Should You Really Skip Your Exit Interview?

John Krautzel
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Companies employ an exit interview to receive feedback from employees who are leaving. This way, the employer can improve upon the position for the next time when a successor comes on board. Attending the interview might not seem like the best course of action for you. Discover several reasons to politely say "no" to your supervisor's or HR's request for your feedback as you're leaving.

1. Information Used Against You

Surely, some negative feedback will show up in the exit interview, even if you leave on good terms. Your former employer might use that negative feedback against you as you try to move forward when you get another position. Keep in mind, you probably have to sign a document or submit something in writing for your interview.

2. Lack of Benefits to the Process

Clearly, you found greener pastures somewhere else and don't have anything to say to the company. Perhaps you tried to bring up issues with the employer and your supervisor didn't listen, which may be part of the reason why you're leaving. The exit interview is simply a waste of your time.

3. Consultant

Spending 30 minutes of your time in an exit interview, especially since you're not an employee any more, means you're giving your time to your former employer. Rather than do that, tell your supervisor about your consultancy fee.

4. Lack of Owing Something

You don't owe your employer anything at this point. There's probably not anything in writing in your employee contract that says you must go through this exit process. If you left on your own terms in a fashion that's against your contract, you already know the consequences of the action in terms of losing bonuses and a severance package.

5. Worth Keeping You

Your employer should have scrambled to try to keep you long before you reach the point of leaving. In your mind, perhaps the employer just didn't care about keeping you and your talents.

6. Knowing How to Leave

You're a professional, and you know when an employer truly values worker feedback and when it doesn't. Feedback should be ingrained in the company culture, not just when you're going out the door. If you decide to attend an exit interview, do so with class and don't disparage the company, even if you're being honest.

7. Lack of Trust

Maybe you don't trust the person who is conducting the interview. In that case, politely turn down the opportunity.

8. Better Things to Do

You have better things to do on your last days at the job, such as preparing your department for your departure. Those are the people you should focus on rather than your supervisor.

9. Lack of Follow Through

Companies rarely change quickly. Feedback from outgoing employees probably isn't going to change the company culture very much.

10. Don't Feel Like It

Perhaps you just don't feel like attending the interview. Like coming up with a sick-day excuse, come up with one of 10 million reasons to not participate.

Leaving a company on your terms means you don't owe your former employer anything. Simply understand that an exit interview is not compulsory once you decide to leave your employment.

Photo courtesy of Michael Calla at


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    Know when it is time to exit. Sometime you do not have to do anything to have a cause for departure. It is important to discern when it is time to exit an employment.

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