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I was let go from my last employer due to "poor performance" and in their words "lacking seniority" after working there about 3 months.

After a lot of thinking I've come to the realisation that maybe it was the actual management that was the pitfall and not me:

  • The initial project I was assigned to was a totally stand-alone project and in a completely different technology than in the job description. (Worth mentioning I had used this technology to some extent in the past so it wasn't totally new to me.)
  • I changed 3 projects during those 3 months and thus felt that I didn't have enough time to absorb the new knowledge.
  • I was never set down and explained exactly what expectations they had from me.
  • Members of my team were absent quite often (working from home or having holidays) but I was never aware of this in time.
  • The job description gave the impression that they are looking for a mid-level developer. When I was fired, it seemed like they were looking for someone very senior.
  • General misjudgement on my code quality.

Now I am thinking of how I can explain this to my next employer during an interview?

I am afraid that if I tell the truth then I will come out as someone who badmouths the companies they work for. If I don't then I need to tell them that I did not meet the seniority standards they expected from me - which looks bad on me. I can't bring up cultural fit either since before this last gig, I worked at another company for 2 months which I left for that specific reason.

marked as duplicate by Mister Positive, David K, Jan Doggen, Dukeling, gnat Jan 22 '18 at 15:59

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  • @IamSoNotListening a bit different imo. In this case the problem was not me but rather my employer. – Johannesberg Jan 22 '18 at 15:51
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    another company for 2 months which I left for that specific reason Do you mean the same reason? Then it is time to take a look at your own behavior and learn from this. Did you not ensure during the interview for job 2 that its environment was better than that from job 1? Is there something in your work/communication style that rubs people the wrong way? Etc. the problem was not me but rather my employer is always the weak looking reason. The power is in Where/how can you ensure that things are different next time?. That is what your interviewers will look for. – Jan Doggen Jan 22 '18 at 15:54
  • @Johannesberg The first line of the other question states "At my first job, the environment was very stressful, had short deadlines and too much workload and was understaffed. As a result, I could not perform sufficiently and was fired." and the first answer says "Your question seems to suggest that getting fired was not your fault." That appears to be the same situation to me. – David K Jan 22 '18 at 15:54
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Take responsibility for it and explain what you learned from it. For example, if expectations weren't clear to you, say you should have taken the time to get those expectations clarified.

Blaming the employer for being fired implies that you haven't learned anything from the experience and in reality, the interviewer is going to assume you were at least partially at fault. Not taking any responsibility will look immature.

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    Many of the blame points he made, seem to be "it worked for me" type explanations. "My code doesn't work because you didn't understand it." seems to be a very poor excuse. – Dan Jan 22 '18 at 17:54

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