Marie's Answer: Although I’m sure this was a shock, plenty of good managers have been fired and gone on to succeed elsewhere. You’re smart to think about how to describe the situation, since that will be key to landing a new job. Here are a few points to consider:
* Screening out risky applicants is the first goal of every interviewer. Your answer to the, “Why did you leave?” question must not make you sound like a potential problem.
* Resist the urge to overexplain by following the “less is more” rule. The longer you go on, the more red flags you may raise. So be ready with a brief, well-rehearsed answer.
* Avoid using words like “termination” and “fired.” Your answer should be honest, but politically intelligent. And you must quickly move from the past to the future.
* Example: “The company wanted to take my business unit in a different direction, and we agreed that my background might not be the best fit. But I believe my experience can really add value for your company.”
* Never trash your former managers—even if you now hate them. Any negative comments will only cast you in a bad light.
* Reach agreement, if possible, with your former company on how your departure will be described to a potential employer. Even better, see if the organization will give you a positive reference.