Say constructive comments and ensure you have positive things to say about your time in the organisation
Don’t use the time and space to retaliate or get emotional. Instead, consider exit interviews as an opportunity to make one last good impression
It’s that time of the year when a number of organisations see a lot of new faces. No matter how wonderful an organisation is, it is but inevitable that at one point or another, an employee will quit. While this can be unfortunate or fabulous, depending on the person and the circumstances, the turn of events that follow the decision can be a learning experience for the company and the employee. The secret lies in the exit interview.
On the one hand, it gives the organisation an inexpensive and valuable opportunity to collect data, devise policies to improve employee retention and nurture a culture that values employees’ input. On the other, it teaches the employee a few lessons on how to make a smooth exit. A few suggestions for the rookies on how to conduct themselves in an exit interview:
Don’t burn bridges
The most important rule of all is ‘Don’t burn your bridges!” Irrespective of the circumstances, it is best advised to take the high road and leave things on a positive note. Do not use the exit interview as a platform to retaliate or get overtly emotional. As far as possible, say constructive comments and ensure you have positive things to say about your time in the organisation. You never know what the future holds in store and you may need a reference from this former employer.
Be honest, give constructive feedback.
If you are asked for a feedback, don’t hesitate
“Being truly honest will hurt and offend,” says a good friend, who has gone down this road before. However, it is important to know that recommendations (constructive feedback / possible solutions) are appreciated and not rants. While sharing a meaningful dialogue with the former employer is good, keeping the conversation short and sweet will help in revealing too much. This will help set a positive tone and prevent you from leaving people with an unfavourable impression of you that could tarnish your professional reputation.
Post a positive outlook
Treat the exit interview like an opportunity to make one last good impression. Show that you are positive about the future but at the same time communicate in clear terms that you harbour no negative feelings toward the organisation. Emphasise more on what lies ahead and use that as the fulcrum to stress the reason as to why you are quitting (if this is the case). This serves a dual purpose, it saves you from having to say anything at all about the job you're quitting and it helps you stay honest too.
Ensure that you make a smooth exit, and once you do, any negative feelings (if you harboured any) will fade into the distance. It is only then that you can put all of the positive energy where it belongs – into your new job.