Fired? The Interview Solution

So you were fired? Now what? How will you explain it when you interview?

There are many questions that plague job seekers. “What salary are you looking for?” is a big one. “Why should we hire you?” is another. And “Why did you leave your last job?” can leave you spluttering if you were fired and don’t know how to answer.

And most people don’t! After they’ve stumbled through a few answers—trying in vain to phrase it in an acceptable way—and are not invited back for a second interview, their fears are confirmed. No one will hire them because they’ve been fired.

Except that’s not what’s really happening. The problem is not that they were fired, but how they answered the question.

We don’t stay at a job our entire lives like most of our grandparents did. Not only is it common to change jobs, some believe it's the best way to leverage salary and career. While most of the changes may be of your own volition, odds are a few will involve being fired or laid-off.

Companies are bought out, merge, and consolidate, which means inevitably there’s a duplication of staff. It can be as simple as the new president wanting to bring in his own team. He probably didn’t even look at your capabilities, He just decided you were …outta there.

These departures aren’t as difficult to explain. You can say:

o “Our company was bought and the entire department was eliminated.” (It’s not me; a bunch of us were asked to leave.) Safety in numbers.

o “The new president wanted to bring in his own guy. I lasted about a week.” (It’s not me; the president didn’t even take the time to find out if I was good at what I do.) A prospective company can’t possibly hold something against you that’s so… impersonal.

o “The company was losing money and downsized.” (It’s not me; if the company had been profitable, I’d still be there!)

The common thread is, “It’s not me.” Therefore, I am not flawed, unwanted, performing poorly, or any other reason you can think up or worry about. But these types of partings, while they seem impersonal, can still have a detrimental effect. We’ll get to that in a minute.

The instances that cause real damage feel very personal, even when they aren’t. You are the only one who was dismissed, and what’s more, you know they’ll replace you. You’re caught off guard, angry, and frightened, too. In an instant, you’re on the defensive, which is usually where people remain. And that’s exactly what causes the problem.

Firing isn’t always about the individual, even though that’s who’s impacted the most. Sometimes it’s about the boss—especially bosses with issues. It might be about poor performance, but that’s not always negative. It could be the result of having different philosophies. For instance, the company may value those who work weekends, nights and holidays. You prefer to balance your life.

Once you’re fired, you can’t change the circumstances. But you can control how you view them. While departmental or companywide layoffs are easier to explain, they can also cause damage. You wonder, “If I’d been really good, wouldn’t they have found another spot for me?” In addition, you’re in an insecure place that sometimes is difficult to adjust to.

Take time to clear some tears or anger. If you’re tempted to recoil, rehash, threaten revenge or otherwise communicate with your previous employer, don’t. Remember one word: reference! Don’t burn your bridges. Leave the company gracefully.

Most importantly, detach yourself from the event and honestly examine what happened. That’s the only way you’re going to get any insight and begin adjusting your thoughts and perspective.

There are hundreds of reasons for dismissal, so no pat answer will suffice. The unequivocal rule is to tell the truth. If they discover you lied, you’ll be wondering for a long time how you’ll pay your bills. So when you’re asked why you left – tell them you were fired. Forthright brevity is best. It’s all in how you phrase it. The trick is a shift in perspective, which is easier when you’ve purged the defensiveness and shame.

Don’t give a long, rambling story or blame the company, your boss, or anyone else. Were you –even partially- at fault? Take responsibility. Did you learn from the experience? Say so. Are you completely at sea as to what happened? That’s okay.

Not every job is right for everyone. There are philosophical differences, chemistry problems, tough spots, and bosses who are difficult and self-absorbed.

Regardless of the reason, it wasn’t your perfect job or you weren’t quite what they needed. The great thing is that it was recognized (in whatever form) and everyone is moving on. The goal is to be real about what works for you and why the firing took place.

The first step, as trite as it sounds, is to look at it as a blessing. It may take some time to see, but no matter how bad it looks or feels, something good will come of it. Maybe it will be a better job, a chance to grow, or the realization that you hated your career – who knows?

But if you’re too busy being angry and defensive, not only will you miss the chance to capitalize on the positive outcome, but you’ll also keep experiencing negative consequences. When you're in a victimized frame of mind, you'll miss recognizing an opportunity and continue to perpetuate your unemployment.

Let’s examine two answers to the question: “Why did you leave your last job?”

HOLDING-ON HENRIETTA: I don’t know. I was doing my job. Everyone liked me. They always came to me for advice instead of our boss. When the other manager left, they promoted the assistant. She’s maybe about 28. I guess they thought she’d be good just because she’d been there a long time, but she really was a shrew. I think she hated me. She was always talking down to me. One time she took credit for one of my projects. She’s the one that should have left! I’m glad to be out of there.

