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Have you fired anyone?

"Have you fired anyone?  And if so, why?"

If you fired someone before, then that means you are a manager or hire.  If your answer is no, then this is an easy question.  But if you answer yes, then you have to give a reason why.  If you say I fired one of our employees because he or she couldn't do the work properly, then this is a regular answer that will not help you.  Large corporations have a procedure they follow to fire someone.  If you can incorporate using the process of firing into your own experience, then the answer will be stronger.  Here is an example.

Short Answers

"I've never had to fire anyone yet, but if I'm in this situation, I would follow company policy and do it professionally."

"I had to fire one employee who continually failed to complete projects.  Before firing this employee, I tried to work with him by motivating, encouraging, and even providing different work.  In the end, nothing worked and I had no choice but to let him go."

"The only time I had to fire someone was when an employee was continually late.  We have a company policy of giving a verbal warning for the first three offenses, and then a written warning after the 3rd offense.  I had many discussions about this problem with this employee, but it didn't help.  In the end, we had to let him go."

Long Answers

"When I was a managing a group of 4 people in my last position, I unfortunately had to fire one of them.  The person was unable to perform at an acceptable level for a long period of time.  Our company has a process in place of trying to grow our employees, empower them, and help them find their strengths, but nothing helped.  I put the person on probation and explained that he will have to try harder.  But after seeing bad performance due to a lack of effort for a long time, I had to fire him."

Another approach to this question is to take a strong stance on performance.  As I said before, if the answer is different and creative, the interviewer will remember it more and that means they will remember you more.  Then your chances of getting the job increase more than others.  Here is an example of an answer that the interviewer will remember.

"Oh yeah, I fired a lot of people.  All of the reasons were the same.  They were not performing their jobs.  I believe in good management.  I believe I should mentor and help grow our employees.  This is a business and we need to do whatever we can to help our company grow.  One of the biggest factors on the success of a company is having great employees.  So I won't hesitate to fire someone that isn't performing their job.  It leaves more room to bring in someone who will benefit the company."

This is an answer I would be willing to use.  But before using this answer, you must first look at the type of person asking this question and determine if he or she will like it.  If the person is a strong person that shows no emotion, then it might be good.  But if a person is very friendly, then that person might not like it.  Even though it is a good answer, a friendly person might not like it because it could indicate that you are a cold person.  Basically friendly people don't like cold people and if you have to work together, they might not want to work with you.  So be careful on using this type of answer.

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