“I was fired from my previous job due to a misunderstanding with my employer. Something went missing and I was accused of stealing it. I was not given an opportunity to exonerate myself, which led to my being fired. Whenever I go for interviews, this question always comes up. I need to be able to tackle this question without burying myself in an interview” asks Mike.
There’s always the risk that the interviewer is judging your competency based on your answer, but you have to acknowledge the situation and move on. Here’s how to build your confidence levels so you don’t bury your career by wrongfully handling this interview question.
Here Are 4 Ways On How to Answer, Have You Ever Been Fired?
A lie is so tempting, especially in tight situations. But no matter how tempting it might be, don’t lie in an interview. A lie will lead to another lie and another lie, which is not how you want to start with a potential employer.
Own up your situation, acknowledge that you got fired and state it as explicitly as possible, knowing that if your former employer is contacted they will say the same thing.
2.Show you are past the experience
The situation was not meant to last. You need to show what you have learnt from the experience and how you can apply that in your future jobs. Ensure when giving your answer, you spin it in a positive way that makes you look more desirable.
State how you are now in a better position to handle things differently. For example, someone in Mike’s situation could say how they are now better placed to communicate effectively in different situations.
The trick is to focus on the positive as you are developing your answers to this question.
3.Keep your references and former employer in the know
Your referees can make or break your job chances. Make sure that your referees are in the know about your job loss, what caused it and how you have grown since. Also, your former employer wields a lot of power in your future job search especially in this scenario where you were fired. Don’t burn the bridges despite the fact that they fired you.
Instead, let them know you are moving forward past the situation and that you acknowledge the role you played in the termination. Also, mention that you would appreciate it if they could put in a good word for you when contacted by potential employers.
Taking this avenue will show that you have the ability to self-assess, make amends and work on self-improvement. Another plus to this strategy is that your former employer will be cornered, and they will not trash you to the prospective employer.
Free Tip: Ensure the people you list as your referees are aware and that they are people you trust to have your back. Many are the times when doing a reference check, a referee will not be cooperative to write a recommendation leave alone answer questions over the phone. Choose a referee wisely.
Related article>>> Interview Tips: Don’t Give Answers, Tells Stories
4.Process your thoughts
There is need to introspect and acknowledge your role in the events that led to you being fired. Like in Mike’s situation, the firing might have been unfair, but to be able to handle the question confidently in an interview, you need to take time and process your thoughts about the situation.
Be honest with yourself no matter how hard it is and deal with the emotions that come with the situation. This will save you from breaking down during the interview when the question comes up. You will be able to answer the question objectively and confidently showing your ability to always rise from the ashes.
In the end;
The above tips and personal initiative will ensure this previous slip will not ruin your chances at a great opportunity in the future. If the question does not come up in the interview, don’t volunteer information. If it comes up, own your role in it and never speak negatively about your previous employer, supervisor or the company.
Stay positive and show your growth by turning the conversation to how your skills and abilities match that which is needed for the position.
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The writer is a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading Recruitment firm that offers CV Writing, Job Placement & Career Advice. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org