how to explain away this short tenure in my next interview?
December 28, 2013 6:45 AM   Subscribe

after more than 3 years with my current firm, i am in the market again looking for the next gig. however there was a short stint on my resume i found very nagging. details below.

was laid off the end of '08 from a big 4 accting firm. after some frantic search (my first born was on his way), found a job as an audit manager about 2k miles away. relocated there and worked quite hard. but after just 9 months, was let go again. what would be a good way to "spin" this in my next interview?

more details: in that job, i reported to the audit director who was the head guy / #1 in the department. however, 6 months after i started, a new vp audit was announced. the only possible scenario i can think of is that the audit director was demoted to take over my responsibilities. however, the official reason was never clearly given. the whole discussion to "counsel me out" ended in 15 mins flat with paperwork shoved to my face to sign. i was given 8 weeks of severance and my position wasn't filled again. the week after i was gone the new vp audit started.

i tried to tell what i think happened during a couple of interviews i went in '10. however, my answer tended to get too long to be convincing. a big question mark seemed to always show up on interviewers' face. how can i present this better next time?

posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"During some restructuring in the audit department, my position was eliminated, and they had no other open positions for me to fill, so I was let go."
posted by deezil at 6:54 AM on December 28, 2013 [5 favorites]

It was in '08 or '09? Those were pretty tumultuous times in the job market. A reshuffling of departments and a layoff aren't things that are going to be looked at as your fault.
posted by xingcat at 7:05 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

"There were layoffs and I was let go, since I was there for such a short time. During my time there, my responsibilities were X and I received positive feedback on my Y."

All you need to do is demonstrate that you weren't fired or let go for performance reasons. Make it less interesting than the skills you gained while there.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:34 AM on December 28, 2013

With layoffs, it's very common for the newest hires to be laid off first. You could just say that they restructured your department and you were a new hire, so that was that.

If you don't apologize for or act embarrassed about this, no interviewer will hold it against you. It's not your fault you were hired a few months before a restructuring.
posted by eisenkr at 7:43 AM on December 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

It may not even be asked about. Don't bring it up if you're not. If they do ask, tell a very short version of the truth, "There was a re-organization that resulted in me being laid off, luckily, I was able to secure X gig, where I've been for the last three years."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:51 AM on December 28, 2013

"Due to the economic meltdown, my department was downsized and my position was eliminated." This statement reminds the interviewer of the business atmosphere during this particular time. LOTS of us were affected by it, probably including your interviewer. There's no shame there.
posted by raisingsand at 7:59 AM on December 28, 2013

The fact that you were willing to move 2k miles away says a lot about your dedication to the job, especially while expecting a kid. I think that speaks for itself.
posted by Brittanie at 5:50 PM on December 28, 2013

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