I got dismissed after 2 months during probation period. Before that I had a 6-month gap due to trying to find an "ideal" work and rejected some offers. What do I tell my future employers? I think no matter what, it's going to look bad and maybe suspicious.

The reason I was dismissed was that "I wasn't asking enough questions". 2 weeks prior to dismissal my manager highlighted this so I tried to work on it. My manager acknowledged that I had been improving and on the same day at the end of the day he called me for a 5 minute talk and let me know that I am going to be dismissed and that I can decide to resign.

Background details

The team I was working on was about 4 software engineers thereof 2 seniors. During my probation I ended switching between projects due to a transition happening internally. There was no clear things to work on at times. Other times I would switch and work for 2 weeks on a codebase that no-one in the office had experience with. Also due to being summer, it ended up that half the team was usually away.

The feedback from the initial 1-to-1 meeting with my manager was that I wasn't asking enough questions. He also mentioned that I should be asking the "how" questions and not the "why". I tried to listen and not argue much and tried to generally be more verbal when I get stuck. Most asking was via Slack.

I ended up always first asking the guy sitting next to me since he was very approachable and had patience. This meant that I did not ask much the other members of the team who were more senior and I think this is what got me into trouble.

Beside the team I did approach other people outside my team but this went unnoticed. After termination one team member contacted me on linkedin and mentioned that he thinks I just got unlucky.

  • 7
    "He also mentioned that I should be asking the "how" questions and not the "why"." That's nonsense. The "why" question is almost always better in the long run. I think you ditched a bullet here. What is your exact question however? This seems like a little rant and no clear question is stated.
    – Mafii
    Sep 4, 2017 at 10:36
  • @Mafii I guess I try to understand why I got dismissed and then how to transfer that during the interview. Best to no mention the 2 month probation at all? Then it will look like I have 8 months sitting on my ass. Best to mention? Then what do I say? Sep 4, 2017 at 11:07
  • 2
    I would not bother putting a job on your CV that you have only worked for 2 months. A gap in employment of for under a year is quite common these days
    – Ed Heal
    Sep 4, 2017 at 11:50

2 Answers 2


Don't worry too much about the six months gap trying to find the ideal job.
There are people who actually take periods off to travel and enjoy their money so the gap per se is not what should scare you.
The fact that you were dismissed during probation is what you should focus on as it shows that you were not fit and unaware of your own performance.
I think the problem was that you were not communicating what you were doing to the rest of the team and it is not good when someone is hired under probation and nobody in the team knows what he is working on.
Maybe you were trying to not distract others and you felt comfortable talking to just this one guy but that doesn't show any qualities.
This is something you can certainly improve. I assume that you had the skills to complete task in time so you need to make sure that your work is visible to your manager and your team


It seems that what they really were trying to say is that you was not proactive enough in their perspective. Now, there are several ways to be proactive and sometimes that has nothing to do with the amount of questions you ask. The quality of the questions are important too.

It's pretty common to find new interns and new employees that ask lots of questions eager to show they're interested and motivated. Sometimes that is a positive thing, but sometimes it only denotes their lack of effort to look for the answer themselves.

The point here is always to seek to gather as much information as possible before asking. That will improve the quality of your question and will improve the quality of the answer too, because you will offer a much more clearer panorama of the problem. Also, it will denote your effort to solve the problem by yourself.

I think you should omit this experience from the CV and focus on analyzing if your conduct was really not proactive and if the quality of your questions were good enough. Learn with the experience and improve yourself for the next job.

That's better than to stick with just "bad luck".

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