Leaving jobs and switching companies can be a necessary shift that many employees make over the course of their careers. Exit interviews are a necessary stepping stone in this journey. Exit interviews while beneficial to the organization can also be fruitful for employees in thinking critically and reflecting back on their work experience. Balancing the act of constructively giving criticism and discussing concerns can be hard and requires preparation.
The following tips can aid you in ending on the right note with your former employers and ensuring that your exit interview is fruitful.
The most crucial questions are going to be about the reason for your departure and the answers to those must be clearly and concisely stated by you. An analysis by Gallup found that 32% of people quit their jobs because of a lack of career advancement or promotion opportunities. The same study indicates nearly 17% of them leave because of management or the general work environment; 22% leave because of poor pay or benefits. Further probing would depend on what these reasons are for you, such as finding better opportunities, changing career paths, and moving elsewhere for familial commitments, amongst others.
Exit interviews should be taken as seriously as the initial job interviews and preparing for them is advisable. Working through your emotions in advance along with speaking to an objective third party can be helpful. You can also prepare questions that you would like to ask your employer during the exit interview.
While you may be probed for constructive criticism and be asked sensitive questions about colleagues, the work environment, or your boss, it is advised to be honest in your responses while avoiding any bitterness that may have come up in the departure process.
Make the most of the exit interview by giving specific examples for the points that you state. Being vague may make your feedback sound general and it may lose some credibility. Being specific also conveys your opinions more concretely and transparently, leaving a better impression on your employer.
The organization may look for your perspective on your job role and clarity, and how they could make it better. Provide sufficient information regarding it, while also displaying your proficiency and thorough knowledge of your previous role.
Organizations would like to know whether you had enough opportunities to grow and develop in your role. They would also probe regarding your relationship with supervisors and how you felt about their leadership. Providing calm and collected responses about these is also recommended.
Including positive elements of your experience at the organization — what you liked and appreciated most about the job, your team, and the organization is also crucial in your exit interview.
Identifying the areas of improvement and politely conveying them during the exit interview also leaves a good impression. These recommendations may include things like more flexible work options, more competitive compensation, a more accepting culture, or a better upward feedback mechanism. Pricing evidence and data for your recommendations may also be useful.
Overall, exit interviews signify the end of your time with an organization and the beginning of newer growth paths. Taking the time to share the aforementioned information can help focus the organization’s improvement efforts and can be a way for you to contribute to this aim.