OBJECTIVE OLIVIA: I was fired, actually. The assistant manager was promoted to manager because she had seniority and she was very good at her job. Unfortunately, she was young and perhaps she thought respect was automatically accorded instead of earned, because when everyone else began coming to me instead of her, it didn’t seem to sit well with her. Despite that I excelled in my responsibilities and met my goals, she let me go. I’m sorry to have had to leave the company. I learned a lot there.

Can you spot the differences? As the interviewer, what would you think?

You must work out a comfortable response. Rewrite it, rephrase it, and test it. Be able to say it calmly and sincerely. If you notice hesitation or discomfort, your words, your attitude—or possibly both—need adjustment.

There is no good or bad. There’s only perspective, which is your choice. Firing is considered “bad,” but what’s bad about being fired when a boss has issues? What’s bad about protecting a customer or not compromising your ethics? What’s bad about being asked to leave because the position description changed and doesn’t fit your job preferences or skills? What’s bad about being fired from a sales job for lousy numbers when you hate selling (and realize later that you’re relieved to be gone)?

When you’re comfortable with what happened, you’ll be comfortable with your response, and it will be much easier to look someone in the eye while you answer their question.

About the Author
Judi Perkins has been a search consultant for 25 years in both the contingency and retained market, with a short stint in the temporary and local permanent placement markets. She has owned her own firm and successfully assisted numerous repeat clients in hiring all levels of management. She is a Career Expert and Forum Moderator.


How To Make Boring Businesses Exciting

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone got as excited about your company as you are? Unfortunately some businesses just aren't very sexy; in fact, some businesses are downright boring. As a consequence, companies that sell commodity products and routine services tend to rely on presentations that load-up on features, specifications, and statistics that may be relevant to anal-retentive types, but hardly compelling to the vast majority of your audience.

There is no reason why every company can't deliver an exciting image to its audience; one that generates the kind of buzz and excitement usually associated with companies like Apple, Victoria's Secret, Benetton, Absolut Vodka, and Sony.

It may seem impossible to produce a whole lot of steam for things like sand paper, accounting services, and facial tissue, but thanks to the Web and it's extraordinary ability to deliver multimedia content, even the most mundane offerings can get hearts racing and the blogosphere blogging.

Emotional Experiences Connect

Let's take facial tissue as an example; it is one of the most common, boring everyday products you can imagine. There is just not much you can do to sell this stuff other than telling people yours is softer and cheaper than the other guys, but then the other guy is saying the same thing; the result, consumers buy whatever is on sale. But wait, the clever fellows at Kimberly-Clark instituted a brilliant website campaign for their facial tissue, called "Kleenex - let it out."

The campaign zeros in on the emotional experience associated with why people use facial tissue: to wipe away tears of joy or sadness or maybe to clean-up cute little runny noses - in each case the result of some moving event.

Tapping into this emotional association is key to the Kleenex campaign and key to your new thinking on how to make your boring stuff, exciting.

Video - The Best Way To Tell A Story

The Kleenex campaign features prominent videos of articulate people telling their personal stories, all resulting in the need to use a facial tissue.

A pregnant woman discusses the emotional impact of having a child and as her eyes begin to tear, the interviewer hands her a Kleenex. A second video features another well-spoken woman talking about her return to New Orleans after the devastation of hurricane Katrina. Again as the woman becomes emotional and begins to cry, the interviewer hands her a tissue. Nothing more needs to be said, this is very powerful story telling that connects to the audience and delivers an image of the brand as caring and sensitive; the exact kind of impression the company wants to portray.

Even companies that aren't exactly dead-from-the-neck-up boring can benefit from this approach. The Home Depot ran a series of advertisements with a husband showing his wife a series of power tools that he wanted. Rather than try to convince his wife, and by association all the wives in the audience, that he needs another expensive toy, the husband points to each tool and states, "this is your new shelving unit" and "this one is your new kitchen" - a far more dramatic and effective way to make the case for a new purchase.

You can deliver the same kind of powerful marketing messages for your own company by presenting Web-based videos that follow a few very simple guidelines.

Six Steps To Turn Boring Into Exciting

1. Use People to Sell People

There is no substitute for people. Human beings are capable of communicating with an enormous degree of nuance and subtlety, using voice, expression, body language, and gesture; no animation, avatar, or artificial substitute can take the place of a real person for communicating meaningful, memorable marketing messages.

