Job Application: Fired?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 - Blog, Job Application, Job Application Rejection, Job Interview

Job Application: Fired?

Kate, a life coach, asks: How should a client answer an interview question/fill out an application if they have been fired? The person I am working with feels they were wrongly fired from a company due to a personality conflict with a manager. When asked at a job interview why he isn’t currently working, what does he say to be truthful but not scare the potential employer? Or how does he fill out an application that asks if he was fired and why? “Joe” felt the manager was disrespectful and treated him differently than other employers. So “Joe” asked to transfer to a different manager. A day later, “Joe” was let go and was told the reason was because his breaks were too long & broke company policy. If “Joe” is able to prove that he was fired inappropriately, how would he include this information in an application or interview? If a potential employer wants a reference from his previous manager, with whom he had a conflict, how should my client approach this?

In answer:

Employers simply want to know you can do the job, and that any issues that you have had previously are well in the past.

The answer is: focus on what was learnt over the details of what went on. The moment you get into the details of what went on, it is much like a running length of yarn unwinding a jumper: it never ends, and you keep digging yourself into a deeper hole!

Job Application: stick to the facts!

Stick to the facts by echoing what ever a reference will say, eg: “I was dismissed for minor infringements on company time keeping. I didn’t get on with my boss, and that was core to to me leaving the company. I learnt that I needed to make sure I could get on with my boss as much as I could do the job required of me in being successful, so now check that aspect of any potential employer or offer. I also like a mix of informal as well as formalised communication, to make sure everything is going in the right direction. Can you tell me Mr potential manager about your format of staff communication?”

Job references due to legal cases these days will come down to: start date, end date, reason for leaving. Only if the sector is regulated (eg: financial services, anything involving children/the vulnerable), will it go any further.

Focus on the what was learnt over the what went on: one is history, and should always be left back there.

Good Luck!


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