People get let go from their jobs. It happens. It is a challenging situation to manage. You may feel frustrated, stressed, and emotional. This is a common response. 

But the best thing you can do when you lose your job is to rebound and regroup, come up with a job search plan and start working on the next chapter of your career.

You can certainly expect to get asked about it when you start interviewing for new jobs. Hiring managers are going to want to know more about your job history, your previous job, and specifically about why you were let go. So, expect to get asked about it.

Having a strategy for how you will talk about the situation is important. Below is advice for how to talk about being let go in a job interview:

1. know what you can say 

The first thing is to know what you can and can’t say. Do you have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the company? Was it a mutual decision? 

Talk with human resources to understand how the termination is handled internally and how it is classified. Also, be clear about the company policies you signed off on when you were employed.

Close up - Smiling woman talking to someone.
Close up - Smiling woman talking to someone.

2. try to leave your emotions at the door 

Getting emotional about being laid off is not typically a winning look. So, you need to get your emotions under control before you start the interview process. The best way to avoid this is to practice your answers. 

Give yourself a few days to dwell on the situation, reflect, and then move on. It's important to always act professionally when interviewing. 

3. be honest as you can

Employers  who are interested in your profile will certainly do a background check. If you’ve been provided references from the former employer, it is in your interest to be honest.

Your references may explain what happened, what led to you being let go. You don’t want to be caught in a lie. Be as honest as possible when talking about the situation. Again, this is why it's important to know what information you can divulge. 

Read more in our article: 6 tips to find a new job after being let go.

4. avoid negativity

It can be easy to play the blame game, especially if you feel as though your previous employer was not justified in letting you go. But refrain from speaking badly about your former boss, colleagues, or company. Potential employers will see this as a possible red flag.

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5. accept that it may be uncomfortable

Talking about getting fired will be uncomfortable. You need to accept this. It's also important to own what happened. Talk about it openly and without shame. 

You are not the first person that has been interviewed after getting let go. It is a common occurrence in all industries. How you handle it is what is most important. Being let go doesn’t have to be a career killer!

6. don’t linger on the topic

Briefly explain the situation. A couple of sentences on the subject will do. There is no need to dwell on the subject or provide more information than required. Provide a well-thought-out answer that is straight to the point, then move on. 

7. elaborate if you felt it was a learning experience 

Depending on the circumstances of why you were let, you may want to treat it as a learning experience. In this case, you can explain what you’ve learned and how you have grown from the experience. But again, keep it short.

8. move on and get back to focusing on the positives of what you bring to the table

Remember, getting asked about why you were let go is only one of a series of questions you will be asked by the interviewer. Move on quickly and reaffirm the positive traits you can offer the company. 

Being well prepared and impressing them with your answers to other questions can help minimize their concern about you being let go from a previous job.

No one wants to be let go from a job. But it happens. If it happened to you, it's time to start your job search. Here is a job seeker’s complete guide to finding a job.

To discover the latest job opportunities available in your region, feel free to reach out to any of our recruiters who can furnish you with a list.

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