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Unread 2010-03-03, 11:10 AM   #11
speedysweetie
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Why were you fired/terminated?
Fired from your job? Don't know what to say in an interview? Career expert and author, Joyce Lain Kennedy, shares her twelve best job interview answers to the question "Why were you fired?"
Joyce Lain Kennedy is the nation's first syndicated careers columnist. Her work is distributed by Tribune Media Services and appears in more than 100 newspapers and Web sites. In addition, Joyce is author of eight career-related books including Job Interviews for Dummies, where you can read additional excellent interview advice, Cover Letters for Dummies and Resumes for Dummies.
Joyce Lain Kennedy's sample answers to the interview question "Why were you fired?"
Being cut loose was a blessing in disguise. Now I have an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit my qualifications and interests. My research suggests that such an opportunity may be the one on your table. Would you like to hear more about my skills in working with new technology?
My competencies were not the right match for my previous employer's needs but it looks like they'd be a good fit in your organization. In addition to marketing and advertising, would skills in promotion be valued here?
Although circumstances caused me to leave my first job, I was very successful in school and got along well with both students and faculty. Perhaps I didn't fully understand my boss's expectations or why he released me so quickly before I had a chance to prove myself.
The job wasn't working out so my boss and I agreed that it was time for me to move on to a position that would show a better return for both of us. So here I am, ready to work.
After thinking about why I left, I realize I should have done some things differently. That job was a learning experience and I think I'm wiser now. I'd like the chance to prove that to you.
A new manager came in and cleaned house in order to bring in members of his old team. That was his right but it cleared my head to envision better opportunities elsewhere.
Certain personal problems, which I now have solved, unfortunately upset my work life. These problems no longer exist and I'm up and running strong to exceed expectations in my new job.
I wanted my career to move in a different direction, and I guess my mental separation set up the conditions that led to my departure. But by contrast, the opportunity we're discussing seems to be made for me and I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility.
I usually hit it off very well with my bosses, but this case was the exception that proved my rule of good relationships. We just didn't get on well. I'm not sure why.
My job was offshored to India. That's too bad because people familiar with my work say it is superior and fairly priced.
I outlasted several downsizings but the last one included me. Sign of the times, I guess.
I was desperate for work and took the wrong job without looking around the corner. I won't make that mistake again. I'd prefer an environment that is congenial, structured and team-oriented, where my best talents can shine and make a substantial contribution.
Kennedy also says, "Practice in advance what you'll say. Then keep it brief, keep it honest and keep it moving." That way, you'll get past the sticky issue of getting fired and can move on to your skills and why you're qualified for the job.

What is your greatest weakness?
When you're asked what your greatest weakness is, try to turn a negative into a positive. For example, a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.
Note that the term "weakness" isn't used in the sample answers - you always want to focus on the positive when interviewing.
Sample Answers
When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.
I like to make sure that my work is perfect, so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However, I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.
I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.

What is your greatest strength?
This is one of the easier interview questions you'll be asked. When you are asked questions about your strengths, it's important to discuss attributes that will qualify you for the job. The best way to respond is to describe the skills and experience that directly correlate with the job you are applying for.
Sample Answers
When I'm working on a project, I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather, I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.
I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.
My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized, efficient, and take pride in excelling at my work.
I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.
__________________

"Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want"
"If you feel you need to tell lies to get ahead, perhaps you need to evaluate why you're behind in the first place."
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