Interview 14: Why Were You Fired?

For the best result, make sure you have read this article and already have a write-up of your answer prior to your Cambly session. You can send a longer text to your tutor through Cambly’s messaging system.

This following content has been modified from LiveCareer. See the original article here.


Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

What the Hiring Manager Is Really Asking…

When the hiring manager asks if you’ve ever been fired or asked to leave, he or she is wondering about any issues that may arise if they hire you. Your interviewer wants to know if you take responsibility for your actions and can learn from mistakes you’ve made. Use this opportunity to show how you’ve overcome a challenge and have moved forward.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Have you ever been fired or asked to resign?
  • Did you leave on good terms with that organization?
  • Think about how you could communicate that experience in a positive way.

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

Points to Emphasize

In turning this difficult question to a positive light, follow these tips:

  • Show you take responsibility for your actions or mistakes.
  • Say what you’ve learned from those experiences.
  • Support what you say with examples.
  • Describe what steps you’ve taken to be sure you don’t make similar mistakes with a new employer.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • How have you taken responsibility for your actions?
  • What have you learned from your past experiences?
  • What examples could you add to support what you’ve learned?

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

Mistakes You Should Avoid

To make sure you respond well, avoid these mistakes in answering your past mistakes:

  • Don’t lie about being fired.
  • Don’t be negative or bitter about that past situation.
  • Don’t ignore your responsibility.
  • Don’t act like you were wronged and would take the same actions.

Even if you think you didn’t deserve your situation, be mature and responsible when responding to this tough question.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Can you admit to being fired?
  • How can you communicate the situation without negativity?
  • Consider how you can show that you take responsibility.

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

Sample Answer

Here’s an example to the question, “Why were you fired?”

I was let go because an area of the job didn’t fit me well. My supervisor was highly satisfied with my customer service and technical support skills. However, I could not meet every sales goal every month. I am shifting my attention to positions that involve a greater attention to customer service, as that’s something I have a big passion for and have skill in.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Write the first draft of your answer with your tutor.
  • Are there any words or phrases that you are not comfortable pronouncing?
  • Now rehearse with your tutor until you are comfortable answering the question without the script.

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