COVERING YOUR EXIT

Q
During an interview, do I have to tell a potential employer that I was fired? I if so then how?
A
“You’re not required to tell a potential employer that you have been fired,” says Torri Brown Clark, president of Competitive Edge Enterprises inn, a career development training firm in Flossmoor, Illinois. “It is the responsibility of interviewers to ask what they want to know.”

But if you are asked directly, “Was your resignation a voluntary one?” or “Were you asked to resign?” she advises candidates to never lie or blame others, but to redirect the conversation to why you’re the best candidate far the job Being honest is key. Besides, depending an your particular industry and rank, the circumstances behind your exit may already be known.

If your termination was a result of poor judgment on your part — lateness or absenteeism — state it and explain what you’ve learned as a result and what you would have done differently. For example, you may have now realize that you should have asked your previous employer for time off to rare for a sick parent or child instead of being late.

Complaining too much about a former manager is also taboo, and could signal that there would be a personality conflict if you’re hired, so concentrate on your skills. The important thing is to anticipate any difficult or challenging questions in advance, write the answers down if necessary, and find a way to end on a positive note.
PHOTO (COLOR): Torri Brown-Clark

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