Fired? How to Approach Job Loss in an Interview

August 7th, 2015

Finding a great new job is always challenging, but if your work history includes being fired, you have an extra hurdle to overcome. Many interviewers will flat out ask if you’ve ever been involuntarily terminated from a position, while others will question a gap in your resume that will inadvertently cause you to have to reveal the unpleasant truth. Either way, it’s important to realize that getting fired isn’t the end of your career.

Many of the most successful people in the world have been fired at least once. Whether you were let go for a legitimate reason or no fault of your own is really irrelevant at this point. Hold your head up high and approach each interview with confidence, because you are a talented professional with a lot to offer.

How to Approach Job Loss in an Interview

Need a little help explaining why you were fired? Follow these three steps to handle it eloquently:

Don’t Get Emotional

Getting fired isn’t a pleasant experience. No matter how long ago it happened, the memory probably still stings a bit. You’ll need to put these feelings aside for the interview and keep your emotions out of it. If you were recently fired, discuss your frustrations with a friend or family member, so they don’t come tumbling out during your interview.

Keep Your Explanation Brief

There’s no need to divulge a lot of information about the situation that caused you to lose your job. Offer a brief overview to answer the question and move on. If you don’t dwell on the fact that you were fired, the hiring manager probably won’t either. Use your interview to discuss more important things, like why you’re a great fit for the job.

Explain What You Learned

Most interviewers are sympathetic to the fact that getting fired can happen to anyone. Turn the experience into something positive by explaining what you learned from it. This shows your ability to accept your mistakes and move on, which will certainly impress the hiring manager.

If you’re in the market for a great new accounting job, contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing today. We specialize in matching top accounting talent with leading companies in the Seattle area.