How did you quit your job
Justify termination: tips for the job interview
A termination initially represents a break in the curriculum vitae. Even more: You must justify the termination in the next application. Not that easy at all - especially if the eviction was involuntary. HR managers could take a negative view of this. No panic! It's all a question of perspective and the right reason. Using tips, examples and formulations, we will show you how you can justify a termination - convincingly and without justifying yourself ...
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
Why give reasons for the termination?
Basically: You do not have to give reasons for a termination. There is no legal obligation to provide information about the reason for termination in the application. It is enough for a potential employer to know from when and where you were employed. This creates a complete and (ideally) seamless picture of your professional career.
Only if through the termination in the curriculum vitae the break or even a longer gap becomes noticeable, something like a need for explanation arises. Explanation - no justification!
Justify termination? No fear!
Changing jobs is part of professional development. Careers are no longer just linear. Terminations are also normal. Whether self-resignation, operational dismissal or termination without notice: Sometimes it no longer fits. But this is not a general failure.
The right way to deal with job losses is crucial and how you justify your termination. Anyone who tries to gloss over or cover up something here only reveals a guilty conscience. Leave little room for speculation. Treat the termination as calmly as aggressively and try to justify it in a professional and future-oriented manner.
Application: What is the reason for termination? How?
Before you ask yourself “How can I justify my termination?”, You should distinguish between two cases: Have you given notice yourself - or have you been fired? The difference has a massive impact on your justification, because HR staff will always have different questions pounding through their heads:
1. You quit yourself
No question about it: the better option, because you actively shape your professional development. Nevertheless, the step must never look like an escape. Otherwise HR managers will ask themselves whether they are going to throw in the towel again at the new job, because the same problem arises here. It is therefore important that you do not look into the past when giving reasons, but always look ahead. Formulate a motivation towards the new employer, never away from the previous one (see video).
In the application after a termination you should also never write or talk negatively about your previous employer. Unprofessional! Negative statements always have a negative effect on the sender. A defensive stance also raises doubts. Justifications always look as if the reasons for the termination are to be found with you. Rather self-confidently justify termination in the tabular curriculum vitae. For example like this (possible formulations are marked with a "➠"):
2. You have been terminated
In that case, HR professionals are interested in why the employment relationship was terminated. Has there been any restructuring, downsizing, or layoffs? Or was it because of your performance that the employer was dissatisfied with?
In the event of termination through no fault of your own the justification is easy. Be open and honest about how this came about. Like this:
In the event of termination through self-inflicted (performance-related or behavioral), however, you should stick to the facts. You can limit the damage by giving brief and concise reasons for the termination. Examples:
No matter how you justify your termination: Please never lie! It always becomes a boomerang: If the untruth is noticed during the application phase, your reputation is damaged and you are out. If you get caught up in your job, that is a solid reason for a termination without notice. Deliberately false information in the résumé is a serious attempt at deception that destroys the trust of the employer. This is also how labor judges see it regularly.
Job interview: how to justify the termination there?
Depending on how you stated the termination in your résumé, this can become a topic in the interview. Typical interview questions are:
- Why did you quit your job?
- What is bothering you about your current job?
- Why were you fired?
- What do you think you did wrong?
- What did you learn from it?
- What will you do better with us?
- Why do you think you are more successful here?
Your motivation to change also plays a central role herehow you justify the job change. The most important thing now is: stay calm! You are not the first or the last applicant to be terminated or to write a letter of resignation. The more you defend yourself, the more guilty you appear. Anything that causes a disruptive feeling in HR staff reduces the chances of applying. How to do it right ...
Justify termination: formulations and examples
We also differentiate between the reasons for termination in the following examples and formulations. However, you should never sound bitter, frustrated, or desperate when explaining the termination in the interview. Your attitude is always confident, determined and future-oriented, please ...
- "I had the feeling that in this position I was staying below my possibilities and couldn't find a new challenge to develop myself further."
- "I am currently looking for a position with more responsibility and new tasks in which I can better utilize my potential."
- “In my job, I increasingly had the feeling that I could perform better than was possible in the position. I would like to pursue this goal in your company. "
- "After my partner has accepted a new job in this city, I am also looking for opportunities to develop myself professionally."
- “I really appreciate my current employer and am grateful for the cooperation so far. Recently, however, it has been shown that my internal development opportunities are limited. That is regrettable, but I would like to reorient myself professionally and now use my knowledge and skills with you ... "
- “After some restructuring and the realignment of our department, it became clear to me that with my skills and know-how I would not be the best person there. That limits both sides - my employer and me. Therefore, changing jobs is the ideal solution for both of us ... "
- “To be honest, I didn't want to change my job. But then I heard about this job and it impressed me immediately. I believe that I can optimally bring my skills and talents to bear here ... "
Give reasons for termination by the employer
- "The company was restructured, unfortunately my position was also affected by the measures."
- “My position was canceled as part of a reorganization. My superiors wanted to keep me in the company. However, the position offered hardly offered me any prospects or responsibility. And a later option for promotion was too uncertain for me. "
- "The new area of responsibility presented an interesting challenge. The restructuring of the department, however, significantly affects my design and development options."
- “When my former employer was restructured, 60 percent of the jobs were cut. Since I had only been with the company for a short time, my job was also lost. "
- “My previous employer has hired a new manager who has realigned our team. This was certainly the right step for his strategy. However, it no longer fits perfectly with my skills and strengths. "
- “I had a brief crisis in the past in which I wanted to change my career and refocus. This process is now complete. I am convinced that your position suits me perfectly and that I can work profitably for you here. "
Justify termination: the 3 most important rules
The first tip when applying is: Be confident. As long as you justify your termination in an honest and professional manner, you shouldn't be ashamed of it. In addition, you should follow these rules:
- No blame
Your first impression of the potential employer shouldn't be how you pull on former bosses or colleagues. Whatever happened before the termination: Dirty laundry never belongs in the job interview!
- No defensive
As long as you are not asked about it, do not justify anything. Do not wake sleeping dogs. You confidently justify the separation from your last employer and then direct the topic back to your motivation for the application. So why do you want to work HERE.
- No details
In order to provide a plausible explanation, applicants like to go far. Error! Save with details. The new job is your topic, not the old or ex-employer! So don't let yourself be led off the beaten track. Otherwise there is a great risk of babbling about your head and your career.
Use our professional designs and free application templates to apply. More than 120 professional templates for cover letters, covers and résumés as WORD files. Including sample texts for various professions and jobs. Ensure the perfect first impression of your application.
To download the templates
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