We have all had them in our career. The tough, direct question that we should have been prepared for and weren’t. Did you ever leave an interview and feel like you weren’t at your best? What were the questions that threw you off balance? In a previous blog, I wrote about answering the “ Tell me about yourself” question that can cause you to stumble and there are others as well. Have you ever been asked to resign? Why have you had so many positions in the past 3 years? What were you doing during the 6 months between your last two positions?
If you have a gap in your employment or you were asked to leave a job in your past it doesn’t mean that you can’t get rehired in another position that is a better fit but you better be able to articulate why you have had 3 jobs in the past two years or why you were fired. A good offense is the best defense. Be upfront about it. If everyone that got fired from a job was no longer employable, there would be a LOT of unemployed people. Sometimes people make poor decisions choosing an employer and accepting a job in the same manner that some people choose the wrong mate and end up getting a divorce. The key is to learn from it, be able to verbalize why it was not a good fit for you and in such a way without badmouthing the company.
My suggestions are:
- Never lie. Tell the truth and people will forgive you- lie and they’ll never trust you.
- Be prepared- don’t cross your fingers and hope it won’t be addressed during the interview.
- If you were fired, share the reason and what you have learned from the experience and how it will help you in your professional growth in the next position.
- If there is a gap on your resume, fill it in with the reason you did not work- took care of a family member during illness, actively looked for work and worked part-time, etc.
We have all had positions that have not been a good fit or a personality conflict with a co-worker or boss- life happens. We have deaths in our families, we go through divorces. If you take the time to prepare for the interview and anticipate the tough questions, you are much less likely to stumble. Being prepared is the key.