Tag Archives: how to handle exit interviews

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.