Career Advice

How to Explain a Termination in a Job Interview

Australia-Employment January 18, 2021

Explaining your termination from a previous employer can be one of the most uncomfortable situations you ever have to face in life. To do it effectively, you'll need to have a strategy and a goal to leave yourself in a favorable light. The following are some tips for explaining that an ex-employer has fired you:

Try to Make the Reason Less Negative

First, start by trying to turn the event into a less negative one. If you were terminated for insubordination, for example, you might want to explain it as "a difference in procedural viewpoints." Try that and then elaborate if necessary. You should never be dishonest about the reason for termination, but you should try to find a positive way to explain it.

Talk About What You Learned

Some situations, such as violating company policies, cannot be explained without some level of scrutiny from the prospective employer. However, you can take this opportunity to explain to the employer what you've learned from the experience. For example, you learned the crucial importance of an employee's dedication to adhering to company policies from your past experience.

Ensure the Employer That You've Grown

Finally, let the employer know that you've grown from your previous experience. Do not badmouth your previous employer at all. Instead, let the prospective employer know that you loved and appreciated your last job for all the opportunities it presented you. Let the employer know that you will dedicate yourself to preventing making the same mistakes you made before. Ask the prospective employer to give you a chance to show how much you've grown since your last incident.

Many employers will still offer you the opportunity to work for them even though another employer terminated you. You have a good chance of getting a second chance if you handle the subject matter with respect, honesty, and maturity.