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How do I explain why I was fired from a previous position?
I was let go from a position because management thought I was performing my tasks too slow and was not being proactive enough. Although it was mentioned, I'm sure my 2 emotional meltdowns were an issue as well.
How do I explain why I was slow? First I thought was the blood pressure medicine I was taking. Second, their procedures were terribly inefficient. I had little energy and I was slow. I wasn't completing my tasks as quickly as they could. I was not very speedy with the keyboard. Apparently they wanted me to be in rush mode all of the time. They had me learning two systems because they were transferring from one to the other. I didn't like either one of them. One of the managers was micro-managing, which made me more anxious.
I really wasn't myself. My previous position was relocated to Costa Rica. That job was extremely stressful, often worked 50 to 55 hours. It wore me down; I took 3 months off before going back to work. I've come to the conclusion that 3 months was not enough to recover mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can only assume that my health was not well enough at the time I started working again. Thus causing me to perform less than par.
I have been on several interviews with no callbacks. I'm thinking my response to what happened with employer XYZ is partially to blame. How should I respond, can I say that I rather not discuss it. How can I respond without giving them the specifics or details? Grateful for any advice.
To explain why you were fired from a previous position, make sure you don't bash your former supervisor, company or colleagues; instead, simply outline what led to the firing (in a calm and collected manner), and then explain how and what you learned from the experience.
For example, if you were fired because you couldn't keep up with the workload or didn't fully understand the scope of your duties, you can say how you have since learned some helpful time-management techniques or better communication tactics. You don't need to get into the nitty-gritty details of what happened – you want to transition as soon as you can into the positive aspects, such as how you've learned new skills to deal with the issues that led to your firing.
Always be respectful of your former employer since badmouthing them will send up a red flag to an interviewer, who believes you might do the same one day to him/her, or the company. Remain professional and upbeat: "I was sorry to leave XYZ Company, but I've learned a lot of new skills that I believe will be of benefit to this position, along with my previous experience." Since talking about your dismissal might be difficult, try practicing your answer several times with friends or family until you feel more comfortable, and they believe you sound sincere and professional.