How Did The Job Match Expectations
The job may have perfectly met the employees expectations, or maybe it wasnt exactly what they were looking for when they were thinking about the next step in their career. Regardless, this question will help you determine where you could be clearer in your job postings and in your company image.
What to Look For
Listen for I thought I would be doing more of X or I was looking more of an X type of company. This will help you better refine your job postings and the way you represent your business online. If an employee was looking to work at a startup and youre an enterprise firm, youll want to screen future candidates for these expectations.
Where Are You Headed
Be general in sharing information with your next employer, if you have one. If you are taking on a different path like further studies or building your own businesses, then it is okay to be more generous with details.
Sidenote: Make sure to honor any non-compete clause your employment contract might have. A good number of contracts prohibit employees from being employed by businesses that are in direct competition. You would not want to get sued by your former employer once youre discovered to be employed by a competitor. Even if the offer is too good to be true, you are putting yourself at risk because your skills and possibly, trade secret will be put into used by the competition. If you are that ready to resign, it is best to turn down the offer of the competing company, inform them that you will need to for your non-compete clause to be voided to be employed by them and find better opportunities in another industry. You will know that competing company is serious in hiring you for your abilities or if theyre just keen on getting insider information from you.
What Is An Exit Interview
An exit interview is a conversation that happens between a company and an employee who has decided to leave the business. Its helpful to imagine them as the opposite of a job interview – instead of asking why they want to join your company, youre asking them why theyve decided to leave. The objective is to better understand why that employee has decided to resign, in the hope that the company can improve how it works and prevent other employees from following suit.
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Be Sure Of What You Want To Speak Of
There can be various reasons for which an employee decides to leave an organization.
So, the best thing to do is to pinpoint the factors you want to speak of instead of scrambling all over while answering exit interview questions.
Think about why you are switching your job, is it because of a bad job/ boss? Is it because you are not feeling challenged enough? Or, Is it because you cant fit into the company culture?
Think through the points you would want to cover and practice it well. Doing so will help you to stay on track while answering exit interview questions.
Also, practicing your answers beforehand will prevent you from an emotional meltdown at the time of the interview.
Come Prepared With Positives
Every job has its pros and cons, and an exit interview is a good time to point out all the positives of your role to demonstrate your appreciation and genuine enjoyment for your job.
Whether its the autonomy, challenging tasks, your team and manager, networking and travel opportunities, company lunches, the great location, or excellent benefits package, its good to make note of these areas to ensure they continue for other employees. It shows your interviewer youre capable of seeing the attractive parts of the job, especially if you need to raise other complaints.
Furthermore, weaving your appreciation into the exit interview means you leave on good terms you never know if youll come back to work for the same company in years to come, or if the HR manager ends up as the hiring manager for a future role.
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How You Feel About Your Manager And Other Leaders
This is an opportunity to recognize good managers and leaders, highlighting what made them so good, as well as identify toxic ones. If your manager empowered you to make decisions and has shown good emotional intelligence, thats helpful information for the organization. Just as helpful, is knowing about those who may be detracting from a positive working environment or are even a contributing factor to your decision to leave. This may be a boss who demonstrates bullying behavior or manages by instilling fear. In particular, when multiple exit interviews echo the same negative feedback, the organization has even more incentive to act on it. They might provide coaching to the leader in question to help increase their awareness and mitigate unproductive behaviors, or in more extreme cases, launch an investigation that may lead to further action. Rather than thinking of this as telling on anyone, consider it as shining a light on a problem to be solved in order to make things better for your soon-to-be former colleagues and the organizations future employees.
Exit Interview Do’s And Don’ts
With a robust job market percolating along, you may be thinking about changing jobs.
If youll be quitting, youll likely be told to go to an exit interview before hightailing it out. I cant 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.
Ill give you a few pointers in a moment, based on my own experience and my interviews with eight career consultants and HR pros who spoke on and off the record.
Ive resigned from five jobs during my career, and each time I dreaded the exit interview. In many ways, it was more nerve-wracking than the interview I had before being offered the job. In three exit interviews, my gut urged me to shout, Im outta here! and bare my soul about why I was jumping ship. I fancied that I wanted to help my soon-to-be former colleagues by letting the powers that be know what theyd better fix if they didnt want to lose more employees like me.
