Exit Interviews – Know Everything Before Appearing for One

05 Jun 2021

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Exit Interviews can seem daunting, but they aren't as complicated as many people make it out to be. By handling it objectively and smartly, you can turn the attention of the management towards the shortcomings of the company and can prompt positive changes in the company.

If you are likely to sit in an exit interview soon, we hope these tips, insights, and debunked myths help you ace the entire process like a pro. All you need to do is be confident, answer questions with complete honesty, and remember that everything should be done professionally and without any personal vengeance against a team member or a person in the management.

With everything that builds up to the suspense of an exit interview, most people often misconstrue the concept, making it seem a lot more daunting than it is.

Here, we will be highlighting every last factor that you need to know about exit interviews and how you can tackle them successfully.

What are Exit Interviews?

An exit interview is a meeting conducted between a leaving employee and the company's management to settle claims, discuss grievances and draw up referrals to end the journey on a good note.

The primary reason why companies conduct exit interviews is to assess the overall employee experience during their tenure. They enable them to discover their loopholes and drawbacks, which will help them improve employee retention and engagement in the future.

Tips to Successfully Ace your Exit Interview

Following are some of the best tips to ace your exit interview:

Avoid Venting or Unnecessary Ranting

No company is perfect. There will be a range of flaws in the system. You might have found several protocols faulty. And, while an exit interview seems like the perfect time to vent and complain about such issues, it technically isn't.

If there are issues that you want the management to work on, you can always whip up a "no holds barred" resignation letter to the head of the management and operations. This way, you can address the concern privately and the person who will introduce the changes in the company.

Plan Ahead of Time

If there are issues that you want to discuss, talk to a person in the higher authority and hash things out. Draw out the best outline for the same and list out the pointers accordingly.

Having a proper plan of action, be it in terms of your discussions and suggestions, makes the whole procedure a lot more constructive and professional.

Leave with a Positive Outlook

One of the primary objectives behind a company conducting an exit interview is to improve the overall workplace culture and get feedback on how well their employees are treated during their tenure in the company.

So, if you are leaving the company because of poor management or have received a job with better pay, let your company know that in the exit interview.

Exit interviews should never be emotion-driven, which means that you can't make up instances to shame or demean someone or the company, in general.

Be Specific with Examples

If you were not happy with how a team lead handled a project, you need to express why and back the same with instances you would've expected to happen instead.

Doing this makes your feedbacks a lot more credible and worthy of taking into consideration. Being specific also provides the employer with insights necessary to ensure that future employee retention is done well.

Sample Exit Interview Questions You Can Prepare Yourself With

Although exit interviews are subjective and the questions will vary from company to company, there are a few standard ones that are a quintessential part of the process.

Why are you leaving your position? What made you take this decision?

The first and likely the most common question your soon-to-be former employer will ask you is about the reason behind your resignation.

Remember that the employer is expecting two answers to this question-

You are leaving for a better opportunity

You are leaving due to personal reasons

Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with either. Give an honest answer to let them know what persuaded you to take this decision.

Do you have any feedback or suggestions for the management?

Bring a piece of paper with the outlined feedback and suggestion you wrote down. Doing so helps your former employer understand any loopholes in the management from the perspective of an employee.

Would you want to share some positive time in the company?

Just because you are leaving your job doesn't mean it is out of spite. There will be positive instances in your work experiences, and you need to reminisce those moments. If there was a moment during that made you proud of what you have done all this while, speak about it.

Do you think the company supported your career goal?

Another vital answer that your employer is looking for is whether their company's goals matched with yours or not. Share instances where the company was able to support your training throughout your work tenure.

Would you recommend this company to someone seeking employment?

This is a tricky question and can put you in a spot, especially if you are vague. Answer this question depending on your experience working in the company. Put out instances when and why you would or wouldn't recommend this company to someone seeking employment.

Dispelling Common Exit Interview Myths

With the common exit interview questions out of the way, let's break down and destigmatize some of the myths. Here are a few misconceptions that you need to know about:

Exit Interviews are Always Conducted Before the Employee Leaves

The main objective of an exit interview is for the management to understand the loopholes and the shortcomings in the company from the employee standpoint. So, it doesn't matter whether it happens before the employee leaves or joining a new company.

A Paper-based Exit Interview is the Same as a Face to Face One

No, it isn't. Like any other interview you are part of, even an exit interview conducted in person is better than a paper-based one. You can hardly get a transparent answer or viewpoint with a simple paper-based discussion.

Exit Interviews Are Only Handled by HR Executives

Not necessarily. There are instances where companies have involved a range of other active employees as participants in an exit interview. This includes the team members of the employee that is resigning.

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