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The Difference Between Laid-Off and Fired and Its Importance for An Interview

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The Difference Between Laid-Off and Fired and Its Importance for An Interview

Here are typically three ways in which employees leave their job: by being fired, laid off, or quitting voluntarily. If you’re going to qualify for unemployment compensation, you generally must be unemployed for reasons beyond your control. That means being laid off because your employer had a downturn in business or closed its doors. 

Since both quitting or being fired are considered to be under your control, you probably won’t qualify for unemployment compensation under either of these circumstances. 

But it’s the difference between being laid off or fired that could be critical during a job interview. Here’s why: 

You’ll want to make a good impression on a potential employer.

When you’re explaining to a hiring manager why you are unemployed and looking for a job, telling them that you were fired has a negative connotation and might raise some red flags. So, if you have been laid off, make sure you don’t tell them you’ve been fired.  

On the other hand, even though you might have been fired unfairly, don’t characterize yourself as “laid off” since any employer checking your references will soon find out the truth. Before you go into your next interview, you should understand the difference between being laid off and fired. 

What is a layoff?

Businesses use layoffs when they are downsizing and need to reduce their workforce. Typically, multiple workers–sometimes numbering in the thousands–will lose their jobs during a layoff. Occasionally, everyone is laid off when a company decides to discontinue operations and closes down permanently.  

The thing to remember is that being laid off does not mean you have been fired. It means you have lost your job through no fault of yours. Technically, layoffs are the company’s fault. While you may not want to point out that fact during an interview, be sure to use the correct terminology and let an interviewer know you were laid off and not fired!   

How to talk about your layoff during a job interview.

Even if a layoff hurt yousuppress the urge to badmouth your former employer during the interview. You will not help your quest for a new job by showing bitterness. Instead, be ready to give an objective and rational explanation for the layoff, holding any negative emotions at bay.  

How do you handle being fired?

Firings aren’t the aberration you might think they are. They happen quite frequently, and if you are one of the many who have been fired, you’ll need to be prepared to deal with it in a job interview. 

As with a layoff, explain why you were fired without criticizing your employersupervisoror co-workers. Explain the cause of the firing with as little emotion as possible, and indicate that you have moved on and are focusing on a future with your next employer. 

Are you hoping to replace a job that didn’t work out?

Contact Pro Resources for light industrial or technical/professional jobs that can give you a fresh start. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our experience to help you find your next job.