We at Everyday Interview Tips often like to comment on some of the other tips supplied by job websites across the Internet. Sometimes the information is good. Sometimes the information is bad. Sometimes the information is good enough, but lacks important advice. That is the case in a recent article published on AOL Jobs
This article discusses how to address the reason for your unemployment. Though it contains some useful information, it completely ignores something that it addressed in the opening few paragraphs.
Where the Article is Right
If you quit your job, there are several things that the article suggests that you do in order to improve your chances of employment:
- Don’t say you “quit.” Say you “resigned.” They mean the same thing, but quit has far more negative connotations.
- When you explain your answer, do so in a nuanced way that addresses a respectable reason for leaving your last employer.
In addition, if you were laid off (a term that means being let go without cause), you have the option of addressing it in your cover letter or bring it up early in the interview. Most businesses understand layoffs, so the only way a negative stigma may occur is if you don’t tell the interviewer that you were laid off, leading them to believe you were fired for a good reason.
Where the Article is Lacking
The article says little about what to do if you were fired. Being fired causes a whole host of problems. Fired means you were let go for a good reason, presumably due to poor work or acting out in the office. If you were fired, you need to explain it to the interviewer in a way that does not harm your chances. The best way to do that is as follows:
- Don’t use the term “fired.” Use the term “let go.”
- Point out positives before focusing on negatives, then finish with a positive.
- Bring it up early in the interview and do your best with your interview answers.
Here’s an example of how to put that into action:
Q: “Why did you leave your last job?
A: “Ah, I was let go through something that was entirely my fault. I loved my work and the company. My supervisor and I used to exchange ideas openly, which of course is healthy for any workplace. Yet one day she and I were discussing one particular idea and the conversation got so passionate that it appeared to her that I was resisting her authority, which of course was not my intention. Since then I have made sure that I keep my tone down when discussing ideas so that my objectives are not misinterpreted.”
This is a fancy way of saying you were fired for insubordination, but it shows that you have put thought into it and it was a onetime thing. It also avoids any words with stigmas, such as “fired” or “insubordinate.”
Unfortunately, getting fired will always have a negative effect on your ability to find employment. If you put it into healthier terms, however, you reduce its damage to your chances of getting the new job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- If you were laid off, don’t say you were fired.
- If you quit, say you resigned.
- Try to put it in terms that are more acceptable.