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Have you ever lost your job?

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > Have you ever lost your job?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also

 

The question

Have you ever lost your job?

What happened when you were fired?

What was it like when they closed down the plant?

How did you cope with redundancy?

What they are looking for

Losing one's job is considered one of the most significant causes of stress. When you asked about this, they may well be looking to determine how you handle stress in general.

Within this, they may be looking at such areas as whether you are depressive, whether you suppress emotions or otherwise cope with stress. The flip-side of this is that they may also be looking for whether you can bounce back from problems, take a positive viewpoint and seek to get on with things.

How to answer

If you have not lost your job, you may simply answer 'no' or may indicate that you have 'come close' and then discuss how you were not sacked (perhaps you were just too wonderful a person).

If you have lost your job, first admit it clearly and simply (do not dive into making excuses). Say 'yes' and then give a brief explanation of the situation.

Yes. The market took a downturn and our entire department was closed down.

Avoid showing yourself as being not wanted by others or the first to be thrown out when times get tough.

It was the fifth round of redundancies, so I was ready. I got another job soon after.

Do not show antagonism towards the company, for example by talking about how unfair they were or that you were 'glad to leave'.

It was a shame. It was and still is a great company. Still, things turned out ok in the end.

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