In the past, as a recruiter, I’ve hired people who have made some dreadful mistakes throughout their careers. I’ve offered jobs to candidates who have been fired from their last job, I’ve offered jobs to candidates who simply didn’t turn up to their last job, and I’ve offered jobs to candidates who have gone from job to job without any real stickability. Why? Because they owned it – they had spent time reflecting on why it didn’t work out, and they put their hand up and said “I’m not proud of what happened, but it did, and since then I’ve done some soul searching and I can assure you it won’t happen again”.
If you have been fired, or have left a job under dubious circumstances, you probably dread the question “why did you leave your last job?”. The worst thing you can do is to try and hide it – employers check references and if the reasons why you have left are unclear, and you are fumbling to explain yourself in an interview, they are even more likely to do so.
There is very little you can do to change the facts and so it is crucial that you provide a plausible explanation that calms any concerns they may have and provides a level of reassurance should they wish to offer you the job.
It doesn’t matter if you were young without a care in the world, if it was a short term holiday job, or it was simply a moment in time where you brain flew out the window – the outcome of the interview will very likely hinge on your ability to explain the situation in a positive manner.
If you do have a difficult situation in your past, such as being fired, or abandoning your employment, don’t turn up to your next interview with your head in the sand hoping it won’t be mentioned – think about it now and come up with a real explanation that demonstrates you own your mistakes and have moved on.
Author: Lyndal Clark
Lyndal Clark is a highly knowledgeable and approachable Career Coach at My Coach, and is well known for her ability to relate to and interact effectively with young adults. With significant experience in HR, Recruiting, Training and Employment Coaching, Lyndal is extremely successful in helping young adults transition into employment.
My Coach provides expert coaching in all areas of employment including creating compelling cover letters and stand-out CV’s and provides tailored 1:1 interview training and support. For further information: www.mycoach.net.nz, www.facebook.com/CoachLyndal or email firstname.lastname@example.org.