Resume Writing, Career Advice and Job Search blog from ResumeWriting.com.
The Grindstone has an excellent, excellent post up about exit interviews.
The long and short of it is, how honest should one be in an exit interview? I can’t tell you the number of times this has come up with clients we’ve worked with. Of course, if you were happy at your last job, there’s no real dilemma here. You simply say how great the experience was.
But what if you didn’t like your job? What if you had, to say the least, some problems? Are you burning bridges if you are honest? Will being negative come back to haunt you? After all, this employer giving you the exit interview might someday be asked to give references for you.
The post itself deals with “ratting out” bad co-workers. But I think the bigger issue here is, could you tell your boss, to her face, that her management sucks? And even if you had the guts to do that, should you?
They make some excellent points. Maybe the boss already knows some of what you’re saying. Weigh that before you speak. Piling on, while it might make you feel better, might not be helpful.
For that matter, look into your own heart. Are you being negative just to be hurtful? Speaking up just to unload might help you emotionally but hurt you professionally. Be honest: are you trying to settle scores or be constructive? Because, the company will be going on without you, no matter what you say. If you’re just burning bridges, consider that it might be better to leave with some grace, rather than dropping a stink bomb on the way out.
As the post says:
Can you live without saying it? If the answer is, “Yes,” the truth is that you should probably keep it to yourself. You can give some light constructive criticism in your interview. You don’t have to lie on anyone’s behalf. But you shouldn’t slam people unless it feels absolutely imperative to your moral conscious. You want to leave with dignity and bridges in tact.