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Glenford Smith | Never lie about being fired

Published:Thursday | May 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q: Mr Smith, suppose I have been fired from a previous post, and I'm asked why? Also, suppose I'm asked why do I want to leave my current job? I know I would leave for a reasonably well paying offer, but figure the interviewer might judge me. What do I say without lying?

- Fired

A: Thanks for your questions. With regard to the last question my advice is to never lie. It is fairly easy to find out currently. If you are found to be lying, you can kiss the job goodbye.

Let's take the first question, first. Since you were fired, you probably have some residual bad feeling towards your former boss, and the company.

Resist the urge to bad mouth your previous employer. I know you hear this quite often, but knowing is one thing doing another. Don't be critical of your former boss, fellow employee, or customer. Keep the mood positive and uplifting.


Do it smartly


Even though you will be forthright and honest about your firing, you want to go about it smartly. Try and deflect the reason from you personally. If your firing was the result of a takeover or a merger, so much the better.

Practice this and have it ready to give the interviewers. You should do something totally unnatural that will show you to be the consummate professional. Describe your own firing even if it hurts candidly and without a trace of bitterness. Describe it from the company's point of view, indicating that you could understand why it happened and you might have made the same decision yourself.

Your stature will rise immensely and, most important of all, you will show you are healed from the wounds inflicted by the firing. You will enhance your image as first-class management material.


Don't be shy


You should not be shy about wanting more money. Many candidates for some reason, are nervous when they talk about money. You must be confident when you say that money is a reason why you think of leaving your job. You must be congruent in saying this. After all, who else will make your case if you don't make it.

Don't worry that the interviewer will judge you. If you speak with confidence, it won't even be an issue. The interviewer expect you to talk like this, just be reasonable about your asking salary. You may do some work and find out how much is a reasonable salary for the position.

Another reason you may consider leaving a position is that you are seeking greater opportunity, responsibility and growth. Identify several skills that you do not get to utilise in your current position, but which this new position will give you the opportunity.

Throughout, speak positively about your experience at your current place of business. Talk about how much you have learnt, and your positive experiences with the people there. If you talk so positive about your current company, the interviewer will naturally conclude that's how you will talk about their company. All the best.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.