How to Explain Being Fired During an Interview

You have just landed your first job interview a few weeks or months after receiving a dismissal notice from your previous job. You are excited at first because of the possibility of landing a good job; however, the excitement is short-lived. It hits you that you probably have to explain your awkward situation to your interviewer. In this review, you will learn how you can professionally explain the reasons for your interviewer, and increase the chances of landing the job in Australia.

How to explain the reasons you left your previous job

Before you attend any job interview after your last employer fired you, you will need to prepare beforehand. Although all interviews are a bit daunting, attending an interview after your former employer dismissed you without your consent makes it more challenging. However, here are a few ways you can get through the interview process confidently.

Always review the policies of your former job

It is courteous to talk to your previous boss about what you can and cannot say in your next job after leaving their company regardless of the circumstances. Seek the advice of the HR of your previous post, and they will give you hints on how they will recommend you to your next employer, and then you can use the same information to explain your situation to your future employers. Reviewing your former job’s policy is essential because it makes you avoid getting on the wrong side of your previous and prospective employees.

Be truthful/honest

It is never easy to talk about the reasons why your former employer dismissed you from your job. Although it is painful and gut-wrenching, you will have to discuss the scenario with your potential employers. Companies always have a way of digging up old dirt on their employees, and you do not want to raise speculations in your new job a few days after you begin working. It would be best if you also researched on polite ways you can explain the firing process to your employer without giving away too much. Therefore, be as honest as you can, and your interviewer could maybe hire you because of your sense of honesty, accountability, and trust.

Never speak ill of your former boss

Sometimes our employers fire us for the wrong reasons, and we desperately want to prove that we were not in the wrong. However, do not taint your former boss’s image to your future potential bosses, no matter how unfair you think they treated you. Even after you get the job, you should avoid talking ill of your previous employers and post to your current co-worker, because it might come back to haunt you.

Do not seek sympathy

Seeking sympathy from your interviewers is the last thing you should do during an interview. Do not try to blame your employers or former co-workers because it makes you look desperate, which is not the picture you want to paint in an interview. You can find something kind to say about your former boss, and why you did not relate well with them.

Try and be clear and stick to the point

Do not try to over-explain yourself to your future employers. Avoid stretching the firing process to your interviewers because you might miss the point and say something unnecessary. You can use professional terms such as you not having the opportunity to form a good work relationship with your former boss and co-workers.

Try to explain the positive aspect of what you learned from the experience

The best thing you can do at the interview is to turn the negative encounter into a positive experience. You can explain this to the interviewer in a simple sentence, such as the lesson you took home after your former boss dismissed you. You can state that you have been able to take on new skills after leaving your job, and how the skills will benefit the company.


You need to understand that although you need to be honest about why you left your previous job, you do not have to spend a significant amount of time explaining every detail. You only need to mention briefly and then focus on the main reasons for the interview.

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