But my head, thankfully, told me to zip my lip. And, boy, am I glad I did. Im still regularly hired to work as an expert columnist and writer for former employers and bosses from my previous staff positions.
What HR Wants From an Exit Interview
My advice: Proceed with caution, or your words can haunt you down the road.
Closing the Door on a Future Relationship
5 Tips for Exit Interviews
For your next exit interview, follow these five tips:
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For Many Businesses These Are The Only Moments Where Those Honest Conversations Do Happen
Still, there are various reasons for workers moving on to participate, they agree. For one, it can make the employee look professional, agree both Pringle and Cotton, and leave a good final impression. And, adds Cotton, its nice to be nice.
Part of that niceness extends to creating a better environment for the people remaining at the company. Ben Branson-Gateley, CEO and co-founder of CharlieHR, a London-based HR software company, believes its important to do the good deed for the remaining employees, since itll be useful and helpful for them.
This can be particularly true in highly problematic work cultures, where issues like harassment or sexism may continue to affect colleagues well after one worker leaves. These kinds of red-flag issues are important to bring up so the company can look into and take action on them, says Pringle.
It may well be that other team members are experiencing the same, adds Cotton. And your experience may not benefit you. It will benefit the company. And it will benefit the colleagues who are around you.
For many businesses, these are the only moments where those honest conversations do happen, says Branson-Gateley.
and a good time be selfish and strategic
You should think hard about what you want from an exit interview before deciding how much to open up, experts say
But if the workers primary goal for an exit interview is a little bit of release, then saying nothing or being genial may not be in their best interests.
Ask Questions And Pay Close Attention In An Exit Interview
You will want to listen carefully to what you are told in an exit interview and make sure that you ask a lot of questions. This will help ensure that you are hearing what the employee is saying and what he or she is not saying, which are both important. It is easy to make a leap of faith and assume that you understand what the employee is describing, but the employee’s words may not accurately convey the employee’s true feelings.
During an exit interview, being attuned to the employee’s subtle differences in meaning is crucial to the usefulness of the information you receive. It’s also best to write down what the employee says because you don’t want to trust your memory. When you write down the responses that your exiting employee provides, the person receives the message that you care about the information that he or she is providing. This, in turn, may allow you to collect more information and feedback than you otherwise may have received.
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What You Need To Know About Exit Interviews
An exit interview is a meeting, discussion or survey you might be asked to take part in when youre about to leave a company or workplace, to share information about your experience there.
While the process varies from one organisation to another, youll most likely be asked questions either in person one-on-one, or through an online survey.
Often, exit interviews are organised by human resources departments, and surveys might be conducted through third-party companies.
Exit interviews help businesses find out why an employee is leaving and learn about that persons time at the company. Its also a chance for businesses to get feedback on things like culture, management, structure, morale, and workload.
Remember The Purpose Is Improvement
Even if youre leaving your company on bad terms, it pays to remember the purpose of the exit interview Q& A and discussion is to help improve the business and its operations.
For example, you might be asked about your relationship with your manager. If it was a poor relationship, you can say so but come prepared with ways this could have been improved, such as better communication, more transparency, or more training and development.
Rather than use this interview as a time to complain, criticise or go on the attack, use it as an opportunity to point out flaws that could be improved but always make practical suggestions so that the business can actually understand what would have produced a more successful outcome.
For example, if you mention that yourself and your team did not get along with a certain manager, the business may already have knowledge about this issue and have tried to make changes. But by specifying that you felt that better project management experience and clear planning was lacking from the manager and therefore caused poor communication, the business can pinpoint the exact trouble spots and address it from there.
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What Did You Like During Your Stay In This Company What Can Be Improved
Do express gratitude for training, experiences and the relationships you have experienced and cultivated during your stay in the company. No amount of unhappiness with the company can hide even just one good thing you have experienced.
