How to Interview After You Were Fired

what-to-say-when-youve-been-firedWhat is a good way to tell prospective employers you were fired from you last job? Should you ever use a boss who fired you as a reference? Reader S wonders…

I was recently fired from a very small law firm without any warning and without any real reason given. The owner of the firm has a history of firing an employee every six months to a year without explanation. I was told that my work product was good and he would be happy to give me a positive recommendation. I’m at a loss as to what to say when the topic of my last position comes up during interviews. I’m certain that prospective employers will ask why I left and I will have to admit that it was involuntary. Is there any way I can explain the situation without sounding like I’m complaining about my prior boss? Also, without understanding the reason for my termination, is it wise to take him up on the offer for a recommendation?

Wow, I’m so sorry, S — that really stinks. We’ve talked about what to tell interviewers when you’ve been laid off, but we haven’t talked about being fired.  In general I think it’s important for an unemployed person to have a simple, practiced explanation — three sentences, max — for future interviews. So I think my advice here would be to go back to your former boss and ask the following questions: [Read more…]

When The Job Hunt Drags On…

Queue for job, originally uploaded to Flickr by le HaricotReader S, a recent graduate, has a question that, unfortunately, I think a lot of people will be interested in: what should you do when the job hunt drags on (and on)?

May I suggest a post on attorneys who, despite trying everything feasible, cannot find sustainable employment? I understand the whole “work for free” thing, but those positions aren’t available either because they’re going to law firm deferees. This $130,000 monkey on my back is getting unbearably heavy. I’m nearing my wit’s end, and maybe you and your readers will have some good advice.

I’m sorry you’re going through this right now — a job hunt is hard enough, and the school debt is only making it harder.  (Pictured: Queue for job, originally uploaded to Flickr by le Haricot.)
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What to Wear When You’re Laid Off and Looking

what to wear when you've been laid offWe’ve been mulling this reader’s question for a while now… first, here’s the request:

My work wardrobe after 30 years is pretty set. However, I’m currently in recession mode, i.e. my job has been misplaced. I find that my non-work clothes are just not suitable for walking around in the supermarket, given that in my community (high tech in Silicon Valley) I might meet someone there who would hire me. So I want to upgrade what would be my weekend wardrobe (if I were working). Can you help? I have my dilemma posted here.  I hope this doesn’t take you beyond the scope of your blog, but once we get to the executive ranks, I have found that networking etc. can extend the requirements and definition of “professional style”.

We went to her website, and this is what she wore out to drinks with former coworkers: [Read more…]