Job seekers often struggle with a termination. Take this example: “I’ve been working in the construction industry. Since the housing bust, business has dramatically declined. Recently, I had a disagreement with a co-worker and got fired over this trivial thing I never would have gotten fired for five years ago. What do I say about this?” RELATED: What Is The Best Way To Explain Being Fired? This client is not alone. We’ve all had positions that didn’t go as well as we had hoped. It could have been the company culture, maybe a lack of support made a job difficult, or it could have been something we did. Whatever the reason, it’s a tricky thing to talk about in an interview, especially if your interviewer has insider information about the situation. If you are in leadership, you have to be prepared. Your target company might be getting insider information through their networks. You have to assume they know something about what happened in your last role. The interviewer’s job is to get you to reveal errors in judgment or performance – things they can use to weed you out so they can move on to the next candidate. Will you be “totally honest?” Show negativity or resentment? Be so nervous that you look like you’re hiding something?
How can you make an effective resume after getting fired? People get fired from the job for various reasons. However, to a potential new employer it may leave an unfavorable connotation on the candidate. Related: How To Answer, ‘Have You Ever Been Fired?’ If you find yourself in such a situation, you may have a number of questions concerning how to address the adverse reactions a potential employer may pose. You may have questions, such as:
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:
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:
- How To Explain Being Fired
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