You’re looking for a position in manufacturing, and you have almost everything it takes to land the jobs that fall within your sights: you have the right set of skills and all the experience, ambition, and determination you need to get where you’re headed. You only have one problem: you were fired from your last manufacturing position, and you’re afraid this incident may haunt you. How can you address this minor blight on your record if you’re asked about it during your interview? Here are a few simple moves that can help.
If you were laid off, don’t worry.
Losing a job through no fault of your own is simply a rite of passage in our modern working world. There’s nothing about a layoff that needs to be spun, reframed, or hidden from potential employers. If your interviewer believes that a company restructuring or plant shut-down somehow reflects poorly on your personal record, the problem lies with that person, not with you.
Know why your employer may be concerned.
On the other hand, if you were fired due to a behavior or discipline problem or a performance issue, that’s another story. In this case, your employer has a right to be concerned about a possible repeat of the incident, and it’s in your best interests to allay these concerns. If you’re asked about the reason for your dismissal, keep your answer short, clear, and positive. Simply tell your side of the story and then stop talking.
Don’t bring up the subject unless you’re asked.
If you aren’t asked to provide the reason why you left your last job, by all means, don’t volunteer this information. You have no legal or ethical obligation to do so, and jumping in front of this potential problem can cause more harm than good. No matter you how long your employer chooses to dwell on the issue, always be ready to redirect the conversation away from this subject and back toward all the reasons why you’re right for this job. Focus on your skills and talents, not on a single damaging incident from your past.
If you’re asked, explain what you learned from the experience.
How did this incident help you grow as a potential employee and as a person? What did you learn about your abilities and your limits? What did you learn about the kinds of conditions under which you do and don’t excel? Are there any mistakes you made that you’ve learned to avoid from now on? If your interviewer decides to press the point, be ready to discuss what you gained from the moment and how it helped you reach a better place.
For more on how to stay in control of your application and interview process, reach out to the job search team at Lift Temp.