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WHY WERE YOU FIRED? | How to Answer Truthfully

 Interview Question / WHY WHERE YOU FIRED ?

 Did you get fired from your job and now you have an interview where you have no idea what to say when they ask you about it? 

I'm not talking about being made redundant due to restructuring, or company closure, or anything like that.

 No, I'm talking about you having been told to pack up your things, hand in your company belonging, and being escorted out of the building immediately. 

If that's you, then stay tuned to find out how you explain that in your next interview. 

Today we're talking about the question "Why were you fired?" I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. 

If this has happened to you, you will for sure face one of the most challenging interview questions there is. 

But just because it happened, it doesn't mean that you can't get the job that you want. It is perfectly possible to nail the interview and land the perfect job, even after having been fired from your last one. 

And here's how to do it. The first thing you need to do is to get over the fact that your employment was terminated. 

What mean with that is that you want to make sure that you don't still carry around any negative emotions from that situation. Losing your job sucks.

 And you may completely disagree with your employer as to why you lost your job. Regardless, the best thing you can do for yourself is to accept it for what it is and move on. 

People get fired every day and they go on and find new jobs and you will get another job too. So focus on all the good things you've accomplished in your career so far, and think about all the skills and capabilities that you have, that make you the perfect candidate. 

What the interviewer wants to know when they ask you this question, besides understanding the circumstance of the termination, is how you handled the situation. 

And what you learn from it, and... that the reasons behind the dismissal is no longer a problem. 

So if you still have resentments and negative feelings, deal with it first, so that you can walk into the interview with a level headed, calm and confident answer. 

And so that you can talk about it without loosing your temper. Now, let's talk about how you structure your answer. You want to to keep it short and to the point.

 And make sure you stick to the truth. Talk about what you've learned from the situation factually and neutrally. 

Leave emotions out and as soon as you can, shift the focus towards the job you're interviewing for and how you see this being the perfect next job for you. 

So for example, if you were let go due to misconduct, you could say something like: 

it was definitely the low point of my career no question, but it was also a blessing. Because it made me stop and reflect on the situation, what happened and my responsibilities in it. 

And I got a chance to deal with it, once and for all. 

If you were dismissed due to an underperformance, then your answer could sound something like this: 

The job wasn't working out, so my manager and I agreed that it was time for us to part ways. When I took the job, I was desperate for work and although I knew we wasn't the right fit, I took it and that is a mistake I will not make again. 

That's it. That's all you have to say about the reason. The rest of the answer should show what you've learned from the experience and be all about why you're a good fit for the job. 

So you may say something like:

 It gave me an opportunity to really think about what I'm after in a job so that I can make absolutely sure that I won't end up in a similar situation. Which brings me to why I'm so interested in your position and your company.

 I know your company's values are X, Y, and Z, which is exactly aligned with my values. 

For example... And then you give a relevant example. I've chosen values here but you can do just as well with a specific job responsibility that is outlined in the description. Or a capability. 

It may then sound like this instead: 

Which brings me to why I'm so interested in your position and your company. I know you're looking for someone with experience in X capability which is what I've been working with for a number of years now and that I really like doing.

 For example... And then you give a relevant example. Answering the question this way doesn't mean that they won't ask you to further clarify why your employment was terminated.

 Just so they can be confident that it won't happen again. But it is a way for you to steer the conversation to focus on the future. If they ask you follow-up questions related to what happened that led you to be fired, remember to keep calm and answer truthfully, and factually, and try and avoid getting emotional. 

Let's talk about the do's and the don'ts You want to keep your answer short. If you give a long answer you're running the risk of getting wrapped up in your own story and you end up sharing both too much details and also start showing resentment. 

Some interviewers are purposely displaying compassion as a way to get you to talk more freely. So always remember that this is not a therapy session. It is a job interview. 

You also want to be honest in your response and underline what you learned from the situation. And you want to finish your answer with a future focus by tying it into the reason why you're interested in their role.

 So let's look at some of the don'ts.

 Don't use the word "fired". It has a bad association, so make sure that you usethe words "let go" or "dismissed".

 Don't lie. Avoid the temptation to bend the truth by insinuating you were made redundant or that you resigned. Let's assume that you do well. 

That you're offered the role. And when the employer does the background check they'll discover that you haven't been truthful with the termination.

 What do you think is gonna happen? Not only are you're not gonna get the job. But you will also have an even more challenging conversation where you have to explain why you weren't honest in the first place.

 You shouldn't blame others. If you were fired, take ownership of your part of it. If there were other people involved, leave their leave their responsibilities completely out of it, and focus only on the parts that you had control over.

 If you blame the dismissal on others, even partly, you're running the risk of the interviewer thinking that the history may repeat itself. And then the last piece of advice is to don't sound bitter. 

Being let go is an emotional event, and if you think that it was wrong for your employer to terminate the employment, it can be an even harder pill to swallow. But the worst thing you can do, is to let that bitterness sip out during your interview.

 So keep your emotions in check and focus on talking about your learnings and speak about your forward-looking focus in favorable terms. 

If you've watched any of my other videos, you heard me talk about the importance of preparing and practicing your answers before hand. It's even more critical when it comes answering this question. 

The more confident and comfortable you are with discussing the determination. And the more ownership and responsibility you take for what's happened, the more comfortable the interviewer will be. 

So make sure that you practice answering this question until it no longer feels awkward or strange to talk about it.

 And that's how you answer the question "Why were you fired?" The bottom line is that although it's crucial that you prepare what you're going to say so that your answer is short, to the point, true and forward focused. 

And that you don't have any emotions in it. It is also important to remember, that you having been fired doesn't define you as a person. It was an event that took place in your past. And it doesn't have to be a representation of who you are today. 

So prepare your answer, leave the emotions at home, and you're going to be just fine. I hope this was helpful for you. 

Let me know in the comments what your biggest take away is from what I've just shared with you. Good luck with your interview.

Thank you so much for read.

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