How Do You Get Around a Lousy Employment Track Record?

interview mistakes.

Let’s face it not everyone has a perfect employment background, maybe you have been fired, quit your job abruptly or have a poor employment reference. Whatever you are concerned about you need to learn how to address it if you are looking for a new job and have an interview coming up. We have a few tips to help.

Never slam your old boss.

As recruiters we have seen many people bomb the interview by slamming an old boss or company. If you had the worst boss in the world never blame them or the company. Come up with a neutral reason for leaving the company or being let go. A good example may be “The company was going in a different direction than when I was hired.” or “My manager and I both realized it was not the right fit.” Both examples show professionalism which any employer will be looking for.

Address concerns head on.

If during the interview the hiring manager expresses concerns make sure you do not come up with excuses, but address concerns head on.  For example, if a manager asks you point blank why you left your position, let them know why in a positive manner. For example, if you were let go, state that clearly and concisely “I was let go.” Do not ramble on about why and how terrible it was. You can again use the reason “The hiring manager and I realized it was not the right fit.” You should then say something positive about the experience and what you did benefit from working at the position and company.

Show where you have excelled or improved.

Everyone has talents and areas they excel at. Come to the interview prepared to talk about your strengths. Also be ready to highlight your strengths with letters of reference, a brag book or previous positive job performance reviews.


Most hiring managers have likely known a talented employee who has been terminated or has been terminated them self.  Do not let having a poor reference from one company ruin your future career growth.  Maintain a healthy positive attitude during the interview process and new opportunities will happen for you.

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