When talking about areas of improvement, suggest, do not impose. And please do not bring your drama to the exit interview by recounting everything that has happened where you felt wronged. You are already resigning, so there is no need to harbor ill feelings and a sense of injustice during your exit interview. Bring up things that can be improved for the benefit of the remaining employees. Word your suggestions in a constructive manner and do not sound like you are on a personal mission to expose the personal discriminations you have experience. An exit interview may not be the wisest avenue to air those out. It may be great to bring that up in the future when you are already completely unaffiliated with company, so that you will not be accused of being overly emotional or taking everything too personally.
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Do’s And Donts For Exit Interviews
Here are more dos and donts to follow during your exit interview.
DO: Act professionally. Just like in any other interview, behave professionally in your exit interview. That doesnt mean you cant be critical or offer feedback on areas that need workbut avoid being nasty. And as much as possible, be positiveeven if you werent fond of the job, coworkers or company vibe. If you can, try to give at least one compliment during the conversation.
DONT: Complain, vent or be rude. Think of this as the flipside to the Do: act professionally advice. Your exit interview is not an appropriate time to complain about coworkers, a manager or assignments. Above all, be politeits fine to voice a critique, so long as its politely worded. Basically, dont be mean or hurtful.
DO: Share specific and helpful information. Was there a problem or situation that precipitated your job hunt and eventual departure? Thats something you can mention. If you do, keep it factualfocus on what happened as opposed to how you felt, and share specific examples. And, do your best to be a problem-solver, suggesting solutions where appropriate. That way, youll sound constructive and not like a complainer.
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Your Top Recommendations For Improvement
Identify the top one or two areas for improvement within the organization. These may also be the factors that would have kept you from leaving . These recommendations may include things like more flexible work options, more competitive compensation , a culture that is more welcoming of dissenting views, better upward feedback mechanisms, and so on.
Taking the time to share the information above can help focus the organizations improvement efforts. Good leaders make things better for others, and the exit interview is a small, but important, way to contribute to this aim.
- Rebecca Zucker is an executive coach and a founding Partner at Next Step Partners, a boutique leadership development firm. Her clients include Amazon, Clorox, Morrison Foerster, the James Irvine Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and high-growth technology companies like DocuSign and Dropbox. You can follow her on Twitter: .
Want to leave your job on good terms with bridges intact? Read on to learn more about exit interview questions, answers and tips to leave your job in the best way possible!
When we talk about a job life cycle, were typically laser-focused on the process of landing the job. We talk less about what to do on your way out.
Even if you are relieved to be saying your goodbyes, you dont want to accidentally light any bridges on fire. Your future career can be affected by how you navigate this transition.
How Could Our Working Conditions Improve
Working conditions cover a broad range of topics, including:
- Hours of work
- Work schedules
- Mental demands
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What Questions Will I Be Asked In An Exit Interview
Your exit interview might include questions like:
- What is your principal reason for leaving and why?
- What do you think we do well as an employer?
- What could be done differently?
- How would you describe to other people what its like to work here?
- What triggered your decision to leave?
- What advice could you give us in recruiting someone to fill your position?
- Is there anything we could have done to retain your services?
- Do you think this organisation provides a working environment free from sexual harassment and discrimination?
- What will your new position be?
- How do the salary and benefits compare to your current salary and benefits?
Distill Employee Anxiety During The Exit Interview
You need to assure the employee who is leaving that the feedback he or she provides will be combined with other employee feedback and presented to management in an aggregated format. This helps distill any anxiety on the part of the employee that there will be reprisals for less than positive feedback.
Employees are concerned about their reputations, and they worry about how the exit interview data will be used. They want to be assured that if they run into their manager or coworkers in the future, their information has been kept private.
How you quit your job can affect your future. So employees worry about burning bridges and leaving the employer with a less than favorable impression if they speak too honestly at an exit interview. Your goal is to create an environment in which the employee trusts that their feedback is used in an aggregated format with the goal of improving the organization.
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Encourage The Employee To Stay
In some cases, a company might use the exit interview to offer you a new position or new responsibilities under different circumstances. This doesnât happen often, but it is a possibility. As an employee, you should consider this before your exit interview. Are you willing to stay? If so, under what circumstances?