You are ready to leave your job to start a new adventure. Actually, you’re already in your notice period and are about to face your last days at the office. You can’t wait to be starting a new job when.. There’s just one more thing you might be asked to do: the exit interview. What? As the name suggests, it’s an interview that takes place when an employee is leaving the company. It’s very useful for companies and organizations to understand what can be improved or changed and whether there are problems and factors that make people leave. It’s also very important to create the right HR strategy. 

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I know you might feel stressed, even a lot more than you were for your first interview – but there’s no need to. What can they do, fire you?? (ha ha, sorry). However, it’s important to know what to say and how to say it if you don’t want to burn bridges (and you don’t). Please, don’t turn it into a “Why you ruined my life” monologue, keep it professional. Let’s see a few exit interview questions:

  • What is making you leave your current position?
    This is the number one question you’ll be asked. They obviously want to know why you want to take your things and leave.
  • How would you define your relationship with your manager?
    Even if you had a terrible relationship with your supervisor, don’t be mean. Everything you say will be reported to him/her and there’s no room for bad criticism. 
  • What did you like the most of this jobs?
    The nice part. See, you don’t get to only speak about the downsides. Here’s your chance to highlight the good things about your job and company. 
  • What do you dislike the most?
    Also in this case, don’t be too rude. Speak frankly about everything you don’t like in the company. Remember that HRs want to understand what is wrong and fix it for the future.
  • Why did you accept your new job?
    Again, be honest. It’s because of money? Or you feel frustrated in your actual position? You don’t feel at ease with colleagues? You want to leave the city? Explain your own reasons.

In some cases, it is possible to do the exit interview by phone. It depends on the company and HR staff style, I don’t think there’s a specific rule. Many employers prefer to do it via web, others make former employees fill an exit interview form. Get ready for all the different scenarios. If it’s a face-to-face exit interview, you’ll probably speak with someone of the HR, not your manager, for obvious reasons – he/she may be the cause of your department. So that’s why it’s better to have someone more equal and objective to listen to your delicate answers and someone who is not going to have some kind of influence on you. 

Final tips: don’t go crazy during your exit interview, vent your anger on someone else before it. Make sure you do useful and light criticism, providing a fact-based feedback. Leave on a professional note, don’t slam doors and ensure you can still have connections with your former employer and colleagues, it might be helpful in the future.