You’ve worked hard to land your dream job, and you finally got the chance to land an interview. You have the skills necessary to do the job, and you’re told you might just be the perfect candidate for the position but there’s only one small problem. Your last job did not go according to plan and you were fired. You weren’t even sure you should add this to your resume because afraid of what might happen during your interview that at the same time it’s not right to lie either.
So what does one do when they’ve been fired from a job? How do you handle discussing it when seeking employment, again? Today we are going to discuss the four ways to explain what happened at your last place of employment, but first, there are a few things you need to know.
It’s not a good idea to talk bad about a former employer while your in the middle of an interview. This gives off a wrong impression because it makes you seem like the bad guy, not the employer who fired you. You need to be able to prove that you can handle any situation and that you can form positive relationships with everyone that you may work with. You need to be both careful, and smart, during an interview when talking about why you were fired. Here are the four things you need to take into consideration when speaking with a potential employer:
First and foremost, as mentioned above, never talk bad about anyone during an interview. When you badmouth someone, it gives the person doing the interview that you’ll continue this behavior if they choose to hire you, and then possibly even fire you from this job, as well. If you’ve done it before, then chances are likely you’re going to do it again. If you’ve ever been fired from a job, and many of us have, it’s a good idea to spare the details about what happened. If someone asks you why you were fired you can always say something like:
“This was the best decision for myself as well as the company that I was working for. You can tell from looking at my resume that this is something that happened just once.”
Never lie about your past work experience during an interview. If you lie, it means that you can’t be trusted. If you get caught lying after you get hired chances are likely you’ll be fired, immediately. In this day and age employers have access to all sorts of information about us and you want that information to be accurate. Lying also damages your reputation, and you don’t want that to happen before you start a new job. It also means you may continue your history of being terminated.
If there was a conflict with a former employer, then it’s best to explain that this was a rare happening. If you’ve learned your lesson and won’t repeat your mistakes, you may want to mention this as well. Explain that maybe you weren’t the best person for the job:
“The job at the newspaper required that I can take pictures and to be honest with you, I’m not very good with a camera. My employer and I agreed that maybe being a journalist wasn’t the best fit for me. He/She suggested I find employment that was better suited to the skills that I had already perfected.”
When you’re asked about why you were fired, it’s best to get right to the point about what happened. Focus on what you did right, and what you will continue to do right. This is, after all, just an interview which means there is no obligation to tell them your entire life story. When you tell someone about your past history of employment, try to be as brief as possible. What did you learn from the situation? Did the experience make you grow as a person? Be sure to tell them that. If asked why you were fired and these apply to you, you might want to say the following:
“I was fired from my previous job because of I…”
Didn’t like the policy/ethics of the company
The workload was unfair, and I felt as though others should be doing their part as well and they weren’t
Before stepping foot into the interview, it’s best for you to sit down and collect your thoughts. To make sure you don’t forget anything, including the reason you were recently fired, be sure to write EVERYTHING down on a piece of paper. Stand in front of a mirror and practice what it is you want to say. When you go for your interview, you won’t seem quite as nervous, or maybe you won’t be nervous at all.
If possible, have someone ask you questions that might be asked during your interview. If you are nervous, this will give you the opportunity to get any doubts out of your head. Practice looking that person in the eye or make eye contact with yourself in the mirror. Write down the answer to “that” question and practice it until you get it right. When writing it down, however, be sure to take into consideration everything discussed above.
You now know how to handle what to say when asked why you were fired from your last place of employment but let’s go over one more thing, again. You may have had a difference of opinions with your previous employer or you may have had an issue with ethics but realize that you need to take responsibility for your actions. Tell your potential new employer that while you did make mistakes, you learned from those mistakes and you won’t let them happen again. You’re ready for a brand fresh start, and you hope the one doing the hiring will consider you the perfect candidate for the job!
If your first interview after being fired doesn’t go according to plan, it’s okay. The right job is out there waiting for you, but you might need to keep searching until you find it. You now have the knowledge as well as the confidence to answer interview questions with ease.