You decided to move on to the next job.

Congratulations to you!

You have given your notice and you received a company email inviting you to an exit interview and they are requesting your valuable feedback. Now you are wondering – should you participate in the exit interview process?

Ask anyone and you will get a different opinion.  I have my own opinion, and I thought I would find out what others thought. 

Both sides are captured below.

   Pros –  Be Civil, Be Cordial, Be Careful.
Exit Interview Do’s And Don’ts, by Kerry Hannon.     

If you sincerely want to participate in the exit interview process – there are some things to consider in advance.  Do. Not. Wing. It.  The article’s author cautions:  “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do this right. Say the wrong things and you could harm your career if you either want to get a reference from your nearly-ex employer or one day decide you want to come back”.

18 Things You Should Never Say During An Exit Interview, Jacquelyn Smith.   

The jury is till out whether there is actual value with exit interviews.  Human Resources will assure you that there is.  With a concise statement, Jacquelyn reminds us “People tend to have mixed feelings about these conversations”.

How to Give an Exit Interview That’s Satisfying…but Not Completely Destructive, Chelsea Peng.   

You might want to return to the company in the future.  Remember when your grandparents stated “don’t burn your bridges”.   Chelsea gently plants the same seed with “… if you don’t slam that first door shut, your next *next* move could be waiting for you right there.”

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   Cons – Avoid Like the Plague

Here’s Why You Should Say No to an Exit Interview.     

You will be SO tempted to have a heart-to-heart talk with an “impartial” person from Human Resources and you are truly convinced that they will want to hear your valuable feedback.   

“An exit interview is not therapy. Often, it’s not confidential either, regardless of well-intentioned assurances from HR.”

The Truth about Exit Interviews, Liz Ryan. 

During the on-boarding process, did they discuss exit interviews?  During your last “360 degree” feedback session, was the exit interview a talking point?  What about during your last annual performance evaluation?  According to the article’s author –   

“… if they don’t ask for your priceless wisdom before you’re walking out the door, they don’t deserve it.”

~ Liz Ryan
Ten Reasons To Skip Your Exit Interview, Liz Ryan.     

Your gut feeling tells you that you should not have this conversation.  You cannot explain it.  You were ready to move on, and you nailed a job offer.  Should you listen to your gut?  Liz gives you a resounding yes!,  explains why  by starting with”An exit interview can be a prelude to character assassination”.   If you read none of the above articles – at least read this one.  Action with knowledge is preparation.

You can decide what works for you – and what does not.  It’s your career and your sanity.  So happy that you are moving forward to your new space and opportunity.


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