4 Tips For Answering Interview Questions About Being Fired


Have you ever been fired from your job? If so, I know what you might be thinking! How on earth are you going to begin to explain this in your next job interview? I know that it sounds super scary to talk about the reason why you lost your previous job to anyone, especially to someone who you wish to hire you – but remember to keep in mind that as you prepare your answer for this one, it’s important to be viewed in a good light.

Here are four tips to help you explain a termination to a potential employer:

1. Honesty will go a long way:

Stay truthful to the situation. When talking about being “fired,” don’t try to position your previous role as any less of a serious situation. It can be very tempting to lie about what actually happened, but your possible employer will find out the truth eventually. So why not have them hear it from you so that you can start off on the right foot. 

2.  Don’t throw your previous boss under the bus:

There are many reasons why you should avoid this like the plague because it might come back and bite you. Gossiping is a red flag and you don’t want to have the hiring manager thinking was it truly the boss or is this person just a complainer? And thinking if this is how you would talk about them behind their back in the future. It’s important to remember that it’s a small world we live in and you do not know the connections of your interviewer. Use words that imply the relationship between you and your previous boss wasn’t the best fit. 

3. Learn from your mistakes:

It’s important to throw in a “lessons learned” motive as you are picking words to explain what happened after being “fired.” Turn a negative into an asset. Do your best to talk about your termination positively by explaining that you were sorry to leave your previous company, but you are excited to take what you learned and apply it with your next position. And be specific about what you learned and how it will benefit you and a future employer.

4. Focus on the future:

Lastly, remain positive when you are wrapping up what you want to say to the hiring manager in your interview. The hiring manager is looking to see if you have learned from your mistakes, if you will be valuable to the company, and you are someone who he or she would like to work with. You can always check to see if you answered all their concerns with something simple like “Is there anything you’d like me to expand on in my previous roles and how it relates to what you are looking for?”

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