Explaining Mysterious Termination in Interview

Vicki writes:
I was fired from my office manager/accounting job without being given a specific
reason. The management position was then eliminated. I am now unemployed
and seeking a new job. How should I state this to my best advantage on applications
and in interviews when asked why I am no longer employed with my previous

The Career Doctor responds:
Being fired is certainly never a pleasant experience and the faster you
can put it behind you the better. But before you do please do one thing
for me. You say you were not fired for a specific reason but was there
some reason? I only ask because I think it is vital that job-seekers
learn from all experiences good and bad. It’s also important because of the
possibility that your previous employer will be contacted by a prospective
employer — and you need to have an idea of what might be said about you.
Assuming the position was eliminated in close proximity to your dismissal
I would simply state — but only when the issue arises — that your position was
downsized. Don’t offer any other information and quickly move on to how you
can make a contribution with the prospective employer. The key is never
offering any negative information — and never dwelling on it. Also don’t blame
yourself your boss or your former company for the dismissal.
I don’t know how long ago you were dismissed but if it was longer than a few
months a bigger issue may revolve around what you’ve been doing in the
interim… so be sure you have something positive (and truthful) to say about
the time such as getting additional
or gaining new (and invaluable) skills.
And if you have been out of the job market for a while be sure to sharpen your
resume-writing and interviewing skills. You should also talk with folks in your
network to learn of new opportunities — as well as look for opportunities to
expand your network.
Finally while you don’t sound defensive or negative you might want to conduct
a mock interview with a trusted associate to see if any negative feelings are
bubbling near the surface. Getting fired is traumatic — and big hit on our egos –
and sometimes it’s not as easy to let go as we might think.
Get more tips and suggestions in this article published on Quintessential Careers:
Getting Fired: An
Opportunity for Change and Growth


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