Most people regard getting fired as a black mark on their resume. However, many people who hire and fire everyday, know that they have released good people who were a bad fit for their company. Getting fired from your job can very well mean that you just got off on the wrong foot and never could get on track. It happens all of the time. The fact that you were fired can be viewed as an opportunity to change direction or get a fresh perspective on your career.
Other times, it’s a personality thing with your immediate supervisor coupled with the fact that you’re unlucky enough to have been hired by a firing addict. There are actually people who seem to thrive on showing how powerful they are by firing those below them for no apparent reason. If you’re fortunate enough that the person hiring you knows something about your previous supervisor, getting fired will be no big deal. Most people have worked for such a person at one time or another. The lucky ones found a way out the door before the axe fell on them.
Regardless of the reason of the firing, you need to have a plausible answer for the inevitable question of why did you get fired. Try not to make it a personal attack on your previous employer or supervisor. Just stick to the facts and try to spin them in your favor. Even people who have never been fired have had a few near misses. Try to play on this for a sympathetic ear. Talk about what a hard worker you are. Bring in your dedication to doing a good job for your employer and the assets that you bring to the table.
Always find a way to emphasize your positive qualities that will be an asset to your potential employer. Don’t dwell on the details of the firing. If the interviewer keeps coming back to it, ask if there is something specific that they need to know.
At times, the interviewer can get caught up in the gossip side of the interview. This is especially true if you worked for a competitor. The questions may have little to do with you and more to do with conversations at the water cooler. Asking the interviewer to get specific can jolt the conversation back to territory that is more germane and safer for you.
One thing you want to be careful about. Don’t lie about why you were fired. Most employers have connections to people you have worked for or with previously. They will probably uncover the truth. If you did something illegal, make sure that you voice your regrets and determination to move in a positive direction from here. Honesty may cost you a job offer or two, but at least nothing hidden will be haunting you on your new job when you are hired.