Career Tools

A good Exit Interview

Category: Post Interview

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Generally most people want to leave their current employment on good terms – it is best practice and sound advice. So, if you've agreed to participate in an exit interview, you should plan ahead of the interview to ensure you exit on the best possible terms.  Here are five tips to guide you through a successful departure.

Preparation
Ensure you receive at least 48 hours notice to allow you to prepare. Preparation should include obtaining a copy of your personal file (if permitted).  Reviewing your personal file will allow you to consider reference to any disagreements, or discontentment, equally any promotions or recognition.  Anticipating any awkward questions will provide you with the time to develop a smooth and neutral response.

Some possible exit questions to consider:

  • What is the key reason you are leaving?
  • Is there anything we could have done to have prevented this decision?
  • What have you found positive and satisfying about employment here?
  • What are some of the key areas you feel we can improve on?
  • Would you recommend employment with us to a friend?

Arrive On Time and Dress Appropriately
An exit interview is still part of your employment history with the company.  Conduct your exit interview in a professional manner, arriving on time and appropriately dressed. This will be the final impression of you and will be included within your personal file – remember you want to leave on good terms.

Remain Neutral if Asked a Question for Which You Are Unprepared
Regardless of your preparation, there is always the possibility that you'll be asked a question you are unprepared to answer.  Do not hesitate to take time to reflect, there is no necessity to rush simply to avoid silence. If you feel uncomfortable answering a question, don’t make it up, be honest and admit to feeling awkward and pass on providing a response.

Conclude the Interview
Remember to be gracious and professional, even if you are not leaving your company on the best of terms. In business you never know when the contacts you've made and the relationships you've forged will play a role in your professional future. Keep the interview atmosphere as cordial and professional as possible. End with a thank you.