How to Nail Your Exit Interview

January 14, 2022

Companies use exit interviews to do everything from extracting confidential information from key employees, to getting NDA forms signed, to learning more about ways to improve the company culture. From an employee standpoint, the exit interview is your last chance to make a certain impression about yourself; because exit interviews are referred to when you need a reference for your next job. Here’s how to nail your exit interview.

Avoid Badmouthing

This is not your chance to lay all your grievances on the line about your boss or coworkers. If you’ve kept all your complaints to yourself so far, you can do it for another hour or two until your exit interview is over. You don’t want to leave a sour taste in your absence.

Offer Constructive Criticism

The HR team will likely ask your opinion about areas for improvement. It’s not your responsibility to fix what’s wrong, especially now that you’re leaving. However, one or two carefully worded notes of critique will be appreciated. Have something ready that doesn’t criticize anyone in particular; keep criticism general.

Have Solutions Ready

The key to getting your criticisms heard is to have a solution ready. Offer some ways that the company might work to resolve any criticisms you bring to light. This will make it appear that you still have the company’s interest at heart, even though you may not.

Be Patient

Exit interviews can be tedious, and sometimes the HR team doesn’t have the process entirely together. Therefore, there may be long waiting periods where you’re sitting and wondering what’s next. Just be patient. It will all be over soon, and you can be on your way.

When the exit interview is complete, smile and give a handshake. Thank them for the opportunity and then calmly leave. Once you get in your car you can breathe a sigh of relief that you are on to bigger and better employment horizons!