What Should You Say If You Were Fired From Your Last Job?

Job interviews are daunting for everyone, no matter what the situation. If you were terminated from your previous position, it can add a whole new level of stress to the process. Will the interviewer judge you? Will you automatically be out of the running for the job once they find out you left your previous…

Job interviews are daunting for everyone, no matter what the situation. If you were terminated from your previous position, it can add a whole new level of stress to the process. Will the interviewer judge you? Will you automatically be out of the running for the job once they find out you left your previous job on bad terms? It is possible to move on with your career after you have been fired, but you will need to think carefully about how to explain the situation and keep it as positive as possible.

Always be honest about why you left your previous employer. Although it can be tempting to lie or bend the truth, recruiters will check references. If they find out you have been dishonest, it will definitely cost you the job and potentially your reputation. There are a number of things you can do to help reduce the chance that a previous termination will discourage a future employer from hiring you.

Avoid blame

Where possible try to avoid putting excessive blame on yourself or your former employer. Instead, talk about the reasons the job wasn’t a good fit for you and talk up any strengths that you showed in your previous job which are relevant to the role you are interviewing for. It’s important not to talk negatively about your previous employer as this can make you look unprofessional.

Don’t over-explain

Try to keep any explanations brief before moving the conversation on, and where possible avoid giving too much detail. If the interviewer wants to know more they will ask for more information and the more you keep the conversation on other topics the more opportunities you will get to sell yourself for the role you are applying for.

Show steps you have taken to avoid a repeat

If your termination was due to a gap in your qualifications and training and you have since gone out and obtained those qualifications or skills, make sure you mention this. If the reason you were terminated was due to a lack of skills which wouldn’t be relevant to the position you are now applying for, let your interviewer know this.

It’s important to be prepared for questions about your previous employer and why you left your last position. If you have thought about what to say and are able to present the situation in a positive way, being fired doesn’t have to mean missing out on a job you really want.

For further guidance on how to handle tough interview questions, please contact one of our specialist healthcare consultants.