How to Explain That You Were Fired During a Job Interview

It can be awkward to explain that you've been fired from a previous job when you're meeting with a prospective employer. However, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker. Here are some tips for navigating the tricky conversation, courtesy of my friends at Lifehacker:

It can be awkward to explain that you've been fired from a previous job when you're meeting with a prospective employer. However, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker. Here are some tips for navigating the tricky conversation, courtesy of Lifehacker:

  1. You don’t have to bring it up.You should be prepared, but that doesn’t mean you have to initiate the conversation. Remember, you don’t have to explain that you were once fired to someone who never asked. Gauge the situation, and if you are going to bring it up yourself, do it after you’ve gotten a chance to talk about your other, more successful positions.
  2. Put a positive spin on the situation.There are reasons for being fired that aren’t connected to being a terrible, awful employee. Say that a job you were fired from “wasn’t the right fit for your long term career goals,” or something else neutral. 
  3. Don’t assign blame.Positivity is imperative; most people have been fired at some point in their life, so it might not be a deal breaker for the job you’re trying to get. Talking lots of smack about your former employer, however, probably is a deal breaker.
  4. Don’t lie.Maybe you can’t think of a way to put a time you were fired in a good light. But if you are hired and your boss one day discovers that you were dishonest, that will likely be another firing you have to explain at the next interview. Honesty is always the best policy. 
  5. Have confidence in yourself.Sure, you were fired once. That’s not the end of the story. Employers want to know how you learn from the past and improve. Getting fired doesn’t have to be a life sentence; it’s a just a blip in your longterm career story.

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