WHAT TO DO BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:
- Analyze the situation and events surrounding the ‘Why’ you were let go. What didn’t work out? What went wrong? How did you contribute to the termination? Could have you changed the outcome?
- Let any negativity, hostility or ill will - go!
- Address any anxiety, fear or apprehension you have about your dismissal (journaling is a great tool for this).
- What are 3 positive things that evolved from this situation? New opportunities?
- Move forward and prepare for your interview.
- Craft your response to the questions “Why were you let go?” “Why did you leave your last position?”
Be honest - project with confidence while you speak and choose your words, tone and message carefully. Maintain a positive upbeat attitude and keep your answer fairly short.
SO, WHAT DO YOU SAY?
Here are some sample responses to hiring managers, recruiters and employers if they ask…
“I really enjoyed working at XYZ company; however, after some time I noticed that the compatibility was diminishing, and it was time to move on. I learned a lot, and contributed a lot at the company - it was just clear to both of us, that I wasn’t a good fit. I was excited to learn that your company values new ideas and employee contributions at all levels.”
“I had a great experience with XYZ company, even as the company struggled through numerous layoffs. Ultimately, my position was eliminated and I had to make a career shift. I am excited to learn more about the responsibilities within the _____ position here.”
“As the company reorganization began to expand, I could see the handwriting on the wall and knew that my position would soon be eliminated, and so we mutually agreed on my departure. I received a severance package and took a few days off to spend with family and travel. I am excited to jump back into a challenging position.
“As you can probably tell by now, I am a go-getter. I worked at company XYZ for a few years and I really enjoyed the people; however, it was clear that my career would not progress past my current role. After realizing that there were no lateral opportunities for cross-growth, I realized that I needed to pursue challenging and expansive positions better suited to my _____ background. This position is really appealing to me because of the management opportunity and the company culture.”
Take your time as you create your own unique, authentic response. Draft your response on paper and practice saying it out loud until it becomes a natural response for you.
Taking the time to do this will help you to grow the capabilities and skill you need to interview from a place of confidence.
Remember, this is an opportunity for a new chapter in your career.