How to Discuss Being Fired from a Job in an Interview

Participating in a job interview after being fired can be challenging. You may be unsure of what to say without reducing your odds of moving forward in the hiring process.

Keep in mind that employees get fired from their jobs all the time. They go on to find new roles just like you are.

Rather than dwell on being fired, focus on all that you have accomplished in your career. Use this as motivation to move forward in your job search.

Learn how to effectively discuss being fired from a job in an interview.

Be Honest

Maintain transparency when explaining why you were fired from a job. The interviewer deserves to hear the truth rather than a fabrication.

If you are dishonest about the reason you were fired, the interviewer might find out. Even if you get hired before the truth is discovered, you could easily lose the job later.

Provide a high-level reason why you were fired. Briefly explain the circumstances, then move on. Give the situation as little attention as possible while remaining honest about what happened.

For instance, “There were some staffing changes that affected my job to the point where things no longer were working. So, my manager and I agreed I should find a role better suited to my skill set. I am excited to take on new responsibilities and challenges.”

Maintain Positivity

Be objective when describing why you were fired. Begin and end your discussion on a positive note.

Badmouthing or blaming your former employer is ineffective. This indicates how you likely would react if things did not work out with your next job. As a result, the interviewer likely would not ask you to move forward in the hiring process.

For instance, “Being let go has come with silver linings. I look forward to finding a role that is better suited to my qualifications and interests.”

Share What You Learned

Take responsibility for your role in being fired. Explain how you grew personally and professionally from the experience. Include how you would more effectively approach a similar situation in the future.

Demonstrate strength, confidence, and character in your answer. The interviewer wants to see how you turned an adverse situation into an opportunity for advancement.

For instance, “When I took the job, I needed work. After additional evaluation, I realized the role was not right for me. Now that I know I prefer a team-oriented environment, I will not make the same mistake again.”

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