No one wants to be fired. But if you are, it doesn’t have to be the end of your career. You can, of course, take time to grieve and even wallow, but don’t let it define you. Recover from your mistakes and move on. But that also means you’ll need to field questions in interviews that may try to get to the bottom of why you left your last job. Your answers will make all the difference, so it’s time to learn how to provide the best answer possible to these kinds of questions. Here are some things to consider.
You will be asked, point blank, why you left your last job. Lying about it won’t do you any good and could actually cost you the opportunity. Your new employer will conduct reference checks and may uncover the truth themselves, so use caution when answering. The truth is, many people have been fired before and went on to have wonderful careers in a better environment, so use that to your advantage.
Life in a learning experience. That is true about being fired as well. Why were you fired? Use that reason to allow yourself to become a better person. If, for example, you had problems meeting important deadlines, spend time learning how to better organize your time so it doesn’t happen again. Then communicate that to the hiring manager in your next interview. People aren’t interested in the problem, they want to know the solution.
You can be mad about being fired, that’s absolutely the right human emotion. But don’t let your interviewer see it. Negativity is a major red flag for potential employers and if they hear you speaking poorly about someone with whom you’ve worked in the past, they’ll be concerned about repeat behavior. Instead, stay positive talking about your past job and your ideas for the future
The bottom line is that you need to take responsibility for the actions that led you to be terminated from the job. And, in order for a company to decide to take a chance on you, they need to see that you have ownership of your mistakes and are actively working to improve them and not letting them hold you back. You sell this in your interview by sharing how you’ve grown from the experience and showing them how it won’t happen again.
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