What To Say If You Got Fired

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Interview Skills

Job Interview Answers - What To Say If You Got Fired

Have you ever been fired from a job?

Use these winning job interview answers to beat this tough question and get hired into the job you want.

Have you ever been fired from a job? Downsized? Let go?

... Or as the British say, "sacked?"

Most of us have been "let go" from a job at one point in our lives, and we absolutely DREAD the fact that it might come up in a critical Job Interview.

Here are some pointers for formulating a job interview answer to the question of "Have you ever been fired or forced to resign?"

First of all, face the question head-on.

Don't let it sap your confidence! Pause, smile and deliver you answer.


Assume that the word "fired" is not in your vocabulary.

However, you should be honest. If there is a questionable departure in your past, then start your answer with a quick "no" followed up with a brief explanation.

* Describe your reason for switching jobs directly and succinctly.

Do not go into great detail unless you are asked.

The longer you spend on this subject the more suspicious the interviewer may become.

Make sure you stress you have left on good terms, and hopefully you have cultivated a reference that will vouch for you (a friend or ally at your former company.)

The Hiring Manager will want to believe you were not the problem and will want to get an idea of how you handled yourself.

Provide evidence you handled it well by volunteering references (your friend/ally.)

State the facts in a positive way.

Don't be negative or bad-mouth your former boss, colleagues, or company.

Don't speculate on the feelings or motives of the other people who might have been involved in your leaving.

* Stick to one response.

Don't change answers during the interview.

Give a "group" answer if possible, like "our office was closing" or "they brought in new management."

Another possible answer is "we agreed to disagree." Never reveal personal or emotional issues as part of an answer to this question.

Be succinct - state your answer and leave it at that. You are at the interview to discuss the position at hand, so tailor your job interview answer accordingly.

Give your brief explanation, then change the subject by saying something like "... but I'm here today because I know I have the "X" skills as well as the ability to "Y".

I believe in myself, and I'm looking for more responsibility and the greater possibility of advancing my career.

What qualities are you looking for in the right person for this position?" (Notice you are finishing your answer with a question.)

Here are some possible word-for-word job interview answers for you to consider as a response to the question of having been fired:


1) "No, but at Smith Enterprises they did bring in new management who wanted to bring in their own team.

Prior to that point, I was recognised as one of the best workers in my department.

However, I felt that I could advance my career more if I pursued other opportunities, and I left on good terms.

I would be happy to provide references to verify that I was indeed a valued employee. I'll tell you one thing - I am very excited about coming and working for you BECAUSE ..."


2) "No, but while Smith Enterprises is an excellent company that afforded me many good experiences, I made the decision to leave because the advancement opportunities were just not there.

I had to read the writing on the wall and help myself.

A position with your team will give me the opportunity to do good work, learn, and grow that my last job just wouldn't.

I am happy to be here and I am really pleased that I am being considered."


Whatever you do, don't let the possibility of this question stress you out!

The best way to handle it is to PREPARE your answer and PRACTISE it ahead of time.

Write it out on paper, and consider immediately changing the subject with a question, such as:

"What would be the top priority of the person who accepts this job?"
"Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?"
"What are the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities of this job? What would make that person a superstar?"

Remember, confidence is key. Nobody is a super-person, and all of us have made mistakes in the past.

Don't live your live in the rear view mirror.

Prepare yourself with these interview answers and move forward with confidence and an EXPECTATION OF SUCCESS - and you WILL get HIRED!

This article was contributed by Bob Firestone

Bob Firestone is an Author, Career Coach and Sales Trainer based in Los Angeles, CA. Bob's "Ultimate Guide" series has helped thousands of people.


Interview Skills Training

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