how to explain getting fired

Being terminated from a job from a previous job can be a red flag for potential employers, but the way that you explain your dismissal in an interview can show the employer that you handled the situation with integrity. Of course, speaking about your termination is going to be uncomfortable - but handling the question in a professional manner will improve your chances of securing your new position.


How to explain getting fired on a job application 

Some job applications will ask you why you left your previous job. This is a fairly routine question, but one that can be tricky to answer if you were fired. 

If you don't want to go into details (no doubt they will ask you about this in more depth if you get invited to an interview), you can simply write "job terminated", "laid-off" or "dismissed from role". 

Keeping things short and sweet in the application will work in your favour. Explaining a complex situation like a job termination is far easier in person than it is in writing. 

Note: You do not have to mention your dismissal on your CV. You should show the date you started and finished working at each company without providing details of why you left each job. Find more CV advice here.


How to explain dismissal in an interview

So, you've made it past the job application stage, the employer knows about your dismissal and you've been invited for an interview - things are looking good so far! Now you need to figure out how you'll explain your dismissal in the job interview. 

If you're honest, you keep it simple, and you focus on your personal growth, skills, and experience, then talking about your dismissal in the interview should be easy.

Start by explaining why you were dismissed from the position calmly and without bias. Being able to identify what went wrong without getting distressed or bad-mouthing your previous employer shows maturity - the employer will be looking for this. Keep your explanation brief and only disclose the necessary details.

Once you've explained why you were dismissed, try and demonstrate what you learned from the situation. How has the termination helped you improve personally and professionally? Was there anything that you would have done differently?

Reflecting on the termination in a positive manner will show your potential employer that you've progressed and that you know how to prevent it from happening again.


Is being fired a deal-breaker?

No, not necessarily. A lot of people are under the impression that if they've been fired from a previous job that they'll be black-listed from every other workplace - this simply isn't true. 

People get fired all the time, sometimes a job isn't a good fit for them, they didn't match the skillset, or personal circumstances meant their attendance was poor. Whatever the reason for your dismissal, if you can handle it with a positive attitude in your interview, you've got a good chance of getting that new role.

So, don't see your dismissal as a road-block, turn into a positive and show your future employers that you're mature, adaptable, and ready to take on a new challenge in their workplace.

If you've been dismissed from your previous job, don't be disheartened. Here at HRS Recruitment, we have a lot of science job opportunities that will help you get back on track.

Browse Science Job Vacancies >

Read More:

How to leave your job

- Are you suffering from job search anxiety?


Businessman giving thumbs up

Juggling work and life can be difficult, and maintaining a healthy balance between business and pleasure is something that takes time, experience and perspective.

However, who said you have to separate the two at all? After all - as someone very wise once said - if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.

Sadly, we can't all have a job we love, but there's no reason you can't enjoy your working day - whether you're a road sweeper, a stockbroker, or anything in between.

To help you squeeze a little more fun out of your nine-to-five, here are some tips on how to enjoy your job to its fullest.


How to Enjoy Work More

Okay, let's be real for a second here. Very few of us go to work for the love of the game. It's probably safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of Brits work to live rather than living to work.

So, with that in mind, just how can we turn a chore into cheer and labour into leisure? Here are three top tips from the HRS team...


1. Keep a positive attitude.

Exercising mind over matter in times of stress is a sure-fire way to eliminate that stress - because if you don't mind, it doesn't matter!

An American neuropsychiatrist famed for his self-help programmes once said, "if you can't change the situation, change your attitude towards it".

Living by this motto can transform the way you experience the working day. If you go into the office in the morning with a positive mentality, you are far more likely to see positive results.

Granted, there will be days when life rains on your parade, but stick to your sunny outlook and your day will undoubtedly be happier and more productive as a result.

If necessary, take some time to reset and de-stress before starting work. This should make it easier to adopt the right mindset. Similarly, if your work is getting on top of you and causing anxiety and frustration, it may be worth stepping away from your desk and taking a few minutes to refocus.

In fact, regular breaks from your desk can be conducive to productivity and can vastly increase your mood. As such, don't be afraid to leave your keyboard periodically to help you maintain a healthy work ethic and better frame of mind.


2. Be realistic about what you can achieve.

Chasing the clock and taking on more than you can handle benefits no one. Added stress isn't good for you as a worker, and the quality of your output can take a noticeable dip, which isn't good for your employer either.

