Tips for Addressing a Former Termination in a Job Interview

Tips for Addressing a Former Termination in a Job Interview

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If you have ever been fired from a job, you probably understand the incredible stress of having to explain this termination during subsequent interviews. To show yourself in your best light, you need to prepare a solid answer to this question. You may even want to consider bringing it up yourself so that you have control over the situation. Whether you bring it to the table or wait for the question, your response should be succinct, honest, and self-reflective.

When speaking about a termination, never say anything negative about your former managers or colleagues. If you point fingers elsewhere, the interviewer will think that you are shirking your responsibility. Similarly, do not point the finger at yourself. Interviewers understand that not every workplace is ideal for every employee. Ideally, you should present the situation as a learning experience and use it to explain what you have realized about yourself and your needs as a result.

Be sure that you check with your references and understand how they will convey the circumstances. Never lie about the situation because interviewers can easily uncover the truth with a simple e-mail or phone call. If you were terminated because of an error that you made, own up to the error and describe what you have done to make sure that you do not repeat the mistake in the future. Never share more of the story than what is absolutely necessary, and make sure that you have processed your feelings so that you do not become emotional while talking about it.

In the end, you should always look forward to the future and be thankful for how the termination has helped you grow professionally. Point to any additional training or coursework that you have completed as a result of the termination or disclose specific examples of how you have will act differently in the future. When you are open, honest, and reflective, you will likely have the interviewer on your side by the end of the conversation.

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