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We have all made mistakes. Some were innocent, some silly, and some, hopefully only one or two, that fall into the category of “Oh, god. What was I thinking?”

Now comes a job interview. It is for a gig you really want. What are you going to say when asked, “Why were you fired? Or “What is the worst mistake you’ve made in your job?”

Here are three rules you should follow:

1.    Don’t try to plead that you’ve never made any serious mistakes, or if you were fired, do not lie about it because, in this digital world, the odds are increasing that you will be found out.

2.    Plan ahead. Do not try to compose an answer on the fly – which is to say while in the interview. 

3.    Be confident, acknowledge the mistake, sans the gory details, and then pivot with a smile and confidence to explain the important lessons you have learned.

There are no guarantees, but this approach is better than bumbling, fumbling, and stumbling to a disastrous answer. 

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