Additionally, the more pressure you're under, the more likely you are to make mistakes. Errors are a common by-product of rushed work and can result in dire consequences.

Realistically, you can only do so much in the space of one working day, and overstretching yourself by attempting to do more than is physically possible in the time available is setting yourself up for failure - not to mention a whole heap of unnecessary stress.

Managing expectations is a big part of maintaining good professional relationships, and this skill is just as important in-house as well. Communicate with your manager to highlight any concerns you have about your workload.

Being open and honest with yourself and your employer can lead to a more manageable workload and a more enjoyable working day. At the very least, airing your concerns can let your boss know where the line is.

What's more, consistently agreeing to unreasonable demands only enables the issue and gives the impression that you are handling the excessive workload with ease. Honesty is the best policy!


3. Stop working when the day is done.

The average Brit gets around 6.5 hours of sleep each night, leaving 17.5 waking hours in the day. For a typical office employee working a 40-hour week, 8 of those hours are taken up by work (although that total is a little higher if you count the time you spend getting ready for work in the morning).

Between a hard day's work and a good night's sleep, you only have about a third of the average weekday to yourself. Needless to say, taking your work home with you eats into this free time even further.

Separating work from home life is an important part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and a happy frame of mind. While it may be unavoidable at times, try not to make a habit of working in the evenings - downtime outside of work helps you to recharge mentally for the following day.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is even harder now that so many of us are working from home due to COVID-19. Read our blog on this subject for more great advice from the HRS team!

Working from Home: Work-Life Balance

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how to provide a reference

If an employee of yours has recently moved on and started a new job, there's a good chance that their new company will contact you for a reference.

This is a standard part of most job applications and gives the new employer an insight into the personality, attitude and work ethic of their new employee. Here's what you should do if you're asked to provide a reference for a former employee.

Include details about their role at your company

To start the reference, you will usually need to disclose the person's previous job title and a brief description of what their job entailed. You might be asked to confirm the length of time that the person was employed at your company and list any achievements/skills that they learned on the job. 

Remember, new employers have to trust that the details in their new employee's CV are accurate. Asking these types of questions helps to verify that their new employee's claims about their previous job are truthful.

How will I be contacted for a reference?

Companies can reach out to you in a number of ways. The most common way is through a phone call with their HR representative, however, you might also receive a letter or questionnaire that the new company wants you to fill in and return.

Some employees might ask for a pre-written reference to take away with them. This will be a recommendation that they provide to potential new employers in the future, meaning you won't need to be contacted time and time again. Providing a standardised recommendation letter is a good option if your employee will be applying for lots of different jobs after they leave your company.

Do you have to write a reference?

Technically no, if you don't want to write a reference for a particular employee, you're not legally obligated too. According to the worker's right outlined on, references:

  • must be fair and accurate - and can include details about workers’ performance and if they were sacked.
  • can be brief - such as job title, salary and when the worker was employed.

How to write the reference

When writing the reference, you should highlight specific strengths and give examples where possible. This could involve talking about successful projects or tasks that the employee contributed to.

You should avoid adding examples that highlight the employee's weaknesses. If you're not confident that you can give the employee a good reference, it might be in their interest that you don't respond at all. A non-descript or unpleasant reference might do more harm than good!

Common questions on reference questionnaires

As we mentioned earlier, some employees will send a questionnaire for you to fill in, here are a few examples of questions that come up:

  • Why did the candidate leave your company?
  • What were their biggest strengths?
  • Would you employ them again?
  • What areas could he/she improve on?
  • How dependable is the candidate?
  • Were they good at working with others?

So there you have it, our tips for providing a reference. We have lots of other resources for employers that you can take a look at by clicking the links below!

how to leave your job

If a good opportunity for career progression just came up or you're simply sick of your current workplace, then you might have thought about leaving your job in search of greener pastures. Deciding to resign is a life-changing decision that will alter how the next few years of your life will look.

There are lots of reasons for leaving a job and some things can be resolved so that you don't need to walk away completely. In our blog - Should I Change Jobs? - we explored a lot of the most common reasons in a lot of detail. So, rather than going over the if's and but's on whether you should resign, we're going for focus on how you resign in a professional way.


