How Honest Should You Be During Your Exit Interview?
Millions of people have quit their jobs this year, and many more are expected to join them.
The wave of resignations has presented a quandary for workers headed for the exits—namely, how honest to be with their soon-to-be-former employers about why they are leaving, where they are going and what is happening inside the organization.
In interviews with more than a dozen workers who recently quit their jobs, some said their former employers seemed acutely aware of burnout issues and wanted to know how to be better bosses. A few said their exit interviews seemed perfunctory, as though human-resources personnel were going through the motions.
While it might feel satisfying to air job-related grievances, exit interviews aren’t intended to be venting sessions, says Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation, a nonprofit focused on the challenges facing U.S. workers.
“A company that really wants to learn and grow and be a better employer is going to make that interview as comfortable as possible for you so that you are fully aware that there’s not going to be any retaliatory efforts,” she says. An employer is also documenting what is said, so it is important to carefully consider what you want in your file and be as constructive with criticism as possible, she adds.