How To Explain a Termination on Your Job Application

Indeed Editorial Team | Indeed | March 10, 2023

Explaining a job termination to a potential employer can be straightforward when you know how to discuss it positively. While talking about termination in job applications and interviews can be challenging, how you discuss it can be more important than the reason for being terminated. Understanding how to explain a termination can let you prepare for future employment.

In this article, we discuss when and how you should discuss termination on a job application and tips for explaining it in an interview.

When should you discuss termination on an application?

The only reason you should discuss termination on a job application is if they specifically ask you for an explanation. Here are three scenarios to be prepared for:

1. The application fails to mention termination questions

If the application process fails to mention any questions about being terminated from a previous job, you can save your explanation for the interview if it comes up.

2. A “yes” or “no” question about termination is provided

If you must supply a binary answer, be honest. Applications that ask about prior terminations are more likely to discuss termination with you in an interview.

3. A full explanation is required

If the application process asks you to explain why you were terminated, keep your explanation brief. You can tell the truth while leaving out specific details. If the hiring manager is interested in knowing more about your termination, they will ask you during the interview.

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By MIT Sloan CDO