I was fired or laid off. How should I talk about that with employers during job interviews?


Answered by: ByVirtualist career experts

When addressing the topic of being fired or laid off, it is crucial to maintain an upfront, honest, and transparent approach while remaining positive. Establishing a foundation of trust with a potential employer from the beginning is essential, and that starts with being truthful about your past experiences.

If you were laid off, it is recommended to prepare a concise and clear statement that provides a high-level explanation of the situation. For instance:

  • Market changes or economic factors impacted the business.
  • The company underwent acquisition, resulting in a multi-person layoff.
  • Restructuring or a new strategic plan led to layoffs.

Avoid delving into excessive details and instead emphasize that you consistently received positive performance evaluations, left on good terms, and express gratitude for your time with the company.

In the case of being fired, it is important to be honest and take responsibility for any mistakes or differences of opinion regarding your work. Use a brief sentence or two to acknowledge the situation and demonstrate ownership and accountability. Then, discuss the lessons you learned from the experience, your personal growth, and your plans for approaching future roles differently.

Regardless of the circumstances, maintaining a relatively positive tone and refraining from speaking negatively about past managers, companies, or colleagues is crucial. Employers appreciate honesty and forthrightness without dwelling on the topic or engaging in negativity.

ByVirtualist’s career coaches are available to assist you in crafting your unique narrative regarding your layoff or firing. They can help you feel comfortable expressing this information in written form and during conversations with potential employers.