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Why were you fired or let go from your last job?

1 of 15 Stress Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on August 21st, 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

This question will only apply to you if you have alluded to being terminated in the past. The interviewer would like to know further details of your termination. Being terminated does not have to be an embarrassing or shameful thing. Many excellent employees have been in a similar situation, in their work history. Be open and honest with the interviewer regarding your dismissal. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can provide positive references despite a previous termination.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"I was terminated from my last position due to my inability to relocate to the new plant that my company was opening. It was unfortunate, but I am confident that I will find the right fit again shortly. Despite my termination, I can provide you with strong work references."

Admin
Answer example

"The company I last worked for merged with another organization, and the entire administration department was laid off. I lost my job, along with 45 other people."

Manager
Answer example

"The reason for my termination is a bit cloudy for me, to be honest. My previous organization said it was due to cut-backs and I was offered a severance package; however, I believe they were in more financial trouble than they let on as the company folded shortly after."

Marketing
Answer example

"My previous agency decided to focus less on social media management and more on their major clients' print campaigns. Because my specialty is in social media, I believe they felt that I was no longer the best fit. With that said, my former manager is one of my reliable references."

Retail
Answer example

"I was let go from my previous role because the hours no longer suited my school schedule. The circumstances were unforeseen; however, it ended up being for the best because I was already feeling a lot of pressure from my University workload. I ended up graduating top of my class which was very important to me."

Sales
Answer example

"Our entire team missed our annual targets which meant automatic cause for dismissal. I am upset that this happened because I am an overachiever; however, I did feel some reprieve knowing that I was one in the entire team that did not reach targets. This situation was the first time I have missed reaching a target, so I have dissected the issue and believe that my pipeline was not solid enough. It won't happen again."

Teacher
Answer example

"I was a substitute teacher, filling in for another teacher on medical leave. I thought the position would last longer than it did so I was disappointed not to finish out the year. With that said, this school will still offer me a strong reference for my short time there."

Lineman
Answer example

"I was terminated from my last position due to my inability to relocate to the new plant that my company was opening. It was unfortunate but I am confident that I will find the right fit again shortly. Despite my termination, I am able to provide you with strong work references."

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 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.
First written on: 01/10/2017
Last modified on: 08/21/2018

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