The job market continuously changes to match the growing new industries. As a result of these changes, we find ourselves finding jobs that matches our preference and skills which were not available before. However, before you can quit, you may end up having to attend an exit interview.
But, what exactly is an exit interview and can it affect your future career?
What is an exit interview and what your HR wants to know?
An exit interview is a formality for your former company to find out why you are quitting. They will sort out all the paperwork to finalise your resignation, including your referral to your new company.
With this said, whatever you say in the interview can be used against you, especially if you are looking for a referral.
However, a good company will conduct a proper exit interview. Not by asking your boss to do it, I mean, not everyone wants to or can tell your boss that the reason that you want to leave your job is because you can’t stand your boss’s guts.
Usually, an exit interview is done by an external party like a HR or a manager from a different team / department. It should be conducted in the privacy and with formality, not over a lunch at the company’s cafeteria.
Here are some of the things your HR wants to know during your exit interview:
Why are you leaving your job?
Duh! This is the number one question your HR will definitely ask during your interview. Here, they will figure out what caused you to leave and what lapses they missed before they hire another one.
Do you think you have what it takes to do your job well?
With this question, they are trying to figure out what their qualified employees felt in their position. They may also use this question to gauge the hiring qualification of your position as well as to suss out the loopholes in the training department.
Did you have a good relationship with your team leader or manager?
This is not a trick question. Sometimes, the reason why you quit is because of your team leader or manager. Your HR wants to know every detail, including your suggestions to prevent it from happening again.
What did you like/dislike about the job?
For these questions, your HR wants to know what they can do to improve the job position and how to dress up the job opening.
What should we look for in your replacement?
Your HR is asking you here what kind of employee they should look for to handle your vacated job. This will help them update the job if necessary.
Tips when going to an exit interview
If you are scheduled for an exit interview, here are some tips you should remember:
1. Don’t vent during the interview
Your HR doesn’t have the time to listen to all your frustrations about your manager or your job during the interview. Vent somewhere else, like in your resignation letter, and detail why you are resigning. Make sure to give this to your HR before your interview.
2. Plan for the interview
Before your interview, plan for it like you are going for a job interview. Prepare how you will answer the questions without sounding like you are venting.
3. Think of the positives
When you answer your HR’s questions, you shouldn’t sound too casual or critical. Your answers can spell trouble for the people who are involved with you and affect the company in general.
Try your best to give professional advice to the company but keep it brief. Say why you loved the job and how it will benefit you in your future career. You can also thank the company for giving you a shot so you won’t break up with them in the wrong foot.
So should you be brutally and utterly honest?
Yes, you should be honest but be professionally polite. That means no name-calling, no shaming and no bias. If you want to air your grievances, do it while citing examples and incidents. Offer suggestions of your own and be practical about your solutions.
Be careful not to burn bridges (unless your leaving reason is due to abuse). You may never know if you will one day return to the same company or the HR that you are bitching to, ends up working in your new workplace.
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