Interview Question

JackBauer24JackBauer24 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, really need help with my situation...

I've been working for 10+ years in IT in TX. I was with one company for 9 years, left that company and I just worked another job, which only lasted 3 months.

The problem I have is with the 2nd job. When I interviewed for the job, I explained my skill set during the interview and they explained the position. The position was for a field engineer. They never mentioned anything about training for the job, but I just assumed it since I explained I can only do so much during the interview. Eventually, I got hired on and the 3 months were the worst of my IT career. I was on a team of 4 and each one of us had 15 clients under us. We were the main IT support (doing help desk, desktop support, server administration, network administration, consulting, etc.) for each client. My background of my first job was just doing help desk and desktop support and that's it. I tried to get some help/training from my team and the internal help desk, but they were useless. They kept telling me to just google the problems, which I did and I picked up a lot, but not enough, according to the employer. After 3 months and receiving no training for the job, I was let go. They're reasoning was that I didn't have the skill set for the position and I didn't pick it up fast enough to their liking. I was pissed because it felt like they were just covering their ass on a bad hiring. But in a way, I was also relieved because they were throwing everything at me and I just couldn't handle the load. It eventually became a termination, which doesn't look good for prospective employers.

Now my problem. When I apply for a job, during the initial process and the interview, how can I explain to employers in the most positive way of what happened to my last job so they can still give me a chance? I feel like when they hear termination, they think I did the worst of the worst when really it wasn't a good fit for me and the employer.

Can anyone help me with a statement that I can give to prospective employers?

The only thing I can come up with is I can tell them that the position was eliminated because of budget cuts. Then I say that since they eliminated it, I was offered a position on the help desk, but I refused because I didn't want to go back to doing help desk and I just eventually left the company. It sounds pretty good, but the gamble I'm taking is that the HR person might blab extra details to the prospective employer, even though I left on good terms with her.

Can anyone help!??!

Comments

  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Sh!t happens; everyone knows it. All I have to say is be honest about it and do not blame the employer. But do NOT lie. If you left on good terms with HR, I would not worry about this. To be honest with you, if you were interviewing with me for a position and explained it as you did (mostly as you did) in the first paragraph I would be understanding of it. Everyone at some point is going to experience the job they wish they hadn't taken.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hello, really need help with my situation...

    I've been working for 10+ years in IT in TX. I was with one company for 9 years, left that company and I just worked another job, which only lasted 3 months.

    The problem I have is with the 2nd job. When I interviewed for the job, I explained my skill set during the interview and they explained the position. The position was for a field engineer. They never mentioned anything about training for the job, but I just assumed it since I explained I can only do so much during the interview. Eventually, I got hired on and the 3 months were the worst of my IT career. I was on a team of 4 and each one of us had 15 clients under us. We were the main IT support (doing help desk, desktop support, server administration, network administration, consulting, etc.) for each client. My background of my first job was just doing help desk and desktop support and that's it. I tried to get some help/training from my team and the internal help desk, but they were useless. They kept telling me to just google the problems, which I did and I picked up a lot, but not enough, according to the employer. After 3 months and receiving no training for the job, I was let go. They're reasoning was that I didn't have the skill set for the position and I didn't pick it up fast enough to their liking. I was pissed because it felt like they were just covering their ass on a bad hiring. But in a way, I was also relieved because they were throwing everything at me and I just couldn't handle the load. It eventually became a termination, which doesn't look good for prospective employers.

    Now my problem. When I apply for a job, during the initial process and the interview, how can I explain to employers in the most positive way of what happened to my last job so they can still give me a chance? I feel like when they hear termination, they think I did the worst of the worst when really it wasn't a good fit for me and the employer.

    Can anyone help me with a statement that I can give to prospective employers?

    The only thing I can come up with is I can tell them that the position was eliminated because of budget cuts. Then I say that since they eliminated it, I was offered a position on the help desk, but I refused because I didn't want to go back to doing help desk and I just eventually left the company. It sounds pretty good, but the gamble I'm taking is that the HR person might blab extra details to the prospective employer, even though I left on good terms with her.

    Can anyone help!??!

    Lying is never a good thing. Stretching the truth is acceptable though. Explain exactly what you just did to us (and make sure you include that you didn't feel like your employer was helping you succeed) and then end it with after 3 months they didn't feel like you were where you should be at.

    You are between a bit of a rock and a hard place. Your wording must be spot on. You can't blame the employer. That just perceives you as a whiner and someone who can't accept responsibility. But you also don't want to degrade yourself and make it sound like its your fault that you couldn't learn because employers also don't want someone that isn't trained.

    The best situation here (and I know hind sight it 20-20) would have been if you would have realized that this job wasn't down your alley and to have walked away. Then you can tell your next employer that you left because you didn't feel that you were doing your best work for that company.

