6 years ago
February 16, 2018

Oh No, I’m Fired! What Do You Say in Sales Interviews?

People get fired. It happens. But it’s how you move on from getting fired that makes the biggest impact on your career going forward. There are countless reasons you could…

Rhys Metler

People get fired. It happens. But it’s how you move on from getting fired that makes the biggest impact on your career going forward.

There are countless reasons you could get fired – restructuring, downsizing, lack of fit, or being fired for cause, to name a few. The reason you were fired can impact how you manage the situation, especially when you start interviewing for a new sales job.

Expect sales recruiters and hiring companies to bring up your previous position and inquire about why you were fired during the interview process. So, you need to be prepared to address the situation head-on.

7 Tips to Address Being Fired in Sales Interviews

Here are 7 tips to address being fired if asked about it during your next sales job interview:

1.Be as honest as you can:

While it may be tempting to cover up being fired, the last thing you want to do is get caught in a lie. Be as honest as you can without hurting your chances of getting the job.

2. Avoid answers that will get you disqualified as a candidate:

Being honest and being smart about how you answer certain questions are different. Avoid being honest to the point where you will get yourself disqualified as a candidate.

3. Keep it professional:

Avoid making the conversation about your firing a personal matter. Don’t blame others or speak negatively about your previous employer.

4. Respond and move on:

You know the questions about your firing are coming. When they get asked, respond to them and move on. Don’t allow the conversation to linger and don’t leave the door open for follow-up questions, if possible.

5. Keep it simple:

Avoid trying to provide complex explanations for the reasons you were fired. Keep your answers simple and on point. The more you talk about it, the more reasons you may give the hiring company not to hire you.

6. Emphasize what you learned from the experience:

Use questions about your firing as an opportunity to show what you have learned from the experience. Focus on personal growth, not the actual firing, to show you are a good candidate for the role you are interviewing.

7. Explain how things will be different now:

Showing how you’ve grown and how things will be different is important. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s what you do after these mistakes that make the difference. Talk about what you’ve done to improve since your previous job and how you are better for it today.

More Sales Interview Advice From Sales Recruiters

4 Creative Ways to Survive a Sales Role-Play in an Interview

“Why Sales?” How to Answer That Pesky Sales Interview Question

How to Explain Leaving a Job on Bad Terms During Your Sales Interview


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.