Asking Candidates About Previous Jobs
People are fired from their jobs every day. Some of them are exceptional workers who got stuck in an inopportune situation, while others deserved their fate. Either way, it’s inevitable that candidates who have been fired from their previous jobs will apply for open positions at your company. You can choose to automatically disqualify anyone with a less-than-perfect career history, but this probably isn’t in your best interest.Key Job Interview Questions to Ask
If you decide to interview a candidate who was fired from their last job, it’s important to keep an open mind. It’s only fair to give them the same chance as everyone else interviewing for the position. However, you will need to address the firing in the interview, to get the root of the matter and determine if your company is the right place for the person to re-enter the workforce.
It may be a bit awkward, but push through it and ask the following three questions during the interview:
- What caused you to leave your last position? Even if you know for sure that the candidate was fired, it’s important to ask the question straight out. If the person blatantly tells you they were fired, you’ll know they’re honest. It takes a strong person to admit to something that could potentially ruin their chances of getting the job. If they beat around the issue and try to change the subject, consider this a red flag. Perhaps they were fired for being a liar?
- Why didn’t the job work out? You can learn a lot about a person from their response to this question. If the candidate finds a way to put a positive spin on the experience, such as “it was a great company, but the culture just wasn’t a good fit for me,” this is a good sign. Conversely, anyone who bashes their former company or boss is not someone you want on your team.
- Have you learned anything from this experience? A great candidate may answer this question without prompting, but be sure to ask if it doesn’t find its way into conversation. A person who takes the blame, fully understanding and accepting their role in the situation, has learned from their mistakes. On the other hand, someone who pushes the blame off on others is likely to get fired again.
Sometimes really great employees find themselves in a job that’s a really bad fit. Everyone deserves a second chance, so if a candidate who has been fired in the past is qualified for a position at your company and you feel like they’re a great fit, don’t be afraid to hire them.
Related: Interview Red Flags: Which Are Real Knock-Out Factors?
Need assistance finding qualified candidates for your company? Contact Sparks Group today. We’re here to help you find high-quality employees and customized solutions to improve productivity, reduce overhead costs and streamline your talent acquisition strategies.