Exit Interviews: What are They and How Should They be Handled?

If you’ve found a new job, then before you think about getting settled in your new position, there are still some I’s to dot and T’s to cross at your existing workplace. The first step is to officially hand in your resignation. Once you’ve done that, you may be asked to attend an exit interview. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the exit interview, including what you can expect and how to behave.

What is an exit interview?

An exit interview is typically a face-to-face meeting with someone from the human resources department of your organisation that’s conducted just before you leave your job. It can also take place via video call or over the phone after you have left the company. It gives you the rare opportunity to tell your employer exactly what you think about your role, from the pay and your team to your boss and the overall culture of the company.

From the employer’s point of view, it allows them to gain honest feedback from workers who no longer have anything to gain by ‘towing the line’ and keeping quiet about issues within the company. As an employee, it allows you to air your frustrations and have your views heard, whether they’re positive or negative. It also gives you the chance to reflect on your experience, think about what you’ve learned and rethink your workplace expectations for future roles.

How should you approach an exit interview?

If you’re leaving because you aren’t happy in your current role, you might be tempted to see the exit interview as an opportunity to let off steam and tell the interviewer exactly what you think of managers and colleagues. However, if you plan to criticise the company, you should be honest, constructive and avoid talking in an emotional and negative way. You’re still likely to need a reference and even future work recommendations and professional connections, so it’s wise not to burn your bridges.

Here are a few tips to help you conduct yourself professionally.

  • Vent before the interview

If you have a lot to get off your chest, the best time to do it is before the interview with a friend, family member or trusted colleague. Unloading now rather than in the interview will allow you to release your emotion and frustration so you don’t boil over during the interview and say something you might regret. You can then approach the interview more constructively.

  • Be honest, not bitter

You might be leaving the company, but you are still performing a professional duty for your employer, so make sure you behave appropriately. Resentment, anger or being overtly negative will make you appear bitter, and your feedback is less likely to be taken seriously. Remember, this is not a therapy session.

  • Be specific and give examples

It will add credibility and weight to your responses if you give specific examples of the behaviours you’re describing. This will provide more value to the organisation and show the insight that you can bring, which is more likely to lead to a glowing reference and even a job offer in the future.

  • Give positive feedback, too

No workplace is all bad or absolutely perfect; they’re always somewhere in the middle. You should reflect that by balancing your negative comments and complaints with examples of what you think the organisation does well. That will make what you have to say seem more accurate and fair.

Find your new role at Linguistica Recruitment

Are you ready to move on from your current employer? At Linguistica Recruitment, we place talented bilingual professionals in rewarding roles across the south coast of England. Take a look at our current vacancies or submit your CV to our team. 

Interpersonal Skills: What Are They and How Can You Improve Them?

Having ‘good interpersonal skills’ is a near-ubiquitous requirement you’ll see on person specifications for all sorts of roles, but what exactly does it mean? In this article, we will take a look at what interpersonal skills are and the steps you can take to make improvements in this all-important area.

What are interpersonal skills? 

Interpersonal skills, also commonly known as people skills or soft skills, are the traits and behaviours you exhibit when interacting with other people. This umbrella term covers a wide range of skills and attributes, from the ability to lead others and work effectively as part of a team, to being a good communicator, listening attentively and having a positive outlook.

When employers want to fill a role, there will always be some balance between the technical and interpersonal skills they are looking for. For roles such as data analysts, software developers, statisticians and other jobs where the individual will spend a lot of time working independently, an individual’s technical skills will usually carry more weight. 

In other occupations such as sales roles, public relations and customer service positions, interpersonal skills will usually be more important than technical skills, but there’ll almost always be some requirement for both.   

Examples of good interpersonal skills

If you come across a job advertisement that asks for someone with good interpersonal skills, the person specification will usually expand on this and provide more detail about exactly what the employer is looking for. For example:

  • A positive attitude 

Negativity in the workplace affects engagement, productivity and the morale of the workforce, which is why a positive outlook is one of the most sought-after interpersonal skills among UK employers. Employers want new hires that have a can-do attitude, are engaged and will make the office a brighter place.

  • A good communicator

Being able to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing is an important requirement for many roles. At the very least, you should be able to make yourself understood. However, certain roles will require a far higher level of communication skills, with friendliness, confidence and the ability to adapt your communication style to your audience all important attributes.

  • Leadership skills

Leadership tends to be a skill we associate with managerial positions, and while it is essential for those who are directly responsible for others, it can also be valuable for those who work as part of a team. Being able to take the lead on a project could be a skill that gets you earmarked for promotion.

  • A good team worker

To be a good team worker, you don’t have to be the most popular person in the workplace, but you do have to be able to collaborate with colleagues and clients effectively. Good team workers are those who are good listeners, take responsibility, communicate effectively and value other people’s opinions.

Brush up on your interpersonal skills

Some people are very reluctant to change, but just as your technical skills can be improved, so can your interpersonal skills. If you feel like your interpersonal skills are holding you back, you should identify areas of weakness and work on improving them. 

Self-analysis is never easy, so asking friends, family members and colleagues for the areas they think you could improve on can be eye-opening. There are also interpersonal skills tests you can take online that will help you identify the skills that you can develop. 

Once you’ve identified the areas that are letting you down, there are online and offline courses you can take to improve your interpersonal skills. Alternatively, you can consciously put yourself in situations where the skills you want to improve will be required. For example, volunteer to lead projects or work as part of a team whenever the opportunity arises. 

Apply for bilingual roles across the UK

At Linguistica Translation and Recruitment, we can help you find bilingual roles across the south coast of England, from linguistic roles to customer service positions with interpersonal skills at their core. Apply online or submit your CV today.