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.
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