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Tips For Explaining A Job Loss

May 24, 2008
If you have had a job loss in the past, you don't need to be discouraged - because even established professionals who were previously fired have scaled greater heights of success by adopting a positive approach to this problem.

Listed below are a few helpful tips on how you can effectively deal with this experience during the interview.

Be Ready With Answers

It is always a good idea to be prepared well in advance to answer this question. It may not come up, but if it does, you will at least be ready. Prior to the interview, make sure that you rehearse the situation so that you know what kind of questions to expect and how to cope with them appropriately.

Also, take into consideration any questions that can arise about your negative work experiences. Try to find suitable answers as to why you were dismissed, what you learned from it and where you might have gone wrong.

When formulating your response, it helps if you try to look at the situation from your employer's perspective.

Tackle the Situation with Honesty

Although you should always be truthful when revealing details, you don't have to start the conversation with the job loss. If you adopt a positive approach to this negative job experience, you will find ways to make it work in your favor rather than against you. Do not volunteer information or draw attention to this aspect of your resume unless the interviewer specifically brings up the topic.

If they don't bring it up, it is best to let sleeping dogs lie.

If the issue does arise, you can simply paraphrase the loss without stating directly that you were fired (if that is the case), or choose to gracefully glide over it by merely saying that since things didn't work out or you thought it was better to try somewhere else. Avoid going into too many details about the job and concentrate more on highlighting your accomplishments while you were there.

Mention it as briefly as possible - and then move on to discussing positive job experiences that exhibit your skills, traits and expertise.

Learn From Your Mistakes to Improve Your Future

The best way to deal with situations like this is to first briefly explain the reasons that led to the circumstances and then draw your employer's attention to the positive aspect of it.

State that you tried to make the most of the opportunity by learning new skills. Emphasize how the experience improved you and made you into a better candidate by stressing the positive lessons that you learned from it.

Above all, deal with the issue in an optimistic and forward-thinking manner.

Be Positive At All Times

No matter what reasons you state during the interview to explain the job loss, make sure that you maintain a positive and professional attitude at all times. Refrain from harboring resentment or displaying any ill feelings about your prior company, employer or associates. Rather, focus on your positive experiences and your accomplishments during that period.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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