire, we've all got something wrong at some point, but I think after 8 years in the business you know what the right thing to do is.

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#35 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 18:05

Jameson to Ned Flanders (#34)

"What if his 2.2 was in a hard subject and he is merely 'overselling' to ensure that he is on a level playing field with all the grads with firsts in media studies and modern languages?"

This actually made me laugh out loud. I hope you were joking?

To credit this with a reponse - it's not for him / her to decide what the entry criteria should be for employment with Accenture.

(And btw - I assume you can speak Turkish, Swedish, Norwegian, Flemish and Catalan fluently? No? What about Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic? And 18th Century Greek literature (also covered on a modern language course). If not, why not? They are so easy after all!)

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#36 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 19:50

Just A Thought to Jameson (#35)

heeee haaaaaa.. thanks for lightening up my mood after a hectic Monday.

OP the deed is done and you really have 3 options: (1) See it through and join Acc (2) pull out and look for another job as you have already handed in your notice in current empl (3) withydraw your resignation from your current firm..(do have plausible reasons why you want to remain as this is tricky but depending on your relationship etc with your company is doable)..however if they read this forum = BUSTED

So fwiw see it through at ACC can't cry now... you knew this could happen possible you were even suprised to get an interview let alone get offered the job..well your lie has partly gotten you through (i say partly cause your experience & performance during recruitment swung the pendulum in your favour)...LEARN from this and move on..IF HR find out and terminate your employment..hey you knew what the consequences would be so take it on the chin and get another job..chances are you will get another job and in years to come this would be a distant memory but LEARN from this and move on.

Telling HR of your fib would have your offer withdrawn hands down!!!

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#37 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
09/08/2010 21:13

Mr Winterpea to Just A Thought (#36)

The bitter, cut-throat and petty attitude of Note to UK Accenture convinces me that he does indeed work for the company.

I blame ACN for asking the question in the first place. A first degree classification is rarely an important factor in determining employment suitability for an experienced hire - especially at ACN where a lot of work is generalist. Very few consultants hold first degree qualifications which aid or qualify them in their consulting day jobs and even if they do, a consultant is only as good as his last project, not an exam they took a decade ago.

Having said that, the OP has made a slight error of judgement in not declaring his true grade. If the hiring manager liked you enough to offer you the job, I doubt that it would have been a factor at all in the decision making process. Whatever you do though, don't tell a soul. Keep it to yourself and before you know it, you will have moved on.

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#38 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
12/08/2010 15:49

Sparky to Note to UK Accenture HR (#3)

by Note to UK Accenture HR........ you really are a little toad aren't you.

I'd hire this guy anytime, over some spoon (that'll be you) with a 2:1 or a first as he has 8 years experience as compared to your most probable one or two with a half decent company like ACN. Lets face it, they're not all that and the ones I've worked with are very good at PPT and word but really lack any decent grounding/ deep industry expertise in Capital Markets for example.

You really ought to get of your shetland pony son and get back to RAG colouring a spreadsheet or grassing up a potentially good hire to HR. Tw*t.

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#39 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
12/08/2010 16:35

Being the Tiger or should I say the Cheat :) to Sparky (#38)

My view for its worth is - s/he was foolish to put down 2:1 when s/he had 2:2 unless the job spec specifically asked for it (which i doubt it did).

Anyway's the deed is done, and the pre employment agency will find out. So only a matter of time before ACN find out.

Your best bet is to fess up to ACN HR, say you made a genuine mistake and hope for the best.

But if history teaches us anything, the lil white lie will prob do no harm, you only have to look back 2 seasons ago on the apprentice when A Sugar hired a guy that lied.

Perhaps the OP could use that as argument, Again using yr know how and business knowledge will do well in yr career.

Oh and i just realised this person is living up to all the qualities in being the TIGER :)

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#40 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
12/08/2010 16:48

OP to Being the Tiger or should I say the Cheat :) (#39)

the most stupid thing this guy has done is post the information on a consultants forum. Should have kept his head down and if the point was raised by HR then act dumb/apologise/hope etc...

