Fired? How do I explain this during my next interview?!?

How do you explain a termination in a positive light during your next interview?

I recently interviewed a candidate that was terminated from his last position. He loved his job, he led his team to do well, but there were conflicts with upper management that couldn’t be resolved. They ended up coming in and handing him his pink slip stating “You’re just not the right fit.” His dilemma? How will he explain this to prospective employers? Here are a few tips to address this in future interviews:

Always be honest! If you made a mistake, own it. Explain the situation, the errors made, and what you learned from the situation. Then address how you would handle a similar situation in the future.

Don’t show negative emotion during your interview. If you have unresolved negative feelings towards your past employer, relate your “behavioral based” questions towards a different past job or towards positive situations within the most recent position. Speaking negatively in regards to a past (or current) employer typically does not sit well with the person interviewing and could make or break a potential job offer.

Just remember to stay positive – some turnover is good turnover – Life is too short to be unhappy! If you run into a situation where the culture is not a fit, simply tell the interviewer that without speaking negatively about the job/company.

If you have questions or comments, please post below – For confidential correspondence, feel free to email me at

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