Getting fired from a job can have long-term and lasting effects on your career. If you have been fired from a previous position, you are likely in the situation where you aren’t exactly sure how to explain the situation in an interview so that you are not penalized in the future. There are a number of ways to explain the situation in an interview that can cast the issue in a better light. This article will discuss how job candidates can best explain a firing during the interview process.
Be Honest and Upfront About the Situation
It can be difficult to sugar coat a firing to a prospective employer, and you are better off not trying. Honesty is truly the best policy. Tell interviewers what happened as objectively and honestly as you can, while still remaining diplomatic of others involved. There are hundreds of reasons people get fired, and most employers recognize this. The worst thing you can do is lie about a firing. Any lies could potentially be found out through background checks and reference checks, and are a reasonable cause for being let go or not hired in the first place.
Try to remain unemotional and objective when explaining what happened to a prospective employer. An interviewer is learning about and evaluating your response to difficult situations as much as they are interested in exactly why you were fired. Often, firings are the result of conflicting personalities or performance issues. In order to communicate best on the subject, you need to understand the circumstances that led up to the firing and evaluate how similar situations can be avoided in the future.
Avoid Finger Pointing
Rather than blaming previous employers or bad-mouthing co-workers when explaining a firing to a prospective employer, keep your explanation simple and to the point. Focus on the facts and try your best to not place blame. Taking responsibility for past mistakes and communicating how you plan to improve your interactions in the future will tell employers that you are ready to move on from the incident, and that you are capable of taking criticism in stride and being constructive in your communication of difficult topics.
Describe What You Learned from the Firing
Rather than dreading the explanation in a job interview, you should appreciate the opportunity to describe what you learned from the experience. This will help to minimize the potential damage being fired may have on future job opportunities, and will show your ability to learn from your mistakes and take disciplinary action in stride. Once you are able to think about a firing objectively, it’s important to think about what could have been done differently from your position that might have resulted in a different outcome. Communicating those lessons learned in an interview will help to lessen the impact of a firing on their perception of your work history. You can also use the conversation to focus on positives that came from the experience.