With relatively easy-to-use production tools anyone can create a video, but not necessarily one that delivers the message or image that your company wants to present. We have seen far too many poor quality efforts both on the Web and even on local television, where company presidents with bad haircuts and ill-fitting suits, uttering nonsense-riddled scripts in zombie-like performances expose themselves to audiences expecting more, much more.

Skilled performers communicate in very subtle ways to an audience, and only the well-practiced professional has the experience and capability to deliver the intended experience. The cost of saving money by doing-it-yourself or with amateurs can result in delivering an unintended message that may undermine the impression and image you are trying to create.

2. Perception Is Reality Use Scripted Professionals

You will notice that I described the women in the facial tissue videos as articulate. Now I cannot tell you if these women were actors or not, or that their powerful presentations were scripted, but if I had to guess, I would say these very effective videos were about as carefully produced and constructed as the latest episode of 'Survivor' that by no means makes them any less effective.

The point here is that perception is reality, and the professional filmmaker knows how to tell a story and communicate a message; and that is not the same thing as being able to turn on a video camera.

3. Tell A Memorable Story

When we talk about companies telling their story, it is important to distinguish between the company's history and the emotional experiences generated by the product or service.

Company histories can make for interesting videos and can produce a sense of trust associated with being in business for a considerable length of time, but that sort of presentation does not speak to the underlying emotional and psychological factors that actually trigger a sale.

It is difficult but imperative that businesses understand that marketing is not about you, or even the product or service, it's about the audience.

Like the Kleenex videos and the Home Depot commercials, every product and service that is purchased from your company represents an experience, a story that relates to your audience's aspirations and needs. It is the audience's story that demonstrates credibility, clarifies purpose, penetrates memory, and makes the message compelling.

4. Create An Emotional Experience

The vast majority of decisions we make are colored by the emotional relevance associated with those decisions. No doubt rational factors figure into our decision-making process, but the pivotal factors that attract the use of one product over another are emotional.

If you're not connecting to your audience on an emotional level, then you are left with a commodity that can only be sold on price and features, and unless you're a monopoly, there will always be some competitor willing to offer your customers more for less.

When presenting your product or service it is important to tap into an emotional element that your audience can relate to as its key purchasing decision factor. When people purchase boring accounting services and software, what they're really buying is an improved life style for their families. It really doesn't matter what you sell, if you look hard enough, you can find the emotional benefit that should be the central element of your marketing message.

5. Create a Believable Relevant Personality

Part of the process of connecting with your audience is creating an appropriate personality for your company. Many corporations today believe in the cult of management personality but this is a dangerous game. Your company needs a personality of it's own, one that is distinctive and that will stand alone and not be dependent on senior management's ego and self-promotion.

Web-video marketing campaigns provide a vehicle that allows companies to create appropriate personalities that engage, inform and entertain your audience in ways that establish your identity and create the basis for a prosperous business relationship.

Clever marketing can create a corporate personality but it is imperative that you follow through and deliver that personality in all aspects of your relationship with your audience. Producing a campaign that promises one thing and a website, staff, and product that delivers another is one of the easiest ways to alienate customers.

6. Deliver A Critical Hot Button Moment

Web-video presentations need to focus on single issues that are driven home by the addition of a hot button moment or punch line. Remember you are telling your audience a story that needs a beginning, middle and end. That story should build to climax and deliver the point in a single memorable moment.

The era of point form slide presentations is dead, along with the laundry list of benefits approach.

Creativity, personality, and the ability to communication and develop an emotional connection to your audience through the use of Web-video campaigns has the potential to turn even the most lackluster company into a vibrant and exciting marketing business.

Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in Web-audio and Web-video. Visit http://www.mrpwebmedia.com/ads, http://www.136words.com, and http://www.sonicpersonality.com. Contact at info@mrpwebmedia.com or telephone (905) 764-1246.

Intimate Relationship - Do You Feel Bored?

It is very true that you may feel bored after marrying for a long time. This is also true for your intimate relationship. You will probably feel that your sex life become boring after marrying for a long time. So you may wonder at this point how you can make your sex life exciting and perfect even if you have married for a long time.

In fact, the first thing which is very important to make your sex life less boring is communication. As you may know, communication is always very important in a relationship. You should try to communicate with your partner to see what he / she wants. It is also very crucial for you to tell your partner what you want. You should try to explore together to see if there are some ways to make your sex life exciting.