Leave your old job on good terms

Very little good comes from quitting your job in a fit of rage. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can also burn bridges that might be useful to you later down the line. You might, for example, need a reference for a new job or (by some stroke of luck) end up bumping into your old boss in a professional context later down the line. Either way, your boss has put time, money and resources into your career development, and whether you're the best of friends or not, you owe it to him/her to leave respectfully.


Have a plan for what happens next

Leaving your job without thinking ahead can leave you at a loose end. Some people leave their job with another one lined up already, in this scenario, you should have a seamless transition between jobs and not have to worry about filling your time in between.

Other people might be leaving work to study or to go abroad, if these are options your considering, we'd highly recommend getting the plans and funding in place before you hand in your notice. You don't want to leave your job and find out your plans for the next year or two won't come to fruition. 

If you're really daring (or really fed up) you might want to leave your job without contemplating your next move. Taking a leap of faith can work out in your favour if you're lucky, but we'd always recommend a more cautious and methodical approach if you don't want to find yourself in a sticky situation!


Talking to your boss/manager

Once you've decided to leave your job, it's time to prepare yourself for a chat with your boss. Resignation meetings are daunting and you'll probably be nervous. We'd recommend preparing what you'd like to say and trying to stick to it, this will help you avoid unwanted questions and will guarantee that you say everything you feel necessary. 

Be prepared, if your boss isn't expecting you to leave they might be a little shocked, they might even take the new badly and jump on the defensive. Try to diffuse the situation by being professional and staying calm. That being said, most bosses understand that people leave jobs and you can bet you're not the first person who's handed in their resignation.


Handing in an official letter of resignation

When you leave a job, it's customary to hand in a written letter of resignation that your boss can keep on file. Your letter of resignation doesn't need to be long, it just needs to include your name, a statement about your decision to leave, when your notice is effective from and also a signature.

If you'd like to, you can include a short positive message, thanking your boss for their support during the course of your employment. Of course, if you're leaving because you're unhappy, you might want to omit this. One thing's for sure, you shouldn't use your resignation letter to air your grievances about the place of work, your colleagues or the way the business is run!


Working your notice period

Although you might feel ready to grab your stuff and head home immediately after handing in your resignation, most workplaces will require you to work a notice period. This could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Yes, it might be a little awkward at work now that the cat's out of the bag, but hopefully, you'll be able to tie off all the loose ends and look forward to starting your next adventure. 

While you're working your notice period, your boss is likely to start advertising for your replacement. Don't be surprised if the attention is no longer on you and your career prospects during this period, your boss is more than likely pre-occupied thinking about their next move for the business.


Things you should do on your last day at work

Congratulations, you've successfully made it to your last day at your old job. You're probably feeling a mixture of emotions. The excitement that you're about to embark on something new, and the sadness that you're leaving your colleagues and work practices behind. This is a pivotal moment in your life, you're finishing one chapter and moving on to the next. So, what should you do on your very last day?

  • Make sure you have contact details for colleagues you want to stay in touch with.
  • Ensure that all the paperwork has been sorted out with HR.
  • Ask for a letter of recommendation from your manager that you can take to interviews in the future.
  • Clean and tidy your workspace, including wiping content and personal information from your work devices eg. computer.
  • Send an email to your colleagues to let them know you're leaving. You can pass along your contact information if necessary, this might help them resolve open-ended issues after you've gone.
  • As you reach the end of the day, take the time to say goodbye to people personally. 

So there you have it, our tips for leaving your job in a professional and respectful manner! If you're looking for a new job opportunity, you're in the right place! Here at HRS, we have a team of professional recruiters who are focused on finding scientists the life-changing jobs of their dreams!

Browse Our Job Vacancies Now >

A year ago, the majority of UK workers and business owners had probably never heard of the word furlough before, but the coronavirus pandemic has well and truly made it staple within our vocabulary in 2020. 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak back in March and aimed to cover up to 80% of workers wages while they were off work, in hope of preventing businesses from having to lay off their staff. This measure sought to help alleviate the financial burden felt by businesses as a result of COVID-19 and has since been extending till the end of March 2021. With the furlough scheme, employers have the opportunity to temporarily keep their staff out of work with the intention of bringing them back at a later date.

For many, however, the return to work isn't a guarantee, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, the threat of losing their job is a genuine one that they have no control over. As a result, many of these workers have looked for other jobs that guarantee some sort of short-term stability but are they allowed? And if they are, how do they go about doing it? 

If you've been placed on furlough by your current employer and are wondering if you should find a new job, here is everything that you need to know.