1. Keep Your Emotions in Check
The first thing you need to do is get control of your emotions. Almost no one is happy about being let go, but it’s especially tough if you don’t have a financial cushion to carry you through lean times. You don’t want to get frazzled when an interviewer asks about your reason for termination, so practice answering the question without shedding tears, sniffling or becoming visibly angry. If you don’t take time to rehearse your reason for termination, your emotions are likely to get the best of you during an interview, leaving a bad impression on the interviewer.
2. Determine the Problem
Once you have a handle on your emotions, you need to examine why things went wrong at your last job. Did you have trouble getting along with a colleague? Were you hired to do one thing and then told to do something for which you had no training? Is your reason for termination related to a pay dispute or hostile environment? Being fired from your job isn’t automatically going to preclude you from being hired by another employer in the same industry, but you need to explain your reason for termination in a professional way.
3. Plan Ahead
As soon as you are fired, you need to start thinking about references for your next job. If you go through an exit interview, ask the HR manager if the company plans to give you a neutral reference or a negative reference. If your manager intends to give a negative reference, start thinking of ways to counteract the negative information. If you have good relationships with some of your colleagues from that job, ask them to write letters of recommendation or endorse you on LinkedIn. Be honest about your reason for termination when asking for help from former colleagues.
4. Make the Situation Positive
Finally, be ready to show interviewers that your termination had a positive effect on your professional life. If you were fired due to a skill gap, for example, it’s prudent to take continuing education courses while you look for a new job. You also need to show that you have taken steps to address the concerns brought up by your previous manager.
Losing your job is a traumatic event, but it’s possible to bounce back quickly. When you are ready to search for a new job, take time to process your emotions and rehearse your reason for termination. Employers are more likely to give you a chance if you acknowledge your role in the situation and show that you have taken steps to improve.
What to Say If Asked Why You Got Fired
Source: John Krautzel (Beyond)