Interviewers don’t go easy on candidates who carry the ‘fired’ tag. Here are tips from CHROs on how to face the storm.
Finding another job after being fired doesn’t come easy. Although, while firing someone, most organisations these days now ensure that either they help the employees with outplacement or make sure their future employment prospects don’t suffer. But, what if you’re left in the lurch, looking for a suitable opportunity on your own?
Interviewers don’t go easy on candidates who carry the ‘fired’ tag. Except in cases where someone may be asked to leave due to a restructuring drive, a merger or an acquisition, or when a company is shutting down operations, interviewers will always look at a candidate with suspicion. They know that most organisations would not fire someone without a strong reason —be it performance lag or a behavioural or ethical discord.
When facing the job market after being fired, your loyalty, ethics, behaviour and personality traits as an employee, are all under question. In such a scenario, masking anything wouldn’t help in the long run as sooner or later the employer will discover the truth. In fact, it may further diminish your chances of landing jobs as the reference checks will anyway bust your reality.
While looking for another opportunity, one must identify the lack of capabilities that may have led to the loss of job and address that efficiently.
Geethaa Ghaneckar, CHRO, Raheja Universal, says honesty is the best policy and that applies here as well. She says, “If there has been any issue that led to your low performance in the workplace, it is best to be frank and open about it.”
When facing the job market after being fired, your loyalty, ethics, behaviour and personality traits as an employee, are all under question.
Ghaneckar shares an anecdote about a job candidate she had once interviewed. She hired the person, because she/he was upfront in stating that the last two years her/his performance at the previous job was not up to the mark, owing to a strained relationship with the new boss, frequent change of guards and few other reasons. However, for five good years before all that happened, performance had never been an issue. While all of this was verified by the reference checks as well, Ghaneckar hired this person for honesty.
In addition to being honest, it is also important to admit one’s own weaknesses, if any, and make sincere attempts to improve upon them. Ganesh Chandan, CHRO, Greaves Cotton, is of the view that while looking for another opportunity, one must identify the lack of capabilities that may have led to the loss of job and address that efficiently.
If there has been any issue that led to your low performance in the workplace, it is best to be frank and open about it.
“It is important to address the root cause of getting fired, otherwise even though you may land another job, you may not be able to survive for long. For instance, if a sales person is not good at maintaining customer relations then she/he is set to fail sooner or later,” Chandan explains.
He suggests taking up a training course or finding a coach to enhance the required skills and then admit one’s shortcomings and the intention to work on it, in the next interview. For instance, he recalled that he had once come across a candidate who was candid enough to admit that he had lost his previous job due to his weak English communication skills. However, the candidate revealed his intention to take up a course to improve upon the weakness as soon as he secured the job and earned enough to pay for the lessons.
It was this integrity, the acceptance of his shortcoming and the intent to work upon it at the first chance that got him the job. “Acknowledge your shortcomings and work on them,” Chandan opines. And as Ghaneckar says, being truthful is the key!
Furthermore, in cases where job expectation mismatch is the reason behind someone’s job failure and loss, it is again honesty that will help that person sail through. Be upfront about the fact that you were unable to gauge the job expectations, and hence, you could not perform well. “Sometimes people accept job offers in a haste, which later puts them in a tricky spot. Either they quit early or risk being laid off for non-performance, which in both cases isn’t good for their career graph. Hence, it is important that in an interview the candidate analyses the organisation fit, rigorously reviewing its culture, leadership styles and the job expectations well before deciding to join,” Chandan explains.
All said and done, it is certainly a difficult task to crack an interview after being fired. However, being ousted from a job is not the end of the world. While it takes a lot of effort to gather the courage to face the job market, with a truthful demeanour one can manage to beat all odds and find another suitable opportunity.