Here's what to say when a hiring manager asks, 'Have you ever been fired?'

Jacquelyn Smith

If you've ever been fired or asked to resign from a job, chances are it's not something you enjoy talking about ... especially with prospective employers during job interviews.

But if there are any gaps or red flags on your résumé, hiring managers will likely ask you about them — and it can be uncomfortable.

"Employers are often so swamped with job applicants, they're programmed to use a process of elimination mindset," says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert, leadership coach, and author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant." "And this can easily be one of the questions that keeps you off the shortlist — unless you plan ahead."

It's a classic query because your answer meets multiple objectives, she says. "So it's helpful to consider the reasons behind the question."

She says interviewers are often trying to determine four things:

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