Getting fired or being asked to resign is one of the worst things to happen to your professional life. After you’ve gotten over the shock of being fired, you’ll need to pick up the pieces and move on. This can be difficult, however, when you know you’ll be asked about your firing in your next job interview.
Before you go into a stress spiral, remind yourself of your skills and abilities. It’s still entirely possible to nail your interview, even if you were let go from your last position. You need to think about how you can talk about your firing as a challenge, not as a defeat.
Below are five ways to nail your interview when the firing question arises:
Honesty is perhaps the most important aspect of talking about your firing. The fact that you were let go from your last position is already a warning sign to any recruiter, HR manager, or employer. Whether you’re trying to break into medical sales or marketing, a firing on your record doesn’t exactly improve your image. Adding a lie on top is sure to mean you never progress onto the next stage of the hiring process.
Lying in the job search is much more common than you might think; in fact 47 percent of job seekers admit to fibbing on their resume. When it comes to facing your firing, however, head-on and honestly is really the only way to go.
Prepare Before the Interview
Going into the interview, you should be 100 percent aware how high the odds are your interviewer will ask about your firing. It’s not likely to be something they leave off their list of questions. Interviewers will want to know why you left your last position, and they’ll want to know the cause of your dismissal.
Don’t get caught unaware, especially when you can predict this outcome. Instead, prepare an answer to the question you know you’ll be asked. If you’re nervous and easily flummoxed, you might even want to consider scripting out a response to keep you on point.
Talk to Your References
Once again, honesty is important, which is why it’s essential your references back up your version of events. Talk to your references before stepping foot in the interview to make sure you both have a similar take on events. Otherwise the perfectly crafted answer you give could be undermined by a reference not on the same page.
Highlight the Silver Linings
There’s not much of a bright side to being fired. Few employers, however, want to hire someone who spends ten minutes badmouthing their former company. Instead of being defensive when explaining your situation, be optimistic instead.
Pull out a few positives from your experience, whether the firing gave you the opportunity to pivot into a new field or just that it was a big learning experience for you personally. Structure your answer to focus on the positives instead of the negatives, and you’ll impress with your upbeat attitude.
Keep it Moving
The more you talk about your firing, the more likely you are to trip yourself up. So while it’s important to clearly explain the situation, don’t linger longer than you have to on the subject of your firing. Instead, use your firing as an opportunity to talk about something more positive or a way you can add value.
Maybe you took an additional education class or professional development. Maybe you’ve used your time out of work to volunteer or give back to the community. Say what you need to say about your firing and then bring the interview onto more steady ground by underlining the potential value you can bring to the organization.
Getting fired is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be the kiss of death for your interview. Be prepared, tell the truth, and spin the situation in a positive direction and you just might be surprised at how impressed a potential employer will be with your confidence and honesty.
What do you think? How have you discussed a firing in a job interview? Share in the comments!
Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Robyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.