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Have you ever had to fire an employee? What were the reasons for their termination?

8 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

Terminating an employee is never a task that people like to do. Talk to the interviewer about how you go about employee terminations. How does that conversation usually sound?

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"I have had to terminate employees in the past, yes. These terminations stemmed from missed targets or insubordination. I find it challenging to terminate employees because I do care about them and their well being. I have to remind myself that I did absolutely everything that I could to ensure their success but, I cannot carry the full weight."

Admin
Answer example

"I have had to let go of a couple of part-time administrative assistants. While it's certainly not my favorite task, I feel confident in my abilities to identify a low performer and work to coach up or out, and terminate as necessary."

Manager
Answer example

"Unfortunately, terminating employees is a part of wearing your management hat. I recently had to separate employment with someone who was under-performing. We coached them, offered additional learning experiences and worked with them on a performance improvement plan. It was the right person in the wrong role, and we had to decide to move forward."

Marketing
Answer example

"There have been several occasions when I have had to terminate an employee, which weighs on me since I don't want to see anyone fail or be in a financial predicament. However, since I have spent so much time with my team and working on coaching them, I will remind myself that I did as much as I could do and the rest was up to them. They chose not to work to improve, so I did what was best for the rest of the team and the company at large."

Retail
Answer example

"I have been a part of a team that chooses when an employee is going to be terminated, which is not enjoyable but necessary. I always take the approach of coaching up or out for an employee, so it's evident for a while if someone is going to end up being coached out. More often than not, that employee recognizes that it is a poor fit and leaves on his or her own accord."

Sales
Answer example

"I have, unfortunately, had to let an employee or two go in the past. I have always done the best that I can to help coach an employee. I create a plan to help get them on track, provide them with any training or additional resources they may need to achieve at the level we expect and have frequent check-ins with them. However, sometimes we still have to go our separate ways. I am always sure that it's not a surprise to that employee since we go through a coaching process to get them up to their targets."

Teacher
Answer example

"I have never had to expel a student, and I am thankful for that. If I have a student on the verge of expulsion I will coach them heavily, and get their parents and the principal involved."

Restaurant Manager
Answer example

"I have worked with employees on performance plans when they are under-performing but have not directly terminated anyone. This task is left to our regional manager who ensures that all of our human resource policies are followed to a tee. I am confident that I can successfully follow through on terminations while keeping HR policies top of mind."

Written by:

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.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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