Due to Covid 19 the company I currently work panicked and fired two employees and offered me a part time one year contract as an alternative to being fired. So now I work as two days a week and my future in the company is not clear after a year.

Therefore I started to look for a new full time job and from one of the applications I'm recently invited for a Skype interview. My qualifications fits to the job and I also find it interesting. But as I have written I started to look for a job because of my part time employment and economic situation in my current company.

But the thing is if the interviewer asks me why I have applied for the job, is it negative to tell the story as I have written here? Or I should hide the fact that the company is going down already fired two and I started to work as part time?

  • 2
    Always tell the truth. If the truth is damaging to your current narrative, think of how damaging it will be when it comes out. Don't hide from it. State it clearly and professionally. May 3, 2020 at 6:26
  • Does this answer your question? Why is it not a good idea to "badmouth" a previous employer?
    – gnat
    May 3, 2020 at 7:11
  • 1
    I notice the usage of the word "fired". Usually that's used to indicate someone terminated "for cause" (eg terminated because of bad performance or some violation that is the fault of the employee). But here and, it seems, in other places people are using "fired" to describe terminations that sound more like "lay-offs". Is this a recent shift in the meaning of fired? Or is it that the other two employees really where terminated "for cause"?
    – teego1967
    May 3, 2020 at 12:03
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    @JoelEtherton, it's a bit more complicated than "always tell the truth". The candidate has to frame their experience at the previous employer in a way that's both relatable and authentic. That said, the OP's situation isn't hard to describe in an honest and positively framed way: "the company is shrinking, hours have been drastically cut, and the future is in question."
    – teego1967
    May 3, 2020 at 12:26
  • 3
    @JoelEtherton, facts, truth and honesty are not necessarily all the same thing and, as you correctly point out, how one conducts oneself in an interview is valuable for success. That means making choices about what you say and how you say it. A pure policy of "always tell the truth" is good for situational comedy plots, but not real life.
    – teego1967
    May 3, 2020 at 19:09

3 Answers 3


The facts won't hurt you at all, but in general don't speak too negative about your former or current employer(s). So leave out the opinion ("panicked") and just stay with the facts:

My current employer fired two people due to the current health and economic crisis. I was put on limited, two days a week part-time contract. While I'm grateful for still having a job in these times, my goal is unlimited, full-time employment. That is why I'm currently looking for a new job.

  • 4
    Good answer but even he wording still feels a little harsh. "my current employer is struggling with the crisis and already had to let two people go" sounds nicer.
    – Hilmar
    May 3, 2020 at 11:39
  • 2
    hm, I'm not a native speaker. Where I come from, being "fired" and "being let go" are two legally different entities, so I'd leave that to the OP to find a good wording that fits their jurisdiction. But that the company fired two people is a fact without judgement, sounds fine to me. My point is not wording, but not showing an opinion.
    – nvoigt
    May 3, 2020 at 19:32
  • @Hilmar: I don't see the harshness in what is objective fact - these two people were fired, and OP was put on a part-time contract. You could argue that the other two people don't need to be mentioned at all but I don't see the point of softening a truth that actually supports OP's reason for looking for a new job.
    – Flater
    May 4, 2020 at 13:25

None of what your current employer has done is a negative reflection on you, so why would you not be forthcoming about why you're looking for a new job? Let them know that you need full time employment and that is why you're looking for a new job.


Lets assume your are by far the best employee in the world. Bar none. And that 90% of the people that have your job skills work for companies in a line of business that is safe from loss of income in this particular crisis we are in. But a year ago you picked a company that isn't protected in this crisis. Your boss can only offer you part-time work. Why would you think your choice a year ago should make it hard to find a job now? Why would talking about it be a black mark on you or your employer.

People are losing some hours or even all their hours because their employer is seeing huge drops in income. Hospitals are swamped, but some departments inside those same hospitals are not busy because non-COVID-19 patients are down 90%. Therefore if you can't help COVID-19 patients your hours are being cut.

A chain of food places made the decision to close all the locations that didn't have a drive through. The one closest to my house was closed. Lucky for them it was only for a few weeks, because the new one under construction in the parking lot does have a drive though. So they ruched to get it finished.

People working in those two situations should feel that they can talk about why they are looking for a job. They had no idea that a decision made a year ago would put their income at risk. They need income, or they need benefits. You should feel the same way. Don't be afraid to tell your story. You will also find you won't have to go into details.

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