Is getting fired a huge liability in finding a new job?
February 4, 2009 2:21 PM Subscribe
"Were you ever fired" is now a common question on job applications.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (52 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Of course I've been fired -- who hasn't? But the fact that they put this question in the same little box where they ask "have you ever been convicted of a felony" is vexing. It makes me think this is a weeder question and that if I answer truthfully my application will go in the trash.
What's more, today's job apps ask for a "detailed explanation" of why you were fired. On the felony question, they say answering will not necessarily disqualify you from employment, but they don't mention this for the "fired" question.
It's hard enough to find a job without being damned for getting fired, laid off, or otherwise let go. It never used to be like this. In fact, I was under the impression that if a potential employer called your previous employer, your previous employer was not allowed to say why you no longer work there or do anything other than verify you worked there.
I've been checking the "No" box. I don't think it's any of their business or relevant to the jobs I'm applying for. I was let go because the company and I were a bad fit. I worked very hard, tried to cope with the personality differences, and was let go with severance pay and without hard feelings.
However, I don't expect a potential employer to believe that. It's so cutthroat out there and companies seem to be looking for reasons NOT to hire people.
So, for anyone in HR or related fields: Is this indeed a weeder question? What happens when a person gives an explanation of why they were fired? Do employers have any way of checking up on a person to see if they're lying about getting fired?
The company that fired me was sold and my two ex-bosses no longer work there, so if a potential employer bothers calling them, they won't be able to talk to them.
However, I claimed state unemployment benefits and the reason was "involuntary termination." Are records of this confidential? If not, do employers bother to pull them, and can they see the reason you left your job?
I don't put down that I was collecting unemployment on my job apps, but is this something they routinely check now?
I'm an educated professional, but I'm applying for any job I can do. This means that in addition to hitting every ad I can find in my field, I'm filling out apps at coffee shops, bookstores, and telemarketing companies. The professional-level jobs usually just ask for resumes, but the service jobs have apps and it seems nine out of ten of these ask the question about getting fired.
Seems you just can't get a break these days!