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#41 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
13/08/2010 23:03

ACN Partner to OP (#40)

Listen to me now. I am a Partner at ACN after joining as SC 5 years ago. I had 9 years industry experience. I have no degree but told them I had a 1:1 plus MBA. Did they check up on me? No. Am I now milking it in? Yes. Will they ever check? Well, I don't care. I've got enough experience to waltz into any MC in the country, lie or no lie.

Keep quiet, sit it out. But I must admit you are stupid for positing it on here. I hope you're not joining the FS practice or I'm gunning for you.

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#42 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
14/08/2010 10:33

someguy to ACN Partner (#41)

yeah. listen to "ACN partner" who joined at a nonexistent SC level 5 years ago. What's that lassie? His sarcasm light was on? Nvmind then.

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#43 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
14/08/2010 17:50

Being the Tiger or should I say the Cheat :) to someguy (#42)

Yes, listen to the non existent title of SC (what is that Snr Consultant) and 1:1 (err whats is that, a new grading system just made for you) and if ACN did hire you, no wonder the company had numerous rounds of redunancy.. you were the dead weight in that organisation they were trying to get rid of

And I seriouly doubt you could walk into any MC and get a job.

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#44 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
23/08/2010 14:11

Pants on fire to Being the Tiger or should I say the Cheat :) (#43)

Ooooh dear, just skirt around it and it'll be OK.

Chances are that if you've good a good backing from a partner then you're being recruited on the back of a strong interview process and not the background of what you did at uni nearly a decade ago.

I had the same situation with a 2:2 (I just didn't metion it though, you could mention your handwriting is bad) and no-one even asked the question and now working at a T4 MC safe in the knowledge I told the truth.....when asked.

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#45 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
26/08/2010 23:43

Shoe Polisher to Pants on fire (#44)

I'm an internal recruiter ex big four, currently just outside, but still global.

We now use Kroll to background check on every app and offer with the only exception being grad and they do check degrees.

If we found out you had cheated? Adios amigo.

And I would have no sympathy for you, not because I am holier than thou, but because the nature of the lie is just stupid. A 2:2 with eight good years is compelling, especially if you do a decent case.(oops, did I give the game away?)

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#46 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
27/08/2010 05:49

Tiger to Shoe Polisher (#45)

I just want to state for the record that i am tiger woods and that I have never cheated.

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#47 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
29/08/2010 12:31

acn to Tiger (#46)

had you not written it down here, you would have a good chance of not being spotted but unfortunately most of the hrs are reading these forums - they even write here on behalf of the company.

but you may still have a chance since the acn hr will be a bit busy with the latest laddering discussions and grievance requests.

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#48 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
30/08/2010 13:01

ACNer to Li Ing Hire (#1)

What a stupid lie. A 2:2 is something that you can easily talk around and justify in an interview, especially if you have 8 years work experience - "I was not satisfied with my undergraduate performance, I've taken it as a big learning experience, my career post-university shows that I have the competencies to excel in this role at ACN, etc etc"

I was offered a grad position in ACN consulting despite 'less than ideal' performance in my university degree at the time of interview, and the offer was conditional on a "second class honours degree" being obtained on graduation (note, no differentiation between 2:1 or 2:2).

It may well be different for exp. hires, but I was required to produce my degree certificate as part of the offer process.

What to do now? Declare the error. I don't want to sound like I'm towing the company line, BUT integrity is a very important attribute... you've shot yourself in the foot already, but from my viewpoint, you've got more likliehood of surviving sending an email to HR explaining a typing error in your application than you have of survivng HR checking your qualifications and discovering that you have been deceiving them.

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#49 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
01/09/2010 21:20

anon to ACNer (#48)

@Ling Ing Hire - So you partied all night in the uni and ended up with 2:2. Now you want to take the job meant for the hardworking 1st or 2:1 grad. There is really no diffrenece between what you are trying to do and armed robbery except that you don't have a gun (who knows anyway!)

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#50 RE: Not telling the whole truth to ACN
01/09/2010 21:46

Loksi to anon (#49)

If you lie the second time around you will definitely fit the pattern-once a lair, always a lair. Come clean about it now and hope they don't notice. If they do, confess to making a genuine mistake.

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