"Why were you fired?"

The question of why were you fired is one of the most tough interview questions you can face. For many people having being fired, or had time out of work is seen as a real barrier to succeeding in an interview. Notice I said “seen as”. It won’t stop you if you don’t let it.

Let’s consider why employers ask this question. Just like everything else it all boils down to the core questions of can you do the job, will you do, the job, and will you fit the team. The interviewer wants to know that you’ll perform. So it makes sense to look at your track record. Now, having been fired could be an indication of something going wrong/you not performing, so it stands to reason they would want to know about it.

But the truth is the interviewer is not focused on your previous role. You wouldn’t even be in the interview if having been fired in the past was a deal breaker. It isn’t. What counts is making the interviewer believe in you and your ability. That you will do THIS job.

Here are some tips to help you;

Prepare an answer – think about your reasons

Rule number one is be prepared. If you’ve ever been fired or out of work, you should expect this question to come up. And you should know how you’re going to answer it.

Focus on your achievements

They ask because they have to ask but this doesn’t disqualify you. They are still focused on the core questions. You need to emphasise the core skills required and how you have used them.

Compartmentalise it

Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. its important to know how to move forward. What have you learned that will improve you as an employee? Show you are you able to see your mistakes – this demonstrates you are self aware.

• Show that you have the attitude and ability to cope with setbacks

This speaks volumes about your character and gives you the chance to show you have the right character to succeed in any job.

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