It’s never easy to tell another person they’re losing their job. But someone has to do it. And since you’re the manager, it’s always going to be you.
Focus on the interpersonal and communication skills in your answer. Give an example of how you used your empathy and soft skills to handle a difficult conversation.
Once, a fresh application support specialist joined my team. We discussed how we work and communicate, and set their goals for the next three months. We had weekly one-on-one meetings during the probation period to make sure we were on the same page. After a while, I noticed that my team member struggled with completing their tasks. The team confirmed they hadn’t been asked for help, too. I took it to our weekly huddle. We went through some examples to see what the problem was. I assured my team members that they can always come to the team or me and ask questions if they struggle. I also needed to make it explicit that unfinished tasks would have unpleasant consequences for our team and eventually them. Before we closed the meeting, we discussed ways of improving my employee’s performance, to which they agreed. Unfortunately, not much changed in the next month. My coworker didn’t complete many tickets, and those they did complete had significant mistakes. I decided to let the employee go. We arranged a meeting involving an HR representative and discussed why I’d taken such a decision. And without sugarcoating, I thanked the employee for contributing to building a positive atmosphere in the team. In the end, we scheduled the shipping of their belongings.