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Career Advice

Tips for a Successful Exit Interview

Praise Those Who Deserve It
Did you enjoy collaborating with a particularly co-worker, or was there someone who taught you the ropes and helped you achieve? Be sure to single these people out for recognition. This type of information helps employers identify prospective leaders and mentors while painting you as a team player who appreciates the value of others’ knowledge and contributions.

Besides, it never hurts to throw bouquets at the deserving. Your compliments may well get back to their subject, and who knows where that person will be working 10 years down the road? You may walk into a job interview and see a friendly face looking back at you or get a call saying, “Hey, remember the good times we had at Company X? Come work for me now.”

Discretion is the Better Part of Employment
Do not consider your exit interview a safe or appropriate place to air grievances, badmouth bosses or vent anger. There is no amnesty being offered here. The work world is getting smaller all the time, and a “disgruntled employee” reputation spreads quickly and clings dangerously.

This is a particularly important point if you were fired from the job in question. Remaining even-tempered and professional gives you the chance to take the upper hand and be the bigger person. The goal is to leave the interviewer thinking, “Why did we decide to get rid of her? That was stupid.”

Exit interviews are also sometimes used as a bargaining chip in exchange for a positive recommendation letter, which certainly beats leaving empty-handed. In the case of a firing, the exit interview is your last chance to convince management to let bygones be bygones. There is a big difference between not wanting someone to work for you anymore and not wanting them to work ever again. Make sure you at least persuade the powers that be to choose the former over the latter.

Stay Positive
Regardless of what circumstances prompted your parting of ways, it is important to project respect for yourself and this former workplace. Let the higher-ups know you value the opportunities they afforded you while at the same time doing everything you can to portray yourself as a valuable employee. If you are leaving for another job, describe the qualifications you were hired for that these current employers may not be aware of. Something may get lodged in the interviewer’s head and click down the line when the company is looking to fill a new position or hire an expert consultant.

An exit interview is your last chance to make a good impression. Use it wisely. Successful employees make a point to always sell themselves, even to former employers. Most industries are surprisingly small with personnel reshuffling all the time. So it just makes good sense to leave with a smile.

Erin Palmer writes about business administration and human resources related topics for US News University Directory. For more information please visit http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com

Need help on how to Search and Apply for Jobs – you might want to check out TheEmployable ebook.

Still feel that you need more interview advice? Check out Anson Reed, specialists in online interview training and 1-2-1 Interview coaching

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One Response to “Tips for a Successful Exit Interview”

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