Besides, you have to understand that your relationship is not only in the bedroom. It is more that sex. There are also a lot of different ways to make your partner satisfy. This will in turn help to make your sex relationship more perfect and exciting. For example, if you are a man, you can help your spouse to clean the dishes after meals. In fact, the best scenario is that you two can wash the dishes together. This is also a good way to communicate with each other. You may think this has nothing to do with your intimate relationship. However, as all experts will tell, women are more emotional. As a result, helping her to wash dishes will help to satisfy emotionally and this will in turn enhance your sex experience.

On the other hand, if you are a woman, you may consider giving your man a sensual massage. This will certainly help to spice your life in the bedroom.

Role playing is also a great way to enhance your sex experience. You feel that your sex life is boring because it is always the same. Role playing can make your sex life different. It will bring a totally new experience in your sex life. You can have a role playing on doctor and nurse. There are also people who love the role playing on policewoman and robber. In fact, a lot of people agree that role paying is a very good way to make the intimate relationship more exciting. You should try it if you have never tried it before.


I hate it when children say their bored!

After spending hundreds of dollars around the Christmas holiday on toys how dare a child come to me and say, "I'm bored!" That is a damn insult! Children really don't have a concept on true boredom!

Bored, back in the day, for me was when my grandmother told us to sit down and watch television and it wasn't even a children's show to watch! Bored was when my dad would make us sit at the foot of his bed and watch the news to keep from listening to us talk about our school days. Bored was when you were expected to do chores without payment and then when you were ready to spend some time playing with your toys, your parents would call you to do something else like dust! Bored was having to sit at any waiting room or stand in any line from the doctor's office to the grocery store. The bus rides were the worse, I would look at people like, "What the f*ck are you looking at?"

When my children come to me with this dumb stuff about being bored, I tell them, "There is nothing wrong with "doing nothing" sometimes." That's right I repeat "nothing" twice for emphasis. So I tell them, "Go have some do nothing time!" Do nothing time is laying on your bed looking up at the ceiling, remember those days? Now that is true boredom!

Nicholl McGuire


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The Top 5 Best Selling PSP Games For January 2009

Ben 10: Alien Force
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE the game, based on Cartoon Network's hit television series, is the only console videogame that allows players to take command of characters from the ALIEN FORCE team to authentically control and experience their adventures.

The game begins five years after Ben put away the DNA-scrambling Omnitrix, but now Grandpa Max has gone missing and the planet Earth is in grave danger.

Gamers must help Ben take the Omnitrix out of retirement and lead eight different playable characters - including cousin Gwen, enemy-turned-ally Kevin Levin and five of Ben's brand new alien forms - Swampfire, Jet Ray, Humungousaur, Spidermonkey and Big Chill - to utilize their all-new super powers and defeat the intergalactic invaders!

Gamers will experience tons of all-new story content on all platforms, and can even adventure as additional alien forms Echo Echo, Chromastone and Goop exclusively with the Nintendo DS version.

Star Ocean: Second Evolution

Spacedate 366 – During a routine survey of an unexplored planet, an officer from the starship Calnus is transported to an unknown world by a mysterious artefact.While searching for a way home, he meets an alien girl who draws him into a quest to save her people, just as an ancient prophecy foretold...

The STAR OCEAN saga continues in a new battle to bring peace to the galaxy!

Football Manager 2009 : Handheld

New Features for PSP Include :

2D Match Display - For the first time ever on PSP, Football Manager Handheld now features a 2D match engine with two camera angles, allowing you to view the full match or zoom in on the action.

Multiple Leagues - Run up to four top tier playable divisions at any one time so you can move your career around the continent just like you can in the PC version.

Updated Competitions - All leagues, club and player updated for the new 2008/09 season.

New Skins - Featuring two brand new skins, a light and a dark tone, so you can choose the look that suits you best.

PES 2009

PES 2009 is the latest installment of the award-winning Pro Evolution Soccer Series, which is known by millions of fans for its superior gameplay and incredible realism.

For PES 2009, Konami is already planning a raft of extensive new additions that will further bridge the gap between PES and the real thing.

The new game has undergone a stunning graphical update to ensure its players look and move even more like their real-life counterparts. Similarly, all-new options allow users to tailor the game to their own tastes, while new moves, innovative new control elements and key online elements will further the realism of the new game.

Midnight Club: LA Remix

Race at breakneck speeds through the streets of modern-day L.A. recreated in stunning detail. Drive the hottest range of real-world tuners, muscle cars, exotics and superbikes on the streets today. Customize your ride with the best after-market performance parts and custom kits. Illegal street racing with no track, no load times, no rules: Welcome back to the Midnight Club."

To Access Thousands of Unlimited PSP Games Downloads Please Click Here

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About Me

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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