Q: I am a medical technologist with 10 plus years experience working in a hospital laboratory. I was terminated two years ago and have not been able to land a job with any hospital in my area. I complete applications honestly admitting to being terminated. I feel this has been a HUGE red flag; I am feeling somewhat black-balled. In the few interviews I have had, I have always been asked the reason why I was terminated. What is the best way to answer this question?
Now, when you do get an interview, here's what you need to do to present the situation properly:
1. Take accountability for what happened.
Employers don't expect employees to be perfect. However, they do expect you to own up to your mistakes. And, more importantly, they want you to tell them what you learned from the experience and what you plan to do to make sure it never happens again. Stick to the facts of what happened, point out where you went wrong, and then summarize what you'll do if you work for them to ensure history doesn't repeat itself.
2. Never make excuses or blame others.
The moment you start trying to share the blame with someone else, employers see you as not understanding what you did wrong. Which means, you are at risk of doing it again to them. Pointing fingers, even if others are to blame, will backfire on you. Just focus on your part in the situation and how you are overcoming it.
3. Tell them why they'll be getting a deal by hiring you.
Explain how you understand the termination has hurt your professional reputation and that you want to do whatever you can to put it behind you. Translation: The next company that hires you is going to get an employee that is going to do everything they can to exceed their expectations so you can earn back your reputation.
It's all about proving to potential employers that the termination made you a better employee. If you follow the steps above, you'll hopefully be able to convince and employer to take a chance on you. Don't give up!
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