In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter answers a viewer’s question about what to say on an interview when he was let go for not hitting quota.

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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm referred to as The Big Game Hunter Because I've been hunting down leaders and staff for organizations for more than 40 years. One of my followers today sent me an email. Excuse me, if I read it, and thus take my eyes away from the camera.

I recently lost my job due to my employer consistently raising and raising my quota to a number which I could not reach. How do I convey this during an interview for future sales positions in which they want to hear you meeting or surpassing goals, in which for about 80% of the last four years, I was either above or on track, but just fell short last month in June. Please help. I thoroughly admire your straight to the point no nonsense No BS advice.

So that's the question. And to point it in the most succinct way, I didn't hit my numbers. What do I say on an interview? The simplest thing I can say is, I didn't hit my numbers. I've hit them 80% of the time. But the point of blindly hitting my numbers was like being someone who had the carrot put up further and further from them. Now, every time this happened, I hit him. So I stretched and I stretched and I stretched. I hit or exceeded my numbers.

The however is in June, I didn't. That's the fact of it. I got to 77%, I got to 75%. Now, that exceeded what I previously hit. But it still wasn't this arbitrary number that got created. In the past, I hit arbitrary numbers, I'm not gonna lie to you, I didn't hit it this time.

And it's not just what you say that's important. It's how you say it, that's critical. If you're casual and not defensive, they understand because they've been in the same seat you have. And if they don't understand, what they're telling you is, they're going to do the same thing to you. Do you really want to walk into that? Do you want to join an organization that isn't going to be constantly putting the carrot further out from you? \

So don't sweat it. You've got to put the story in front of them in a way where they can understand what you did, how you went about doing it, that you made or exceeded your numbers, how much is sold in the way of business. Now it's the quantitative number, the whole number, not the percentage of quota here that I'm talking about.

So if they increase quota from (I'm just picking a number arbitrarily from 1 million to 1.19. Just for the sake of argument, he hit 1.05. Instead of 1.1. It's still a big number. Give him the opportunity here what the total number was, you didn't hit the arbitrary number. But you weren't involved in that decision making someone from down high looked down and said, "that is the number. We're going to deal with this. He's got to hit this number," without really consulting with you.

So again, the long the short of it is. you tell them the story and contextualize it for them. You do it in a way where you are sincere and to the point, and you don't lie, because eventually they may want to check a reference; they'll find out that you didn't hit the number, so don't waste your time.

This is Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I hope you liked today's video. If you did and you're watching on YouTube, click the like button down below. Let people know that you found it helpful. It'll help them and, frankly, it'll help me because it's gonna improve my rankings with YouTube.

If you're going to watch it at my website or actually come over my website, the address is You can watch my other videos there or on YouTube. On YouTube, you can subscribe to my channel there, which is All one word,

If you're watching at my website, sign up for a complimentary subscription to No BS Job Search Advice Ezine (discontinued) which I publish weekly with advice for job hunters good anywhere in the world. You can read previous articles I've written for it there, you can post your resume to a whole bunch of sites from mine (discontinued). You can listen to podcasts of my radio show . . . There's a whole bunch of information and know I deliver it in a no BS way that can help you with your job search.

Let me also say that you can find out about my books and guides to job hunting, as well as other people's books and guides. So come to Find out about some of the positions I'm recruiting for (discontinued), as well as my coaching program, which is called VIP personal search agent. And what I try to do is speak to you from the place of not being a recruiter who's concretely trying to help you get a job, but to coach you through a lot of situations that you're going to run through as part of being a job Hunter. It's not cheap, but it's great. It's helped people get to work for a long, long time and Lord knows over my 40 plus years doing recruiting, I've helped hundreds of thousands of people find work either directly or indirectly.

Now two final things. First of all, if you haven't already done so, send me a connection request on LinkedIn. The address is I accept connection requests from people all over the world except if you're a third party recruiter or in a country known for scams or spam.

Finally, if your firm's trying to hire someone, send me an email at the address below. Let me know who to contact and whether or not I can mention your name. I'd love to help your firm staff a position (discontinued). This is Jeff Altman. Hope you have a great day. Take care.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Schedule a free Discovery call.

If you have a quick question for me, you can get it answered with a 3-5 minute video at Want to do it live? offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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