I was recently fired for cause. My termination was due to a singular issue at the end of my tenure, otherwise I was in good standing with my previous employer (for 32 years).

I'm concerned that being fired will invalidate the great work I did up to that point when discussing my previous role with future employers. I want to emphasize the good work I did while acknowledging I left on bad terms.

How should I address questions about my termination in a job interview? I was fired for being associated with the issue, not necessarily being the individual chiefly responsible for what happened - does this distinction matter to future employers?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of How do I answer why I left an employer when it wasn't my choice to leave?
    – gnat
    Aug 20, 2019 at 16:58
  • 1
    This question is vague and overly worded. Consider revising for people to answer.
    – MacItaly
    Aug 20, 2019 at 23:32
  • 1
    Country tag could help. In some jurisdictions firing caused by unproven accusations is simply illegal and should be taken to court.
    – Mołot
    Aug 22, 2019 at 20:46
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    Why is this getting downvoted? Downvotes on questions should reflect the quality of the question, not an approval or disapproval of the situation the OP is in.
    – Jay
    Aug 23, 2019 at 0:14
  • The question is still way too vague. Seb, you need to clarify more on the issue itself. Were you involved in a train-wreck project? Did you get into a public argument with the CEO? Smuggle contraband through the company loading dock? Violate the dress code by wearing loafers instead of oxfords? I mean, I could answer, "Don't bring it up, but don't avoid it - just tell the honest truth" but it probably wouldn't be the best answer if you were selling credit card info from compromising your company's database.
    – Kevin
    Aug 23, 2019 at 20:39

3 Answers 3


Don't think about it and don't bring it up.

There's no thing that you can do at the office where you are solely responsible - responsibility is always shared - although blame normally lands on one person. Often, the least powerful person who can plausibly take the blame.

Offices are filled with people, not angels.


It really depends on why you were terminated and where you are since different laws apply with regards to what you can say and what you shouldn't.

But don't be pessimistic about it. Only a crazy person would think that one error, even a big one, invalidates decades of good work.


It sounds like you were fired for knowing too much. With this knowledge came a responsibility (whether you wanted it or not) and as you saved and guided folks, protecting them the perils they could not see, they were threatened by you or possibly they have to, like so many others, learn things the hard way (on their own) at the cost of the company of course. Does this matter to future employers? i don't think so. There is another employer out there that will be most interested in the terrific work you've done in the past, and when they hire you they will be doing everything they can to make sure your new job is a success for you, as your success will be a reflection on them.

  • 4
    What... on... earth...? I can't see how you managed to take the OP's question (either the original or the edited version) and come up "Sounds like you were an angel that protected people from unseen perils."
    – Kevin
    Aug 23, 2019 at 20:30

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