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When you have to tell an employer that you were axed

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “Are applicants required to tell a potential future employer that they were terminated from their previous job? If so, how should this be done?”

A: In an interview, you are under no obligation to reveal the fact that you were fired. At the same time, however, you never want to lie during a job search.  To walk this fine line, you need to realize that there can be many honest answers to the same question.   

One way to avoid this dilemma altogether is to reach agreement with your former employer on what reference checkers will be told. Despite your termination, management may have no desire to interfere with your re-employment. They might therefore be willing to describe your departure as a resignation. 

If this option is not realistic, then you will need to devise a suitable explanation along the lines of "we agreed to part ways because it wasn't a good fit.” Your objective is to avoid giving the interviewer a reason to worry, so you must craft a response that doesn’t raise any bright red flags about either your competence or your attitude.

Applicants have many questions about various aspects of the job search. Here are some common concerns: Twelve Frequently-Asked Job Search Questions.

© Marie G. McIntyre, All rights reserved.

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