|A: The answer to this question is what is typically called the candidate’s “Exit Speech”. Asking why a candidate left, or is leaving, his job may be one of the most important questions you can ask in an interview.The candidate should never badmouth his previous industry, company, board, boss, staff, employees or customers. This rule is sacred. The candidate should never be negative. If you hear works like “personality clash”, “didn’t get along”, or others, these tend to cast a shadow on your candidate’s competence, integrity, or temperament.
Also, your candidate should ever lie about having been fired. It’s unethical – and too easily checked. If his firing was the result of a takeover, merger, division wide layoff, etc., so much the better.
If your candidate was fired from his previous employer, even if it hurts, your candidate should describe his firing – candidly, succinctly and without a trace of bitterness – from the company’s point-of-view, indicating that he could understand why it happened and why the situation would never happen again.
You can learn a lot about your candidate by how he delivers his “Exit Speech.”
Have a successful week,
Ken Lazar, CEO