    From my experience (which I admit, isn't a ton) employers don't spend a ton of time analyzing your past employers. They want to see it on the resume, but they might not even ask why you left. Also having that 9 years of experience says that either you did poor work for them and they didn't care, or that this place you worked for 3 months was a fluke.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • JackBauer24JackBauer24 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    humble2007 wrote: »
    Lying is never a good thing. Stretching the truth is acceptable though. Explain exactly what you just did to us (and make sure you include that you didn't feel like your employer was helping you succeed) and then end it with after 3 months they didn't feel like you were where you should be at.


    It's been killing me on what I have to say to the prospective employers. When you say that I have to say the employer wasn't helping me to succeed, isn't that kind of bashing the last employer? And could you expand a little further on this so I can get an intro to my explanation - Explain exactly what you just did to us (and make sure you include that you didn't feel like your employer was helping you succeed)?

    You are between a bit of a rock and a hard place. Your wording must be spot on. You can't blame the employer. That just perceives you as a whiner and someone who can't accept responsibility. But you also don't want to degrade yourself and make it sound like its your fault that you couldn't learn because employers also don't want someone that isn't trained.


    This is the fine line I was worried about. I wish there was a way of explaining that the employer was a douche and they didn't really give a crap about me, but I can't. But I also don't want to look like I was just a lazy bum and that's why they kicked me out after 3 months.

    From my experience (which I admit, isn't a ton) employers don't spend a ton of time analyzing your past employers. They want to see it on the resume, but they might not even ask why you left. Also having that 9 years of experience says that either you did poor work for them and they didn't care, or that this place you worked for 3 months was a fluke.


    I'm a little confused of the bold area. Was my 9 years experience you're saying crap? I was there 9 years because of loyalty, but I also felt it was time to go because I wasn't going anywhere and I maximized my potential at the company.
  • JackBauer24JackBauer24 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sh!t happens; everyone knows it. All I have to say is be honest about it and do not blame the employer. But do NOT lie. If you left on good terms with HR, I would not worry about this. To be honest with you, if you were interviewing with me for a position and explained it as you did (mostly as you did) in the first paragraph I would be understanding of it. Everyone at some point is going to experience the job they wish they hadn't taken.

    I know I can't explain everything I said in the 1st paragraph, but can you condense it for me into a short statement? I just don't want to get anymore questions back from the employer and that we can move on with the interview process....
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I know I can't explain everything I said in the 1st paragraph, but can you condense it for me into a short statement? I just don't want to get anymore questions back from the employer and that we can move on with the interview process....

    The 9 years wasn't crap. One of the two employers is wrong. One liked you and kept you for 9 years (and from the sounds of it would have continued since it sounds like you left them) vs company b which let you go after 3 months.

    I think you are going to end up stressing yourself out and making more out of this then there is. Just relax and stay comfortable. If the question comes up and you explain your side and they don't hire you, then you probably wouldn't want to work for that company anyway.

    I guess what I am saying is just stay on the fence. Don't go on on about how that company sucked, but also don't stick all of the blame on yourself. And like Rob said, Sh1t happens and a good boss is going to understand that.

    As for condensing it, personally I would do it in about 2 or 3 lines and then attempt to bring the conversation (and yes I say conversation because a good interview is almost like you are talking with a friend) back to one of your strong points. Or maybe you can follow it up with "Do you provide training to your employees?" If they ask you, you want to answer the question without spending your entire interview on the.

    "So Mr. Bauer, I see that you only worked at you last job for 3 months, can you tell me why?" "Well Mr. Awesome-manger-dude, I took the job because it sounded like a challenge. In my interview with them they understood that I had never done a couple tasks before but that I was willing to learn. They offered me the position and it was the worst 3 months of my life, I wasn't able to find much help other than being pointed to google. Which was an extremely helpful tool but there are just some things that can't be picked up from google. When it came to the end of my probationary period they didn't think that I had picked up this new skill set fast enough. To be honest I was kind of relieved, I like it when my employer can help me if I have trouble with something.

    Again, coming out of this you can ask the question about the training they provide. If this employer has similar philosophies as the last one, they won't hire you. But thats good for you, you don't want to spend another 3 months doing a job you hate. It is all about finding a job that fits you and that you fit it. Once that chemistry lines up you will be employed again.

    When explaining that situation try to avoid pointing direct blame. Instead of "They didn't help me" go with "I wasn't able to find much help" it just sounds more respectable and it is also owning up to your part in this.

    Someone else might disagree with me, we all have our own personal beliefs. Just be yourself and you will find yourself in a position you want with people you like. If you lie and try to be mr perfect you will find yourself in a job that fits that image you gave them, but not you.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,298 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I know I can't explain everything I said in the 1st paragraph, but can you condense it for me into a short statement? I just don't want to get anymore questions back from the employer and that we can move on with the interview process....

    Read this: Rock Stars, Normal People, and You | Brent Ozar - Too Much Information

    Lots of people take a job that is a mistake. Try to frame the experience in a positive way. I don't know enough to give you a phrase to memorize. I'm sure you can come up with a better explanation than I could. You lived it!
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