If you got fired from your last job, you may be incredibly nervous to discuss it during an interview. However, it will come up. Most potential employers are savvy enough to do a little digging and figure out that your were terminated from your last position. Consider these tips to help make this situation a little less awkward.
Don't mention it in a cover letter or resume If you list a firing in a resume or cover letter, you'll most likely be ignored by most employers.1 Though it's good to be honest and upfront, noting a firing will deter most interviewers or HR staff members. Even if you've got a great explanation, it'll may come off as defensive and make you look negative. Leave it out of these documents and wait for it to be brought up during an interview.
Understand the distinction between firing and laid-off It's important for you to understand the difference between being fired and being let go.2 In today's economy, getting laid-off is a very common situation, possibly one that your potential employer has been in himself. He'll understand that being let go could've been for a series of reasons, such as the company merged or needed to cut costs. Then there's a genuine firing, where your individual actions such as not getting along with management or acting unethically cost you your job. Knowing the difference will help you prepare for two very different answers.
Acknowledge your faults After a firing, it's good to reflect a little. Examine what flaws led you to be terminated and determine how you could've fixed them. This thought process will humble and ground you, allowing for your answer to come off as genuine and honest. Realizing former mistakes can only make you a better employee, as long as you know how to improve them. It'll also help shape your answer.
Find the silver lining Though any termination can be extremely troubling, it's important to land on your feet. Many people get wrapped up in a firing and hold a grudge toward their former employer or company. This negativity will ruin any interview. It's important to distinguish the positives in the termination. Recognize your mistakes but note that the termination helped you realize them so you could become a better employee for your next position. Putting a positive spin on things will make you seem mature. Walking away and complimenting your former company looks a lot better than dissing them or giving off a spiteful vibe.
Keep it short However you shape your story, keep it succinct and move on quickly. Harping on the same answer or over-explaining yourself will make you seem as if you still care about the company or haven't gotten over the termination. It also will cause the interviewer to focus on your answer more when considering you afterward. Make it short, honest and positive.
Whether your interview is for a nursing or a medical assistant position, consider these tips to make discussing a termination go a little more smoothly.