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The most gut-wrenching words you never want to hear that seem like the end of the world: "You're fired," or "We are going to have to let you go." Related: How To Answer, ‘Have You Ever Been Fired?’ Terminations happen - whether they are your fault or because someone decided to eliminate you for their own personal ambition/agenda reasons. But the end result is the same: Being fired from a job can taint your future prospects. The biggest worry most job seekers looking for work who have been terminated is whether someone else will give you a chance. But before you even get to the interview, you need to have an attitude adjustment about what that termination means. You need to seize control of it, and own it. Don't let it own you. Fear will rule your life... if you let it. Here are some tips to help you get past this difficult time in your career and overcome the pain of a termination:

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In this tight economy, is it possible to turn 'fired' into 'hired'? Find out... Caution: There will be a test! But this is better news than you think. When you understand what you’re being tested on, it’s easy to prepare. I used this trick all through college. If I could get a feel for what my professors expected, I would know exactly what to study. I didn’t become a subject matter expert, but I became a great test-taker! That’s your role during an interview. Your objective in answering the “fired” question is to score an “A” on your job interview, not to deep-dive into the details of your previous termination. Your objective is to pass the test.

What is your interviewer looking for?

Think of it this way: How you answer the question of being fired reveals more about you than the details of the firing do. In short, your answer is more important than your reason. Most people have been fired at least once in their careers. Your interviewer has probably seen both sides. Firing is not the issue. But discussing it is a great way to unveil potential character flaws or undesirable personality traits like dishonesty or cynicism. When other applicants dwell on the details, argue their cases, or cast blame, your well-prepared response is going to shine in contrast.

How do you craft a response?

Obviously, get clear on what really happened. Don’t sugarcoat. At this point, just relax. We’re not interviewing yet; we’re just reflecting. You can’t fake honesty (your body language and your reference checks will give you away.) Spend your time getting comfortable with the truth, not rewriting it. Now, write your one- to three-minute story. It has three short parts: before, what changed, and where I am now. Before: What did you love about your job before things went downhill? State this in a single thought such as, “I loved working directly with customers and helping them visualize what they wanted to see in the end result.” Change: “Over time, my role turned into 90% paperwork and only 10% customer interfacing. I’m not a bad writer, but my real passion is people and my lack of ambition in my new role was evident. I was wrong for not recognizing this sooner, but I’ve recently taken a career profile test and I now understand where I perform and what areas I could improve." Now: Now, share what you learned or why your future employer can expect their arrangement with you to end more positively than your last one. You would explain like this: “That’s why I am here. I’ve researched your company and this position. It greatly resembles my original role at XYZ Company. I’m excited about the opportunity here to team up with a requirements writer and think we’ll make a great team. If my role here should change, I’ll be the first to speak up and discuss it.” See how this formula speaks directly to the interviewers concerns about you, succinctly and sufficiently with maturity and professionalism?

How do you prepare for the actual moment?

Allow plenty of time! You need to be able to do this without emotion and without missing a beat. Confidence and clarity is everything. In this case, practice makes perfect. Write you 3-step story and recite it until you’re repeating it in your sleep. Even if you are asked follow-up questions (not likely), you’ll have a solid outline to refer to. You’ve already addressed the past, you’ve explained the reason and your involvement in it, and demonstrated new behavior by taking a class or career test to improve your performance. If you haven’t taken steps like these, do it! Even if the firing wasn’t your fault, you’re going to look like a rock star. Don’t forget to practice non-verbal responses too. Hold your posture and your gaze when the question is first asked and while you are responding. Anticipate the question and you’ll be less likely to slouch, sigh or sweat when it comes up! Keep still and hold your voice steady (remember, you’ve rehearsed this a thousand times.) Also, don’t take the question or responses personally. Passing an interview with flying colors is less about your job skills and history, and more about your ability to market yourself and to respond with maturity in difficult situations. You are essentially “selling yourself “ as the best possible candidate. If you practice these things truthfully, you’ll feel confident and it will show. You’ll probably be more comfortable than the person asking the question! Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In this uncertain economy, many businesses have been forced to dramatically reduce budgets. This move has led to millions of workers losing their jobs. Layoffs have become commonplace in companies around the world, no matter how big or successful the business. This much we all know. So, what should one do to recover from being one of the many people laid off? First of all, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Then, follow the next few steps to help get back into the saddle once again:

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One day last fall, the company I worked for over nine years gave me my three months notice. Just like that, the world I had created and built around that job in the hospitality industry as a customer service manager was demolished. Was I disappointed or shattered? Not at all. I was relieved for three reasons: A) I would never have had the courage to give up my job, B) I had gotten into a super comfort zone, and C) a decade ago, when I landed in Canada, I did not know that ‘every job is temporary.’ A few months after landing as an immigrant, I got into a full-time job in a private company (single owner), and my workplace was less than a seven-minute walk from my home. I had my bank, grocery shop, aesthetician and coffee shop where I would sit for hours on my days off reading or writing, sipping several cups of coffee and eating almond biscotti, and many other places that provided convenience for my routine in that same strip mall. My life was filled with comfort and happiness. I could wake up at 8 am for a 10 am shift and come home during my break and plan my meals. This comfort and convenience made me forget about my career growth, upgrading my skills and other features needed to move up the ladder. I thought the company would go on forever. Apparently, the owner/director of the company thought otherwise, and sold it to new management. (The recession was not the reason, and the company was making a decent amount of money.) I had no job and no clue what career options I was left with. Nine years of my life had just been written off in few minutes. It might sound a bit ridiculous that I never gave any thought to my career growth outside this company, but please look at it from an immigrant’s point of view—one who came with a teenage child as a single parent. Cut to the next day with me as an unemployed person. I'm trying to collect all the skills I developed working in the company. But how can I show my CSR skills apply in a different field? I have a bit of sales experience, a bit of human resource and admin and a bit of everything, but not enough to get me an opening in the job market. My experience (or lack of it) is another hindrance. I feel the right strategy would be to cast the net wider and not stick to one particular industry. Not leaving a single stone unturned, I'm trying everything, with no luck. I'm even trying going back to school, but I'll give up after two semesters. Seven months after losing my job with two semesters of school under my belt, I was still unemployed, except for an part-time writing job. I needed a regular paycheck and for that I had to get back into the workforce full-time, through one job or many. I had managed to connect with a handful of people while working and one of those connections helped me get an opening in the retail industry. That set the ball rolling for me, and I took up a few part-time jobs including freelance writing.

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