No matter what, it will always be awkward to talk about why you were fired. However, there are some strategies that make it more palatable for the interviewer to hear, and demonstrate that you grew and learned from the experience.
Interviewing

How to Answer Why You Got Fired.

No matter what, it will always be awkward to talk about why you were fired. However, there are some strategies that make it more palatable for the interviewer to hear, and demonstrate that you grew and learned from the experience.

If you've been fired, it's the question that everyone dreads. Answer it well, and you will calm an employer's concerns. Think you're answering it well, and you can lose the opportunity altogether. We all know what happens if you answer it poorly.

When I am interviewing candidates I usually ask them why they left their previous positions. The worst way you can answer is by talking too much. It's too easy to give in to the need to overshare during an interview and end up blowing your chances.

You must avoid dancing around the issue because a hiring manager who has interviewed people before will definitely get the sense that you're hiding something. Sometimes just getting the sense that you're hiding something will be enough for their antennae to go up and distrust you. You could be saying "the right things," but that UtOh sense kicks in for the interviewer and they pass on you.

You can say something like "that job wasn't a good fit for me," and then talk about the aspects of the job or the employer that caused you to be fired (without mentioning the F-word). Didn't get along with your boss? Was it because he was a micromanager whom you resented, and you didn't figure out how to communicate with him well? You can say that your communication style was different from your boss, and then discuss the things you would have done differently.

Fired because you were simply in over your head? Did you take advantage of every learning opportunity there was? Did you reach out to co-workers or ask you boss for additional training? Did you come in early and stay late to get caught up or do some independent learning?

Fired because of bad internal politics? Was there a situation that instigated the downturn that you could have avoided in the first place? Sometimes there are things you could have changed, and other times it's just an unfortunate situation.

What you always want to do is practice what you're going to say when you're asked by running it by someone else. If you are awkwardly answering the question, and the employer senses it that could make up their mind.

You should always end the answer by putting the focus on the job you're applying for. Why is this job a fit for your accomplishments and skills? What is in the job description that piqued your interest to apply? Ending the answer on a high note, rather than the potential awkwardness of the situation you described, will leave a stronger impression in the interviewer's mind.

Bottom line, employers need to trust you. Develop a way to talk about that situation that builds that trust.

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Content sourced from Talent Inc.
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