Job Interview Question & Answer: Have You Ever Fired Someone and How Did that Make You Feel?
Reason for the Question
Letting an employee go is a part of every business, and hiring managers want to know how you would approach such a situation. This job interview question allows candidates to show how they put the business’s needs above any individual worker. A manager might also ask this question to see how your personal feelings could interfere with a company’s success.
How to Respond
When answering a question like, “Have you ever fired someone, and how did you feel about it?” job hopefuls should focus their response on how the termination was necessary for the company’s well-being. However, if you have no history of firing someone, it’s important to state that fact clearly and honestly.
Responses to Avoid
You should avoid replies that focus on personal grievances or situations unrelated to work, as these appear unprofessional to a manager. Avoid replies that indicate how firing someone is easy for you or that you enjoy letting people go. Employee termination is a difficult situation, and failing to acknowledge that difficulty could paint a negative picture of you during a job interview.
Sample Responses To “Have You Ever Fired Someone and How Did that Make You Feel?”
Preparing for challenging job interview questions such as this one is key to making a good impression. Use the following sample answers to help you develop your own response. These examples are only a guide, so avoid copying or memorizing them:
Sample Answer 1 – Fast Food General Manager
“I have had to fire someone in the past. In my previous managerial role, I hired a young man to run the front cash register. He was immediately resistant to training and outright refused to help a customer at one point. I spoke with him about his behavior, but he was not willing to take his job seriously. It’s always hard to let someone go, but it’s necessary sometimes for a company to grow.”
Sample Answer 2 – Jewelry Store Manager
“I did have to let someone go a few years ago for stealing from the company. Cash drawers were coming up short, and our cameras caught the employee taking money from the registers. Firing someone is never easy, but in situations like this, there really is no alternative. As a manager, it was my responsibility to terminate their position and find a new employee for the job.”
Sample Answer 3 – Hotel Manager
“We were about to hit the holiday travel season at my last hotel, so we hired on a few extra housekeepers. One of these new workers was a young girl looking to pay her way through school. Unfortunately, she never caught on to the job. Other housekeepers were spending too much of their own time helping her clean her rooms, and despite giving her multiple chances to speed up, she couldn’t. I felt bad for her, but I didn’t let that influence my job as a manager. It had to be done to keep our operation moving smoothly and maintain guest satisfaction.”
Things to Keep in Mind
Firing an employee is always difficult, but showing that you can handle the responsibility is important. When responding to, “Have you ever fired someone, and how did that make you feel?” include examples of how you tried to work with the employee to alleviate your concerns. Be sure to address the company’s needs and leave your personal feelings out of it as much as possible.