Wisdom Wednesday: How to Explain You were Fired in a Job Interview

A job interview is all about getting one foot inside the door. Every applicant knows that giving the hiring manager a positive first impression is crucial. With stiff competition from a dozen or more other applicants, one minor career mistake can undo all your efforts at landing a job.

As with many things, however, proper preparation can be very helpful. It’s not enough to walk into an interview and offer a winsome smile. Do your research and prepare for difficult questions.

One of these tricky questions has to do with termination. How exactly are you to explain why you were fired or dismissed from your last job? Many applicants do not even consider the question, and therefore end up saying whatever comes to mind when the interviewer broaches the subject.

Here are five ways to help you formulate the best answer.

1.) Be Honest With Yourself

Before going to the interview, consider that this is definitely one question that will have to be discussed. Future employers will want to know why you were dismissed, lest the reason be something that affects their own organization later on. Analyze the events leading to your termination as objectively as you can, without shirking responsibility. When you approach the matter in a calm manner, you’ll be able to see where you (and your previous manager) might have gone wrong.

2.) Don’t Psyche Yourself Out

Just because you were fired doesn’t mean you have no more chances to get employed by someone else. Hiring managers know that there are a lot of reasons behind terminations, and this doesn’t automatically put you at a disadvantage.

3.) Prepare a Brief Answer

This doesn’t mean you have to prepare a memorized answer. Just a general outline of your response to the question should be enough. State the facts as truthfully as you can.

4.) Don’t Malign Anyone

When explaining your previous termination, it can be tempting to push all the blame on your former colleagues or boss. Refrain from doing so. It will reflect poorly on you. Stay objective, note where you and your previous manager may have made mistakes, and keep your language professional.

5.) Focus on the Positive

A lot of people have been fired in the past; what is important is to show the hiring manager that you’ve learned from your mistakes. Indicate that you’re ready to use your previous experiences to do a much better job with your future one.

Originally posted on iGrad.com

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