Have you been considering looking for greener pastures lately? I can’t say I blame you. With the country slowly getting back economically, remote work’s growing popularity, and the on-going talent war, now’s the right opportunity to improve your career and finances. But wait, what about your current job? You can’t just leave without notifying your current employer, right?
Aside from writing an appropriate resignation letter, your employer may require you to take an exit interview before approving your resignation. Unlike the interview you do to get hired, a company uses an exit interview to find areas they can improve on. Here, you can talk about whether or not you were satisfied with your job.
To ensure your final conversation with your boss remains cordial, here are some tips on what you should say and do during your exit interview.
Clearly State Your Reason/s for Leaving.
One of the first things your boss would ask you during your exit interview is why you’re leaving them. Straightforward, right? Just be honest with your answer and state your reasons for leaving. Being honest about your reasons will allow your now previous boss to know how they can improve employee retention in the future.
When explaining your reasons for leaving, don’t be too vague about it. This interview is meant to help your previous company, so try to thoroughly explain how you came to the decision to leave.
For example, if your reason for leaving is your boss didn’t offer a permanent remote work setup, tell it to them straight. This will help them know that their employees may prefer working via online jobs instead of in an office.
Remember, This Is an Interview, Not a Rant Session.
When giving your assessment to your boss, don’t let your emotions get the better of you when conversing with them. Remain neutral and objective with your answers. Doing so prevents you from leaving negative feelings between you and your boss. This is still a professional interview, after all.
Don’t just talk about all the negative things you’ve experienced while working under your boss. Try to include your positive experiences as well. By doing so, you won’t sound like you’re ranting in front of your soon-to-be previous boss.
For example, when giving feedback regarding the management, be sure to state your criticisms as constructively as possible. Sure, you may have some… choice words that you want to say instead. But ask yourself this: “Are you sure saying those comments to your boss is worth it?” Why not leave in professional terms, instead? That way, they have negative to say against you.
Share Your Stories of Growth and Accomplishments.
Another way to make your exit interview more cordial is by talking about what you’ve gained from your boss. Criticism isn’t the only way you can offer improvements to your boss. Sharing what you’ve gained by working with them also tells them what they’re doing right.
When sharing your achievements with your boss, don’t just talk about the most significant ones. Talk about the ones that helped you grow both personally and professionally. Why so, you may ask? Because you can gain work skills in any company. Life skills, on the other hand, are rather hard to find.
Avoid Lying During Your Interview.
Whatever you do, don’t lie to your boss. Like in a job interview, lying brings nothing but trouble to you and your boss. Aside from being a source of feedback for your employers, an exit interview also helps you reflect on yourself and think critically.
So when asked by your boss for your thoughts and opinions, just say them honestly. That said, remember my previous tip to do this objectively and professionally. Being honest doesn’t mean you should be a jerk about it, you know?
Don’t Forget to Thank Your Boss for Everything.
Once you have finished your exit interview, be sure to thank your boss not just for the interview but for everything. Thank your boss for all the experiences you have encountered while working, co-workers you’ve met, and the skills you have developed under them.
If possible, you should thank your boss immediately after the interview, so you don’t waste their time and yours. But if not’s possible, or if you’re uncomfortable with telling it to them in person, you can send an email instead.
Saying Goodbye the Right Way.
And there you have it. Here are the five simple tips you can follow to have a cordial exit interview. Depending on your experience working for your boss, this could be very difficult, especially if they were a jerk to you.
But if you want to show how professional you are to them, the exit interview is the perfect place to do it. Following these tips will allow you to do this and leave confidently, knowing your previous boss won’t have anything to say negative about you.