When interviewers ask "How would you fire someone?" they want to see if you have the stomach to fire someone when necessary, as well as the tact to do so in a way that will not reflect poorly on the company. It is essential that you understand how to verbalize your capacity for this task.
Points to Emphasize
In properly answering this question it is critical that you show a respect for the managerial duty, as well as the knowledge and skill to perform it.
- Express that you would stick closely to company protocol.
- Show that you understand that this is sometimes a necessary duty that you are capable of performing.
- Clearly explain the steps that you would take from start to finish.
- Demonstrate sternness, yet remain respectful.
Make sure that you share a thoughtful answer that would leave little room for, and even help eliminate the chances of, conflict.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Firing individuals is a sensitive area, yet it is also mandatory at times. You have to be able to strike a balance. In that vein, be sure to evade these mistakes.
- Avoid sounding as if you are excited about the idea of firing someone.
- Do not sound timid or unwilling to fulfill the duty.
- Do not question the circumstances revolving the situation; give a clear answer.
- Steer clear of giving a cut and dry answer (that can make you seem uncaring).
Though it may be tricky, it is important to find the middle ground between non-caring and excessively eager.
An example of a way to answer the interviewer about firing an employee could sound like this:
First, I would consult with HR about the appropriate protocol. Second, I would then inform the employee of their termination, stating the things that they did well along with those that they did poorly. Finally, I would allow them to ask any questions to ensure that any confusion or issues are addressed.
Be sure to give a thoughtful and concise answer. This shows that you mean business and are prepared to handle the necessary duties of the position.