How to Speak About a Firing in an Interview

We all hope we will never be fired, but it can happen. How you handle speaking about being fired to potential employers can make all the difference about getting that next job.
Fired from job

(Editors note: We all hope we will never be fired. However, it can happen. Sometimes our actions lead to it and other times it is completely beyond our control.

I have seen it happen to two coworkers. One provider was disruptive to the culture of the anesthesia group and the OR staff. They were let go after not meeting the goals of an HR action plan for improvement. The second provider was the Medical Director and was fired when a new anesthesia management group took over the contract. They wanted their own leadership in place and so the Medical Director was out the door. Both different reasons why they were fired, but something they would have to address when they interviewed for their next job.

This sponsored article by Odyssey Staffing shares how you handle speaking about being fired to potential employers. Hopefully, you will never have to use this information, but just like in anesthesia we always prepare for any scenario.)

People get fired from their jobs every day, for a variety of different reasons. No matter how hard you try or how badly you want to succeed, sometimes being let go is an unavoidable outcome. While hiring managers understand this fact, many job seekers find it difficult to talk about why they were fired from their previous job. So, if you’re on the hunt for a new career after being dismissed from your last position, here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the process.

Speak Positively About the Employer

When asked about why they were fired, many candidates go-to reaction is to blame their previous employer. Unfortunately, placing all the blame on your old manager or bad-mouthing the company has a tendency to backfire, and tearing down your old employer won’t make you look good to hiring managers. Therefore, no matter how you choose to discuss your firing, it’s important to remain as positive as possible.

Speak Positively About the Employer

In an effort to remain positive, you can pivot away from the events surrounding your dismissal and focus on the skills and experience that you took away from your previous job. The best employees learn something from every work experience, even the bad ones. By focusing on how your previous job helped you to grow as a worker, you can turn a negative into a positive.

Discuss What You Learned From Being Let Go

Being fired can serve as a much-needed wake-up call. While you don’t want to be too blunt about your deficiencies as an employee, it doesn’t hurt to take some responsibility for being let go. If getting fired provided a spark of realization or taught you a valuable lesson, then feel free to bring it up in an interview. After all, employers appreciate workers who are capable of learning from their mistakes.

Maybe It Was For the Best

As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. So as you discuss being fired in an interview, don’t be afraid to say that maybe it was for the best. Being let go from a job often leads to valuable personal reflection, a re-examination of your priorities, and – perhaps best of all – new opportunities. Sure, getting fired is difficult, but by framing it in the best possible light, you can leave the hiring manager with a positive impression of you.

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