By Heather Eagar

Your exit interview. This can be one of the most uncomfortable parts of leaving a job. Most companies will request one no matter what the situation is and they can be held at inopportune times for you as the employee. Nevertheless, exit interviews are a must for progressive companies that want to look inward for reasons for an employee’s exit.

There are different viewpoints about exit interviews as to the need for them in the first place. Should the exiting employee participate in it? If yes, how will it benefit him or her? Secondly, an exiting employee can hardly afford to ignore the fact that his or her revelations can be used against them, especially if they are in writing.

Participating In the Exit Interview Is Your Prerogative

When you are faced with the exit interview, you need to think carefully about what you are going to say or write, as it can jeopardize any possibility of your re-employability, if there is any. Even if you are assured that your comments will not be used against you but for company analysis, you should still be diplomatic.

Five Tips To Help You Confidently Face The Exit Interview

On the surface, exit interviews serve to help organizations to correct themselves by collecting information such as possible discrimination, lack of opportunities, etc. So, picking up the motivation behind the exit interview will help you to know how to approach one.

1. Attending Is A Courtesy: On your part, attending the exit interview is usually not mandatory. Even though you are not going to gain anything from the exit interview, you must make sure that the interview is not being used against you. If at any time you suspect this is the case, simply excuse yourself.

2. Maintain Your Composure: Maintaining your composure is critical. The questions may appear trivial, although this may not be the case when you are being laid off or fired. Treat this as your chance to make them think again (and perhaps be sorry) for having fired you.

3. Do Not Sign Papers Hastily: There will probably be more than a few documents that will need to be signed, such as acknowledgement of your resignation or separation, and receipt of your final paycheck. But if you are asked to sign anything questionable, ask for time to review them, and to read and understand the contents. Ask whether it is mandatory. Any organization can always wait for a few more days.

4. Return Any Company Property: This could be documents, keys etc, but list all of them on paper and get the interviewer to acknowledge receipt of these things.

5. Commenting On Superiors And Colleagues: Typically, exit interviews are well structured and come down to the core issues. Remember, it is unnecessary for you to comment on someone (negatively) who you are not going to see for much longer.

Remember that the exit interview is probably not mandatory. If you don’t have time, or feel uncomfortable about the company’s motives, just politely decline the invitation to attend. It is best to leave things on good terms, when possible. Your exit interview can be the chance for you to leave your old job proudly and move onto bigger and better things.

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