Former recruitment agency experts answer
employment questions, candidly suggesting how to
negotiate your salary, find a really good job,
handle phone interviews, and more.
Sage advice like this is
Q: I was fired from my
last position. What should I say if an
interviewer asks why I left my former employer?
A: It depends on why you were
fired. If it was for something illegal or
something like sexual harassment, then this is
going to be a tough situation to deal with no
matter what you say.
In less extreme cases, you want to start by
remembering not to say bad things about your
former employer. Candidates can get into trouble
during interviews by badmouthing their former
employer and coming across as someone that is
Try your best to minimize the reason for your
termination. You can try to explain how the
incident is simply one of those unlucky things
that can happen to any of us. For instance, if
you were in sales and were not able to meet your
sales quotas, then perhaps you were let go was
because of market changes that affected your
territory and customer base - in other words
there was no longer a large enough market for the
product you were selling.
However, most often people are fired for either
personality differences between you and your
boss/co-workers, or lack of production. This may
not be entirely your fault - you may have been
placed into a role that you were not qualified
for in which case this is also partly the fault
of the employer and you can say this without
coming across negatively.
Overall, try to quickly explain how you've
learned from the experience and that you have
taken steps to avoid such happening again. And if
at all possible, try and reconcile with your
former employers and ask them to at least give
you a fair reference.