Properly Preparing For Your Exit Interview

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Published: 17 Jul 2015      

While the main focus of a recruitment website such as this is to help you in finding a new job, there are still things from your previous position that you need to consider when applying. Perhaps the most important of these is your exit interview.

Not every institution interviews their former employees on their way out, but some will do. The interview generally consists on asking you about your reasons for leaving and what you thought about the company. It all sounds relatively harmless right?

The problem is that your answers during this interview could very well affect the reference you get from that employer when you are applying for new positions. As such, here we will look at a few tips to ensure you get through the whole ordeal unscathed and ready to begin a new career.

Keep Calm

Just like when you are on your way into a company, you should always keep calm when you are on your way out. This should actually be a lot easier than with your first interview, as you should now be comfortable around the people you are speaking to.

With any interview situation there are bound to be a few nerves, of course, but just remember that the pressure is off this time around and the people interviewing you know who you are and what your personality is like, so don't try to present a false front.

Be Honest...but not too Honest

Part of the reason that an institution will carry out an exit interview is that they want to make things better for future employees. That means that they will be willing to listen to the negative as well as the positive.

As such, you should make sure to balance your positive experiences with things that you believe could be improved. The key here is to not enter rant mode. Don't trash your former employers and rave about how awful they are. Simply give calm and collected feedback about all aspects of the job on which you are quizzed and remember that the way you answer may reflect on the reference you receive, so try not to be disrespectful.

Lead With the Good

With said reference in mind, it is always a good idea to lead with the positive aspects of the job. No employer wants to hear nothing but bad things about their company, so take a little time before the exit interview to think of the things you enjoyed while working there.

This creates a more positive atmosphere for discussion and allows you to more easily broach the subject of things that could be improved, when said subject comes up.

Be Curious About You

You should view your exit interview not only as a means to provide feedback about the company but also as a means to get feedback about yourself, which you can then use to improve as an employee in your next position.

None of us are perfect so don't be afraid to quiz your interviewers about what they thought about your performance in the company. If you are leaving of your own volition, then that means there must be enough positives for them to have kept you there. Just make sure that you are prepared for any negatives and that you use them to further your own personal career growth.


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