Understanding Exit Interviews and How to Handle Them

Thinking of changing jobs? Before you leave an organization, you are supposed to have an exit interview and it is the most important that you do the exit interview right. In some cases, exit interviews can be more nerve-wracking than an entry interview. Exit Interviews if not handled carefully might be haunting you in your future. The following article talks about what an HR expects from an exit interview and some tips to handle it effectively.

Exit interview starts with you filling few necessary forms that are mandatory when you are leaving an organization to an interview session with the HR. What most of you think that this is the time where you can help your soon to be former colleagues by letting the management know about the wrongs and ways to fix them if they want employees like you to stay. But on the contrary, the HR does not want to hear anything. You are no more than a formality on your last working day of your organization. On the other hand, there is hardly that is going to change even if you say it all. For your own benefit, keep good terms. You never know when you might want their reference or work from them partly.

You should practically never close your relationship with your former employer. It is important that you should be professional and pleasant at an interview even if it is the hardest task you have got at your tenure at the organization. When in an exit interview remember that only good endings make good beginnings.

What should you do in an exit interview? Here are 5 tips that help you handle exit interview with ease:

Exit Interviews

Airing your Gripes is Useless

HR mangers are least interested in how your manger was a numbskull. At an exit interview, it may be irresistible to hold your anger, frustration against your manager and you must have thought that this meeting you would let the authorities know everything that you feel. This is something that you should not even think about talking. The time when you could talk about your concerns was when you were still employed. Once you have resigned no one is bothered listening to you. So it is better to have cordial relations rather than being rude and closing your doors for any future relationship.

It is Better to be Prepared

Preparing for an exit interview is as important as preparing for a job interview. It is better to work on your emotions beforehand in order to avoid any overwhelming emotions flowing out at that time. Instead prepare to point out your views in a way that the manager thinks you are talking in terms that best fits the organization. Framing your opinions this way you will have a better chance of being remembered in the company.

Focus on the Positives: Exit with Grace

It is of no use being too critical at an exit interview. The challenge at an exit interview is to provide a non-emotional feedback. Talk about your learnings and the good times that you have had here. In general, the employer wants to know what did you like about the job and what if possible would you change about the organization. Keep your answer as simple and as professional as you can. Avoid adding personal experiences. You can add statements that have inspired you (if any).

Add Useful Information

Giving competitive information will keep your employers interested in the interview. Tell them if you are leaving because of a better compensation or benefits that the competitor is providing you. If you got enough opportunities for promotions and appraisals.

Plan Separate Exit Interviews with Your Team/Manager

If you really want leave a great last impression, then it is better that you have a casual talk with everyone that you were associated with and thank them for their support. As you prepare to leave your desk and bid goodbye, casually talk about the great times that you have had at your workplace and what according to you can add to the already existing work culture.


The art of managing a perfect exit interview lies in balancing honesty and being cordial. There is no need to be rude or arrogant in an interview. Framing an opinion in a way that your employer thinks that you are keeping him at front and talking his benefit will help you have an everlasting impact.

Author Bio: Akansha Arora is a professional writer and blogger who loves to pen down her views on a number of topics that interest a reader. She writes on plethora of topics that range from job oriented courses online to interview processes.


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