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OFF-TOPIC Job Interview Questions

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I have recently been booted out the front door of the firm with the
reason "There is no work in the firm."  Since there does not seem to be
any need for a multi-talented experienced (30+ years) structural
engineer in the Fort Worth area, I am looking to go over to the dark
side (work in an architect's office) . I would like to hear some
opinions about the following job interview questions.

The background:  The firm I was with has been around for over 20 years.
One employee, a draftsman, has been with the firm for the entire time
and has been associated with the owner for an additional 10 years.
Practically everyone in the architectural community knows this employee
and thinks he is an engineer since the boss led them to believe it. Last
year a minority subsidiary was formed. This employee was placed as
vice-president of that subsidiary firm which appears to have lots of
work that stays in it. The  subsidiary keep control of all work as an
effort to have some control over where the income is spent since large
amounts of money have left the firm over the last year. I won't go into
any more detail about the last sentence, but it is an open secret in the

I have always tried to hold true to the old adage "Speak No Evil" about
former employers since it will give future employers a bad opinion about

Question 1:  When asked why was I let go, do I reply with the official
reason stated above which will be at odds with what they know about the
firm through the drafting employee who they think runs the show? If I
do, then they will think that one of us is not telling the truth and,
since I am no longer with the firm, I was let go for reasons that I am
hiding. Or do I tell as much of the truth as I can to justify my
statement which could smear the firm slightly?

Question 2: When asked about why I didn't do field observations on
projects I was in charge of, do I tell the truth that the firm did not
have workman's comp insurance, would not guarantee the insurance would
pay medical bills if a job site injury occurred, and did not pay all
expenses for personal auto usage?  Or, do I make up some statement about
being hurt and unable to do the field observations?

Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

Davis G. Parsons II, PE, RA, FAEI
Fort Worth, Texas

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