Your exit interview is not the time for honesty

Photo courtesy Flickr user Scott

(MoneyWatch) Perhaps you're under the delusion that the exit interview you conduct with human resources is an opportunity to expose management problems, ineffective organization, and counter-productive processes at the company as you embark onto something bigger and better.

Not even close -- that's the assessment of Robbie Abed, founder and CEO of RawDesigner, a mobile app development company. Recently, Lifehacker hosted Robbie's blog in which he made specific recommendations about how to conduct yourself in an exit interview.

Robbie contends that exit interviews don't serve the purpose you think they do -- and if you try to use one honestly as a tool for giving feedback to your former employer, you'll only burn bridges. Specifically, he says:

  • If you don't have anything nice to say, then lie.

  • Anything you say in an exit interview will find its way back to the affected individuals. Complain about an ineffective manager, and HR will brief that manager's manager -- who will probably tell the manager. Consider your bridge burned.

  • Assume that HR already know about all the potential issues you have in mind and that nothing you say will help the company or the people still there.

What has your exit interview experiences been like? Have you ever unloaded on HR with double barrels of truth, and have you seen any blow back from that later on? How honest are you when you leave a company? Tell us your annecdotes in the comments.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Scott

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