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How to Conquer an Exit Interview

How to Conquer an Exit Interview

When quitting a job, you will often be required to attend an exit interview before you leave. This is a short meeting or a written survey that allows you to share with the employer the good and bad about the position and company. While it is important to provide honest feedback, if you come across too negative or rude, you could hurt your future relationship with the company.

Here are a few things to remember to help you conquer this interview. 

Leave Your Emotions Out of It 

Many individuals walk into the exit interview with plans to vent and complain. They may have years of built-up resentment towards the company, certain employees, etc., and they believe this is their opportunity to let it out. However, this is not the time and place. If you have a lot of anger and frustration you need to release, share it with others prior to the meeting, write it down, etc. Then, when you walk into the exit interview, you can focus on constructive criticism rather than your emotions.  

Keep Other’s Comments to Yourself 

If there is a consensus about a certain employee or boss, a process, etc., and the comment is appropriate to share, make it your own. You don’t want to share other employees’ complaints and get them into trouble or hurt their careers. As you provide your feedback, make sure it is what you truly feel, not the colleague who sat next to you.  

Provide Specific Examples 

To prevent the exit interview from turning into a session of constant complaints, provide specific examples of things that you dislike, things that can change, etc. This will not only help you appear more professional, but it will also give human resources a more complete picture of what you are saying. It will also improve the chance that your feedback is heard.  

Additionally, one common question asked in exit interviews is why you are leaving and what attracted you to a new company. If your new company offers a more competitive salary and benefits, etc., provide data to show this information. This will help your previous employer to become a better company, which is the goal of this meeting.  

Be Kind and Grateful

You may be leaving the company, but it is still important to be grateful and show appreciation for how it helped you. Even if you didn’t love the job. There is always some good that came out of it, even if it was just making ends meet for several months. It is important to thank your employer for the time you were given at the job. By being kind, positive, and gracious, you are less likely to burn bridges. Additionally, the company may provide you a positive reference and you are more likely to use previous employees for future networking opportunities.  

An exit interview, when done correctly, can become a wonderful opportunity for you and your previous employer. You can walk away feeling good about your choices and the company has valuable information to help them become better.