You’d be surprised to know that even some of today’s most successful professionals have gotten fired at some point in their careers. While this can be a discouraging situation to go through, addressing it tactfully in an interview can sometimes be more challenging.
However, the first step to doing this is accepting what happened and owning up to it as best you can. Then, to ensure your emotions don’t get the best of you during interviews, prepare answers for the types of questions prospective employers may ask you about getting fired.
Whether you were let go from your last job due to disagreements with management, poor performance, or a corporate downsizing, here are three ways to explain getting fired in an interview:
Be honest about what happened
While it can be tempting to place the blame on your employer, the first way to get past getting fired is to be honest about the role you played. However, it’s important to address this tactfully if a prospective employer wants to know why you left your last employer. While you should be transparent, try to keep your responses as straight to the point as possible. Instead of saying ‘My manager had a bad attitude’, for example, a more subtle response could be, ‘We had differences in management styles.’
Don’t talk negatively about your former employer
One of the worst things you can do in any interview is to talk negatively about your former employer. Even if you had a terrible experience, bashing a former supervisor or company will only raise some red flags about your level of professionalism. Fearing that you would do the same thing to them in future interviews, this can cost you the job. As a result, always take the high road when presented with the opportunity to talk about getting fired.
Address what you’ve done to improve
After any major setback in your professional career, you should take some time to identify something positive you can take away from that experience. For example, if you were let go because you lacked proficiency in a certain program, make the effort to improve these skills while interviewing for new positions. Whether you completed an online course or practiced using the program more routinely, prospective employers value employees who proactively learn to improve their skills.