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Have you ever been asked to leave a position?

1 of 17 Direct Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Written on June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

Being asked to leave, step down, or flat out being terminated are all very rattling experiences. If you have been asked to leave a position, the worst thing to do it allow it to shake your confidence. Think of the circumstances surrounding your termination and turn them into a positive. Take responsibility for your part in the situation and then complete your response with what you learned. Keep your answer brief and avoid going on about how unfair it was, or how the employer will be 'sorry' they ever lost you. An interviewer will see a chip on your shoulder a mile away.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"Earlier in my career, I did lose my job about two months into the role. The reason was that of cutbacks; however, if I am honest - I am not sure that I was meeting their expectations when it came to learning their SAP modules. After the experience, I took a couple of SAP-related courses to improve my skills. I quickly found gainful employment again, and this company is still a positive reference for me."

Answer example

"My very first job ended in termination because of transportation issues. I was admittedly late more than I needed to be. As a broke student with an unreliable car, I thought that reason for lateness was understandable, but it was not. Looking back, I should have been more proactive by taking city transportation or riding a bike to work! Of course, I am completely reliable now... the new car and all!"

Answer example

"A few years ago I chose to step down from a position after the company announced major cutbacks. The result would have been a layoff at some point, and I wanted to leave on a high note. I quickly found a new role and maintained a solid relationship with the company even afterward."

Answer example

"Earlier in my marketing career, I had a significant client tell my marketing director that he did not like my work. The director panicked, wanting to keep her client, and decided to terminate me. In retrospect, I was in a bit over my head with a client that had such significant marketing spend. I do wish that the director would have used the feedback as an opportunity to mentor and coach me, but I do understand that is not everyone's approach. I took the experience as a learning opportunity and took another role with a smaller agency, shortly after."

Answer example

"I can get along with nearly everyone; however, I had one manager who was like oil to my water. We did not mesh, and despite my trying to hide my dislike for her personality, it remained pretty obvious. I was the junior associate in the role, so I resigned knowing that the personality clash was hard on the team. My termination likely would have been the result, had I stayed. The manager pulled rank, and I was smart enough to know that. There are no hard feelings there as I still met my quota and was beloved by our customers."

Answer example

"I took an incredibly cutthroat sales role, right out of University for which I was most definitely not ready! It was a door-to-door residential alarm sales position. Someone was fired weekly, for not hitting targets. I made it eight weeks which was a record at the time, as most associates didn't even make it past week three. When I look back at the experience, I chuckle and how panicked we all were to make a sale. It was an eye-opening experience that I will never regret having."

Answer example

"As an educator, I have never been asked to leave a position, or even become close to termination. I did get fired from a paper delivery job when I was nine though! I may have cut some corners in my delivery to make it for Saturday morning cartoons! All kidding aside, I am a very loyal and respectful teacher and plan to bring my high standard of work with me to my next opportunity. I have solid references ready for you as well."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Published: 06/29/2018
*Specific career answer examples vary on published date

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