CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I have a strong work history, but was fired from my last job because of a personality conflict with my boss. I am scared of questions coming up about that job in an interview. Do I tell them I was fired?

A:The expression "honesty is the best policy" is cliche, but it holds true in job seeking. There are as many "bad bosses" as there are "problem employees," and not every match is a good one. If there was a conflict between you and your previous employer, it is better that news be delivered by you than by anyone else.

I would recommend that, if asked why you left the previous position, you state that it was not a good fit for you, and articulate clearly, in one sentence, why. Be objective and avoid speaking badly about your previous boss (speaking too negatively on a personal level may make the employer worried about what you may say about them!)
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

Focus on your accomplishments in that role and previous positions. If asked if it was your choice to leave, be honest, and tell the interviewer that it was not. Then, articulate what you have learned through the process, and speak about how you would approach things differently if you found yourself in the same circumstance again.

Stay positive, and draw on the accomplishments of your previous experience while talking about how you can contribute positively in the role for which you are applying.

(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower Services Inc.

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