Career GuidanceInterview Tips

How to Answer Why You Left the Job if You Were Laid Off

In most job interviews, you will be asked an interview question about why you want to change jobs. When applying for a job or resigning from your existing one, you will be asked to provide an explanation of your decision to leave. In case of layoffs, you can respond more succinctly and clearly if you prepare in advance, and it also helps your employer understand your long-term goals.

Arriving at a sound response might be challenging, particularly when things weren’t going well. Candidates frequently fret over saying the incorrect thing. Employers often ask questions in interviews to learn why you’re seeking a new career. It can be challenging to explain your reasons for leaving while still showing respect for the business after layoffs. It is possible to reinforce your potential as a candidate and demonstrate what you gained from the experience if you learn how to talk about your layoff while promoting your talents or skills.

Why Do Employers Ask This Interview Question?

Employers want to know why you left your previous position so they can understand why you’re seeking a new position. They will understand you and your relationship with your former employer better if you provide them with particular details regarding why you left your job. They merely want to know whether you were doing it responsibly or impulsively. 

Employers can determine if you left your former employment voluntarily or involuntarily by asking these kinds of interview questions. It is simpler to land a new job if you are let go. Therefore, bringing up your layoff might work in your favor while responding to this interview question. 

Related Article: Preparing For a Layoff – Steps To Take

Answering Interview Question “Why did you leave your last job?”, If You Were Let Go

Get straight to the point rather than attempting to weave lengthy stories. Give a brief explanation of the layoff scenario. You must react positively if you had to leave your former employment as a result of layoffs. Make an effort to portray yourself as a problem-solver who can handle challenging circumstances. Talk about your accomplishments, your relationship with your management, and your time spent with your team as examples of pleasant experiences. Then, quickly return to what you enjoy about the new job and your qualifications for it.

Let’s look at how you could navigate through answering this interview question:

1. Choose honesty
In general, employers are sympathetic toward layoffs. Be truthful about your reasons for leaving. To appropriately portray your circumstances, you should only describe quitting your work as a layoff if the employer actually did so rather than firing you. The interviewer and you might grow to respect one another as a result of your candor.

2. Be optimistic 
It’s crucial to be complimentary about your former workplace and the circumstance that led to your leaving. Positively describe the people you worked with and express sympathy for their having to make the difficult choice to lay off workers. This impresses the interviewer and demonstrates your appreciation for your previous job.

3. Explain concisely
While mentioning your layoff is necessary, attempt to move on to more crucial subjects as soon as you can. Keep your explanation brief and concentrate on the important information. Explain the situation that led to the layoff, but be careful not to divulge any confidential information about your former employer and keep a positive attitude about it.

4. Provide context with numbers 
This aids the interviewer in better comprehending the context of the layoff. Share data to help represent how significant the impact of the layoff was. You can include the total number of layoffs at your previous workplace. Or a breakdown of the number people on your team affected.

5. Showcase your work 
Focus on your accomplishments when working for your previous employer while talking about your layoff. This confirms that your dismissal wasn’t motivated by poor performance. Mention your duties and regular tasks while highlighting the precise metrics you met.

6. Flaunt your value
You can show how your company benefited from having you on the team. Pay attention and highlight your department’s or the company’s successes. Especially measurable ones.

7. Talk about upskilling
This demonstrates your dedication to professional growth and your willingness to fulfill your work effectively. This could demonstrate to the interviewer that you are tenacious and have a constructive perspective on your experience. Talk about what you took away from it and how it inspired you to keep aiming for professional success.

Related Articles:
How To Write a Resignation Letter – Tips & Samples
How to Deal With Losing Job or Unemployment – Steps to Take
Steps to Take After Layoffs or Being Let Go
Getting Laid Off: What to Do & What it Means?


There’s a chance that during your interview, the interviewer might or might not inquire about the resume gap brought on by the layoffs. In order to feel more in control of your response and reduce any stress you might experience around the topic, address it yourself or bring it up in the interview before they do. Additionally, it might demonstrate to the interviewer your self-assurance, integrity, and initiative while reaffirming how you grew from the experience and want to progress your career. There are multiple choices for responding to a layoff. How you decide to include it into your response is entirely up to you.


1. How should you explain your reason for leaving if you were let go? 
Keep your justification for termination brief and to the point. In your justification, you might use phrases like “let go” or “work ended.” Give any pertinent information without disparaging your previous employment.

2. Should I bring up my layoff during an interview? 
The secret to discussing a layoff is to not be afraid of it. First of all, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s a fantastic chance to demonstrate to a future employer how you deal with challenges. Go in there, talk boldly about your work history, and demonstrate your adaptability to any circumstance.

3. How do you explain your layoff situation? 
Consider bringing it up in your interview if your termination was from a layoff rather than a performance-related reason. They won’t ask inquiries because they’ll most likely comprehend. However, in some circumstances, outlining your layoff provides the interviewer with context and influences their choice more 

Show More

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button