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Have you ever been fired?


You were fired from your last job and now you are busy beating the pavement trying to find a new job. You feel pretty good answering all the other questions but you dread the thought of the interviewer asking you why you left your last job. Here are a few ways to handle that question in a classy, professional manner.{{more}}

Do not lie.

This is not the time to make up a good sounding reason as to why you are no longer at that employer. A lie will always catch up with you no matter how creative you get about twisting the truth. Think about what you are going to say then you can simply let the interviewer know you were asked to leave the company or you were let go.

Skip the details.

If the interviewer ask you why you were fired, you must give an answer, but again be strategic in what you say and how you say it. No need to go into the sordid details of your firing. If you are launching a complaint against your former employer because you feel your termination was unjust, please do not mention it in the interview as you can be viewed as a troublemaker.

Speak well of your former employer.

This one will take some self control. Getting fired can be quite an emotional experience even if better opportunities lay ahead. The need to vent a little frustration and defend yourself can start out as in a very simple conversation. No matter what you do, NEVER berate or speak negatively about your former company, boss or workers for two reasons. It’s a reflection of your lack of maturity and professionalism, and since we live in a global economy, it not impossible for your new potential employers to have ties to your old job, so if you can’t say anything nice or neutral, avoid going down the negative slippery slope.

Clean up the mess. Look to the future.

Regardless of the reason you were fired, you need to build a case to your interviewer that you have learned from the experience and you are a strong, stable candidate ready for new challenges even though you were asked to leave your previous job.

Firings are not all bad. Sometimes it’s for creative differences. Sometimes you have outgrown the position and maybe it was the wrong job to begin with but you didn’t realize it until it was too late; maybe you were just wrong and violated company policy. Whatever the reason, no need to belabor the point. Examine what happened and get your come back ready to be better.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected] Visit online at