How to manage an exit interview

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2022 by Recruitment ExpertNo comments

Many businesses use an exit interview to learn more from leaving employees than they can from those within the organisation. They are hoping that you will be more candid and may even reveal problems for staff retention. However, you need to approach an exit interview in the way that’s best for you, ensuring a number of different things, from a good reference to not burning bridges with professional relationships.

Here our top London recruitment agency takes you through how to approach an exit interview.

Think about it advance

You should be told about an exit interview in advance, so you can give it some thought.

Emotions may be running high, depending on your reason for resigning. However, you need to prepare how to professionally share what you want to share. Indeed, you may decide that it’s not in your best interests to share the full story, and that’s ok. If you do decide to share negative things about working for the company, you need to consider how to word them accurately, fairly, and in a way which reflects positively on you.

Preparing what you want to say in advance can help you manage your nerves more effectively too.

Offer thanks where you can

In order not to burn bridges, think about the ways in which you are grateful to the organisation. Have they helped you develop particular skills or achieve certain goals? Gratitude can go a long way. You never know when you may encounter colleagues and senior managers again, if they should leave the business too, so it’s useful to leave them with a favourable impression.

Ask about your reference

It’s ok to ask about your reference within the exit interview. Indeed, you can help shape it by mentioning core achievements and the value you’ve added within the workplace. This strategic approach ensures that certain successes are high in the mind of your manager and/or HR when it comes to writing your reference for your next job.

Be realistic and calm

You may have fantasised about an exit interview where your bosses suddenly come to their senses and do things like apologise for a toxic working environment, or suddenly offer you the pay rise you’ve been after.

In reality, by the time you get to the exit interview stage, it’s unlikely that anything will change. Be realistic about this.

But also be calm. The exit interview isn’t a time to vent your grievances afresh. This should all have happened previously and it’s no benefit to you to stoke any burning embers.

Leave on a positive note

When the exit interview ends, be positive. Talk positively about your next opportunities and hopes for the future. Don’t burn bridges and consider how you can retain a professional connection with the organisation, if possible.

Look to the future

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