Career Advisor: Dealing with Job Interview after being Fired

One of the most frequent concerns upon termination is how to explain you are no longer working at your previous employer.  Many people believe a stigma is attached to being terminated.  In the “real world” there are hiring authorities that will discriminate against an individual who has been fired.  On the other hand, other hiring authorities are more than willing to hear your story and then make a determination whether or not the termination will ultimately effect their decision.  With the number of mergers and downsizing that have occurred, being terminated does not carry as much negative connotation as it once did.  It is extremely important how you handle your situation.  The way you explain what happened will make the difference.

You must develop a believable and true statement that can be said clearly without breaks.  It must be short, positive, not critical of the company and concise!  It must be practiced so it is said smoothly.

Answer the following questions as an exercise to assist you with your answers when you discuss your termination:

1. What did your company tell you when you were terminated?

2. What do you believe was the reason for your termination?

Write a 30 second statement about your termination based on the information above.  Try the statement out by reading it to yourself in front of a mirror or tape it and then listen to it.  Is it smooth?  Is it honest?  Does it have any negative or critical comments about your past company?  If so, revise it!  Next, read it to your spouse and professionals in your field and ask them for their honest opinion!

Once your statement has been completed, make sure you know it, feel comfortable with it and can state it smoothly.  Usually, once this is completed you will experience some relief and begin to be comfortable with moving on in your job search.  One of the most difficult tasks has now been accomplished!  Being terminated is not the end of your job search.  The approach you take will determine whether or not your termination will affect you or not!

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