How to Answer "From Your Resume, it Looks Like you Were Fired Twice. How Did That Make You Feel?"

If you were fired, you may be concerned with how to best answer any questions about the circumstances surrounding your dismissal. Being fired more than once can make you feel even more insecure about your work performance. In order to put your mind at ease when being asked this question during a job interview, there are several factors to consider when preparing your response. This article will address the best way to answer this question.

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1. Adjust Your Perspective

The first step in this process is to adjust your perspective with regard to how you view your dismissal. Being fired is not the end of the world. It’s not the most optimal experience for your professional career. However, there are ways to handle this circumstance that can turn this dismissal into a positive learning experience. Additionally, try to think about this question from the hiring manager’s point of view. For example, when management finds out that a person was fired, it can send up red flags about the candidate. That is why it is beneficial to prepare beforehand to craft the best answer that shows you are a viable candidate.

Remember, that even if you were fired, you are still a capable individual with skills that are valuable to an employer. Believing in yourself and your abilities is important to respond with a confident tone when discussing your feelings on this subject.

2. How to Answer This Question

This process begins by crafting a response that follows one major goal—not to cause further doubt in the mind of the hiring manager. Remember that this person already may have some doubts about you. However, when answering this question, you need to demonstrate confidence in the fact that you are the right person for the job. Some points to consider are listed below.

  • Honesty – The best thing you can do for yourself is to be honest and genuine in your response. Do not lie about the situation because if the hiring manager calls for a reference and finds out you lied, that’s bad for your chances of getting hired.
  • Generalized – Honesty is good, but you don’t need to go overboard and provide all the messy details of your dismissal. Balance truth with a generalized answer.
  • Growth – It is important to demonstrate that you experienced personal and professional growth through this situation. Take responsibility for your actions.
  • Differences – You may have been dismissed because you were not a good fit with the job tasks required for completion. Demonstrate how you are a better fit for this job.
  • Open Minded – Consider the fact that the hiring manager obviously wanted to meet you to discuss your potential. Embrace the fact that he or she is open-minded.
  • Issues – Don’t focus on the negative issues involved in your dismissal. Focus on your skill set and abilities and the fact that the employer will benefit from hiring you.
  • Responsibility – Never blame your previous employer, managers or coworkers for the dismissal. Doing so will show that you do not take responsibility for your own actions.

3. Sample Responses to This Question

When crafting your response remember to focus on all 7 factors discussed in the previous section. You can respond that you were fired because your skill set did not perfectly match up with the requirements for your previous position. However, you completely understand the requirements for this new job and feel that you are an excellent fit.

If you were fired for insubordination for not obeying company rules and regulations regarding use of company time for personal reasons (i.e., checking personal emails and spending too much time on social media)—own up to your mistakes. Then share that you learned a valuable lesson from that experience and realize the boundary lines that employees should never cross while in the workplace.

See Also: How to Answer "Do You Prefer to Work for a Man or Woman, Why?"

Remember to prepare beforehand when answering this question. It is vital that you balance your response with the right proportions of the following: truth, details, remorse and lessons learned. If you can state a balanced answer using all information in all four factors, you should be able to impress the hiring manager with your response.

Have you encountered this question before? How did you respond to it? your thoughts and comments below please...