In the dynamic field of healthcare, medical facilities and organizations are constantly restructuring. While this can lead to expansions and growth, it can also result in acquisitions, consolidations, and layoffs. Being laid off or fired – regardless of your industry or position – is a humbling and disconcerting experience. And once you’ve dusted yourself off and are ready to search for your next opportunity, you’re faced with reliving that experience in interviews and answering the dreaded question, “Why did you leave your last position?”
Here are the basics for addressing a termination or layoff in an interview:
1. Be honest.
The reason you cite for being laid off or terminated must align with the information your interviewer will receive via a background check.
2. Be succinct.
Disclose the amount of information required to be honest, but nothing more. Don’t go into a diatribe about the negative aspects of your former employer or a long list of excuses.
3. Be positive.
After giving your explanation, do your best to take the conversation in a new direction and remember your overall goal: getting the job!
Craft your answer and deliver it to friends and family. Practice is essential to interviewing well and preparedness can’t be easily faked, especially for the harder questions that make us sweat.
Not sure how to best phrase your response? Review the following examples for one that resonates with your situation:
If you were terminated for a serious infraction, Donna Cardillo, RN, MA of Nurse.com suggests working with a nurse career coach (not an unspecialized career coach) and/or obtaining a referral from your state chapter of the American Nurses Association.
Being laid off or terminated can be a major shock to your self-esteem, but as you prepare for your next interview, remember this: you were selected out of a stack of applicants and already passed the first hurdle because your skills and experience piqued the hiring manager’s interest – and they want to know more! Celebrate landing the interview as a victory in your job search journey and get ready for the next step. By practicing your answers to the tough questions about your past, you’ll enter your interviews with confidence and a strengthened ability to focus on the future.