Re: Explanations for getting fired

Subject: Re: Explanations for getting fired
From: Laurence Burrows <burrows -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 12:21:56 +1100

Mike Huber wrote:

This isn't a confessional, this is a business negotiation. You have to
determine what is relevant. If, for example, the prospective boss looks
exactly like the old one and you get neck spasms from seeing him, yeah, you
better say something. But from the description of the situation, it doesn't
sound relevant to me. Maybe if it was the immediately preceding job - but
then it would be moot. Every interview includes the "why are you on the
market" question.

There are several reasons for being frank and open about getting fired.

1. If it was because you were immature (and now you've learned from that
experience) you can use your developed maturity as a selling point, along
with the fact that you _can_ learn from your mistakes.

2. If you were incompetent / underskilled and you have now increased your
knowledge (became an Adobe Certified Expert, passed a MS tech exam) then
this is again a selling point.

3. Maybe you were tardy / a procrastinator so you sought counselling and
now have better ways of dealing with the clash of personal and work goals.
Again, a selling point.

4. You did something illegal / dishonest. If you've served any time (even
been on parole) there will be a record. Better the interviewer hears it
from you, along with how you're no longer _that_ person.

5. There were layoffs at XXX Corp and they sacked "all but our best
performers", and you were canned. The news probably made all the HR trade
papers, and your resume says XXX Corp. Be honest.

6. One of your referees works / worked / is related to (or friends with)
someone who works at the place you got canned from. People talk, and your
interviewer will have networks you never realized. Be honest.

In summary, be open and honest. When I hire people, I far prefer the (once
damaged) goods who are honest about what happened, can demonstrate they
learned from the disaster, picked themselves up, fixed up their act, and
moved on. I mean, _I'm_ not perfect and Sh*t Happens. <g>.

Equally, feel free to ask the interviewer if the Company ever laid an egg,
and if so, what are they doing differently? You don't want to go through
the whole hiring process if they're still making last year's mistakes, now
do you?


Laurence Burrows, Navex Pty Ltd
mailto:burrows -at- ibm -dot- net, 100026 -dot- 172 -at- compuserve -dot- com
tel: +61 3 9602 4533 fax: +61 3 9602 4854

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