Getting let go from a job doesn’t have to hold you back from landing a new opportunity that’s a better mutual fit – many professionals who’ve been fired go on to get rehired with no issues. However, the key to moving forward in your career after a job loss is being prepared to address it with hiring managers in a way that makes them feel confident investing in you as an employee. If you’ve lost your job, here’s how to make getting fired sound positive in an interview:
Maintain Your Integrity
Never lie or try to cover up why you left your previous job. Hiring managers may be open-minded about selecting someone who has been fired in the past, but if they find out you were dishonest, that’s very likely going to be an automatic deal-breaker. You can bounce back from performance issues, but lacking integrity will be seen as a character flaw that no one wants in their employees.
Keep it Simple
Although you need to address the reason why you lost your job honestly, you also don’t need to give all the nitty-gritty details. Keep your explanation simple and stick to the facts – be concise and offer a one to two sentence overview and then let the interviewer take it from there. For example, you offer something like, “Unfortunately, the management style and company culture wasn’t a good fit, and I was let go.” If the interviewer wants to dive deeper, they will ask more, and you can follow their lead.
No matter how completely unfair the circumstances of your firing were, you must work through the emotions beforehand until you can talk about it in a neutral tone. If you come across angry or placing blame, no matter how justified, it can make you appear bitter and raise concerns with the interviewer. Practice beforehand until you can be matter-of-fact about the topic.
Hiring managers aren’t necessarily concerned about the fact that you’ve had an unsuccessful job, but rather that you have learned something from the experience that will enable you to grow (and not have it happen again). Display self-awareness as you discuss your job loss by saying what you’ve determined upon reflection and what you will do differently. For example, “The job duties ended up being different than I thought when I accepted the position. Going forward, I understand the importance of asking questions to gain a thorough understanding of what the job entails and ensuring I have the strengths needed.”
Pivot the Topic
Don’t remain longer on the topic of having been fired longer than necessary. After you’ve provided an explanation and what you’ve learned, pivot the topic to why this particular job is a great fit or why you’re enthusiastic about the opportunity to work at this company.
Are you ready to find a new opportunity?
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