I was just fired today for violating my company's code of conduct. I've been a listener for years and have listened to the getting fired podcast and found it very helpful as well as all the other advice offered from Manager Tools.

I was put on leave during the investigation period and managed to get a few interviews in. I'm expecting some offers and I feel I should mention my change in employment status before I accept any offer.

The questions that are running through my mind are:

1) Should I really mention the firing before any offer is accepted?

2) If I do mention it how should it be worded?

donm's picture
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"I feel I should mention my change in employment status before I accept any offer."

I am curious why you feel this way. Have you heretofore lied to the prospective employer? When you were asked "Why are you leaving your present job," did you avoid the investigation as a subject? If you have had a birthday, and there was a spot for "age" on the application, would you feel compelled to point out "I am no longer the age I wrote. I am one year older?"

I don't think you need to volunteer the information - assuming you have not "shaded" anything in any interview meetings - but if it comes up, you should respond truthfully. How you say it should be factual, free of opinion, and without euphemistic coloring.

An example, if the prospective new employer broaches the subject: When I interviewed with you, there was an ongoing investigation concerning (an incident or behavior - how this is described is up to you, and is somewhat determined by what you have already told them). At the end of the investigation, the company decision was to terminate my employment.

If they follow up, you should maintain the same or similar tone. Factual. Truthful. Short. Emotionless. You can follow up with a "lessons learned" statement, or any other appropriate "this was an aberration and won't happen again" statement, but it, too, should meet the tone outlined in this paragraph. Whatever you do, do not make any excuses. Just an "I messed up. It won't happen again" statement is all that is needed.