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Interviewing for a new position is difficult no matter the circumstances behind leaving a previous position, but it is especially difficult when you have been terminated from your job and have a gap in your employment history. In this post, we delve into what hiring managers look for when they ask candidates to explain their job termination in an interview.

Most People Have Been Fired
You are not the only person who has ever been fired. In fact, you are probably not the only candidate who has been fired that the company is interviewing. Hiring managers understand that there are a multitude of factors that go into being let go. They aren’t looking for who is at fault for the termination; they simply want to understand what happened.

Be Honest
Honesty is vital when explaining your termination to a hiring manager. They will conduct background checks, and these background checks typically include finding information about your work history. If you are dishonest about the circumstances around your termination, it is possible that the hiring manager will find out.

Be Positive
It is equally important to be positive. Do what you can to make peace with the situation. Carefully consider what to say when the subject comes up. It is crucial that you do not speak negatively about your former manager and previous company. Practice what you plan to say so you can be confident during the interview.

Be Better
More than anything, employers want to hear how you have learned and grown since your termination. How do you intend to prevent the situation that led to your termination from happening again? Have you spent time working on skills you lacked previously? This doesn’t have to be a long explanation but acknowledging that you understand and made efforts to improve can go a long way.

Be Brief
When figuring out how to explain your termination and how you have improved as an employee, keep your explanation short and simple. You do not want to seem like you dwell in the past. A long, overwrought explanation will drag the conversation and may overshadow your qualifications and other conversations you have during the interview when the hiring manager looks back.

A candidate being terminated from a previous position is not a disqualifier for most hiring managers. If you have learned from the circumstances and have a positive outlook, you will be able to move past your termination to find a better and brighter future.


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