Insights and advice about jobs and hiring in the Lehigh Valley.

How to Professionally Say What’s Been on Your Mind During an Exit Interview

You gave your notice at your current job two weeks ago, and you’re about to head out the door. The last official duty you have as an employee of your soon-to-be former company is to complete an exit interview.

To be honest, you decided to leave your job because you weren’t happy at the company. Maybe you had a bad boss, felt the company culture was toxic or were left with no room to grow. Regardless, you’re nervous about the exit interview, because you don’t want to say the wrong thing.

There’s no need to worry, because you can absolutely say your piece without being unprofessional. Here’s some advice to help you speak your truth.

4 Ways to Professionally Handle an Exit Interview

Be Polite

It’s okay to share negative feedback, but do so in a respectful manner. The person doing your exit interview probably has nothing to do with the less-than-ideal experience(s) you’ll share, so don’t take it out on them.

Having an attitude, making rude comments and using foul language will make them think you’re the problem. Conversely, sharing negative experiences in a polite manner will make you more believable and allow them to focus on your story, instead of your delivery.

Be Honest

Companies do exit interviews to find out what departing employees liked and disliked about their experience. They want you to be honest, so tell the whole truth — but also nothing but the truth. This means you should feel empowered to speak your mind, but don’t exaggerate stories or tell them in an unclear manner that’s hard for the interviewer to interpret.

Give Specific Examples

The best way to really drive your point home is to tell stories about your experience with the company. For example, if you’re leaving because your job description didn’t match the actual job, give specific instances of tasks you were asked to complete that shouldn’t have fallen on your desk. This will allow the interviewer to get on the same page with you, so they can really understand where you’re coming from.

Offer Constructive Advice

As the person leaving the position, you’re in the best place to offer advice for the next hire. Think about the changes that could be made to set the next person up for success. This might involve offering better training or hiring someone with a certain type of experience. The interviewer will appreciate this feedback, because it can help them find a new hire who will be a better match for the position.

Ready to take the next step in your career? HTSS, Inc. wants to help you find the perfect fit in the Lehigh Valley. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you!


CEO Letter

As a staffing and recruitment professional for over  30 years, I have seen many changes in the industry. Over that time, I’ve witnessed a transformation in the way organizations view staffing services. Today, we see more and more companies using staffing services as a strategic tool, rather than just for temporary fill-ins.

At HTSS, Inc., our focus is on helping companies create proactive workforce plans. Our goal is to help our clients use staffing strategically to increase capacity, overcome hiring freezes, access specialized talent, better manage increased workloads, and enhance overall productivity.

For our candidates, we help to uncover truly rewarding job opportunities—jobs that are a match to each candidate’s skills, and jobs that offer key experience and growth potential.

We look forward to strengthening our relationships with our current clients and candidates, as well as forming new and exciting partnerships in the future.


Pat Howells
HTSS, Inc.