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It's been a couple of weeks that I was dismissed from my previous job. I have an interview this week and I'm not sure whether to tell the new prospective employers that I was dismissed as it may give them the wrong impression and may hinder my chances at being given an offer.

The problem is that I may need to provide references, I can provide references for previous jobs I've had but will it be necessary to provide a reference for my most recent job (the one I was dismissed from)?

If so, could there be a chance that my previous employers will mention (from the reference) that I was dismissed or are they not allowed to go into such detail?

I haven't mentioned anything yet but I am pretty certain they will ask me why I left my previous job at the interview as I've spoken to many recruitment agencies and when I had a interviews at other places it was a common question they asked.

I'm just a little worried that if I don't mention that I was dismissed it may come out at some point.

  • How long was you in the previous job? – Ed Heal Jan 22 '17 at 22:06
  • @EdHeal For just under 6 months – user3574492 Jan 22 '17 at 22:36
  • Perhaps the best bet is to leave it off the CV and just say you was unemployed for a while. Use the previous job. – Ed Heal Jan 22 '17 at 22:38
  • Ah that's the thing, It's already on my CV and now I've applied with that CV as I had some valuable skills I wanted to show. – user3574492 Jan 22 '17 at 22:40
  • Perhaps for other jobs remove it. – Ed Heal Jan 22 '17 at 22:40
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The problem is that I may need to provide references, I can provide references for previous jobs I've had but will it be necessary to provide a reference for my most recent job (the one I was dismissed from)?

This will depend on the prospective employer. You should expect to be asked why you left your previous position, so at some level, you will have to answer that question and be prepared to answer this question. One option you have is to ask a co-worker that you got along with to act as your reference. You can also sometimes get away with saying:

“<Previous Employer> does not yet know that I am looking for a new job. Would it be possible for me to provide you references for past employers?"

I generally use this when I am applying to a new position before I have left my current employer.


If so, could there be a chance that my previous employers will mention (from the reference) that I was dismissed or are they not allowed to go into such detail?

The answer to this question will differ by country. In the UK, a previous employer may not provide a negative reference (only a neutral reference—i.e., person X worked here from Start Date to End Date). In the US, a company of over 100+ employees will almost always have a neutral reference policy (same reference as above in the UK)—and this applies even if you were fired for cause.

Note the problem though—if the next company calls your previous employer, only to verify dates of employment, they will be able to confirm the dates of employment, so make sure you don’t sugarcoat the fact that you don’t work there anymore.

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