Finding a new job can be tough, but finding a new job after you’ve been fired from your previous job can seem impossible. While you made it through the job application phase fine, you know the interview process is going to require you to talk about the reason you left your old job. Explaining why you got fired from a previous position is never an easy task, especially if your being let go had to do with substance abuse or other personal issues. So to help you manage this question and feel confident in your answers, here are three interviewing tips for those who have been fired from a job.
Keep Your Emotions In Check
The emotions centered around your termination may still be fresh and raw. If the experience was traumatic for you or you felt like you were somehow slighted, it’s only natural to harbor feelings of resentment or anger. However, Jenny Foss, a contributor to TheMuse.com, warns about getting those emotions under control before you begin trying to find a new job. Foss states that if your let your emotions get the best of you in your interview, you’re very unlikely to get the job even if the actual reason for being let go wasn’t that bad. Because companies prefer to hire someone who is emotionally stable, it’s pivotal that you keep your emotions in check when discussing your previous employment.
Express What You Learned For the Experience
Regardless of why you were fired from your last job, there is likely a way that you can present what happened in a positive light. Beth Colley, a contributor to Job-Hunt.org, suggests focusing more on what you learned from your experience of being let go rather than the reasons why you were let go. This may include how you’ve grown and become a better employee or how you plan to take what you gained from that situation and apply it to your work in the future. Express your regret for what happened if it was your fault, but don’t dwell on the past.
Get Your Stories Straight
While you don’t want whatever happened at your past job to reflect poorly on you, you also absolutely don’t want to lie about the situation. Most employers will call your previous employer as a reference to double-check that you’re accurately representing yourself to them. And if your story doesn’t match up with what you reference is reporting, you could forfeit your chance at this new job. For this reason, Carole Martin, a contributor to Monster.com, suggests checking with your listed reference to see what they plan to say to anyone who calls on your behalf to ensure they’re getting the full and truthful picture from both sides of the story.
You can go back into the workforce with confidence after being fired from a job. Use the tips mentioned above to learn how to talk about this event with prospective employers without shame and without trepidation.