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I was recently terminated about 6 months into my 8 month probation period.

While they did not give a specific reason when I asked, the job wasn't a good fit for my skills, and I was considering leaving anyway. It was very routine, mechanical position, did not really cover what I had studied in school, as well as being a bachelor's level position, while I have a graduate level degree.

I was wondering how I should explain this to interviewers, such that I am not cast in a negative light. I know potential employers would not be able to find out through a background check and if I do not allow them to contact the employer but I would prefer to be truthful.

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    "The job wasn't a good fit with my skills." Keep it simple. – Xavier J Dec 2 '16 at 1:14
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    8 months probation is very long... couldn't you tell it was repetitive after one month? Why did it take so long? – Nelson Dec 5 '16 at 8:09
  • @codenoir You should consider making your comment an answer - it's spot on. To add to it, you might say that upon working there you both agreed that you'd wait until 8 months for a review to determine if it was a good fit. – The Muffin Man Dec 5 '16 at 23:02
  • Jobs are significantly different from graduate education to bachelor. A lot of employers just count it as experience. 2 year master = 2 year experience. – paparazzo Dec 5 '16 at 23:54
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    Near the 4 months I knew it was pretty repititive but I wanted to have a firm offer before leaving the position. – dudeman74 Dec 7 '16 at 18:32
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The eight-month probationary period is not only for the benefit of the employer, but for your benefit as well. Think of it like an engagement for marriage. Both sides have committed for a certain amount of time to gauge their level of compatibility. And sometimes, things just don't work out, and the parties move on. Is it bad? Well, walking down the aisle (smile) in a marriage that lacks compatibility -- and staying in it -- can be potentially far, far worse than biting the bullet and moving on. You can look at this job situation in similar fashion.

That said, responding with "the job wasn't a good fit with my skills" might be a succinct answer. Keep it simple. If the employer wants to know more, be open to responding truthfully. If you are then judged negatively for being honest about a situation potentially wrecking your own mental health and well being, then it's not the right employer.

  • Thanks for the replies. I was planning to resign from the position, but wanted to see if I could get a job offer before the end of the probation. I suppose they thought I was already looking for a new position and just let me go with no real explanation. If I am directly ask if was fired, can I not just say I was laid off at the end of my probation period? I engaged in no misconduct and no specific reason was given for the termination. I was at work everyday, on time, worked on holidays and weekends and had a vacation days already planned well in advance. – dudeman74 Dec 7 '16 at 18:28

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