Nextaff Talent Blog

5 Tips for Telling an Interviewer You Were Fired 

Posted April 22, 2019

Getting fired from a job is a difficult thing to experience. It has the ability to shake your confidence in your competency. Discussing being fired, and discussing it over and over again in detail during your job search, can do a whole lot to bring about those feelings of shame and inadequacy. Below are some tips that can help you cope with the anxiety faced when discussing being let go from a previous job. 


1. First, Breathe and Prepare

Many people have been fired! It's easy to feel as if you have been branded with the stamp of being unemployable, but this is untrue. Awesome employees are forced to explain why they were let go from their job every day. Perhaps that will offer you some comfort knowing that they rose above the same exact way you can—and will.

Being fired is more of a hiccup than a dead end. The next step is figuring out a way to incorporate it into the journey of your career. You can start this process by preparing or scripting exactly how to talk about being fired from your previous job.

2. Avoid "Untruths"

It can be easy to want to lie. It can feel as if one simple lie can save you from what might otherwise be a tortuously embarrassing conversation. That lie might save you from one conversation, but it ensures a whole cascade of future lies if, and when, the topic comes back up.

Plus, that lie may in fact guarantee future termination if your employer finds out. Start putting the past behind you by being honest enough to accept it. This is truly the fastest way to begin moving on for good.  

3. Wait For It!

Try not to preempt the interviewer by bringing up the fact that you were fired. This can be difficult if you are primed and ready for the conversation, particularly if you've been scripting it in your mind. Prepare for the topic to come up, but wait for the interviewer to start the conversation instead.

4. Save the Details and Remain Positive

It's unnecessary to give your interviewer a play-by-play of exactly what happened and why you were fired. They don't need to know your last boss was a fool who couldn't manage their way out of a paper bag. There is also no reason to go into acute detail about how the experience capped off a particularly awful period of your life where you were making bad decisions left and right.

Instead, remain positive about how the experience was just one more aspect that has shaped you, preferably for the better, into the budding employee that you are today. Avoid playing the blame game,  and focus on the positive instead.

5. Focus on Growth

It can be difficult to recognize the bright side in bad situations. However, it's best to focus on what you learned from being fired and how the experience has contributed to the grit, tenacity, problem-solving skills, or resiliency you have today. Employers will be happier knowing that a potential employee had the ability to take a crappy situation and bounced back with grace.

Being fired can feel like the end of the world, but there are steps you can take to move on and land your next great job. Remember these tips during the interview process, and you will come out on top. For more information about how to handle losing your job, helpful tips, and job inquiries, contact us today!

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Categories: Interview, Interview Tips, Temporary Staffing Agency, Local Staffing Office, Tips, resume, job hunting, job, job search