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Here's Why You Should Say No to an Exit Interview

FlourishAnyway is an industrial/organizational psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

You may see an exit interview as an opportunity to vent about a micromanaging boss, lazy coworkers, or senseless corporate policies. You would be mistaken.

You may see an exit interview as an opportunity to vent about a micromanaging boss, lazy coworkers, or senseless corporate policies. You would be mistaken.

Are Exit Interviews Required?

You're leaving your current employer, and your human resources (HR) department requests an exit interview on your way out of the door. That doesn't mean you have to agree. Here's what an exit interview is, its real purpose, and why it's generally not a good idea to accept that invitation.

Now that you have announced your plans to leave—because you've resigned, are retiring, or have even been laid off—HR may seek your candid feedback about the organization. They're also soliciting suggestions for change. An exit interview is a request (not an order) for help in understanding why you're leaving before too many others follow in your footsteps.

Why You Should Trust My Advice

Having been an HR Investigator for two Fortune 500 companies, I have requested and handled many exit interviews and have seen firsthand how potentially risky they can be for the employee. Although I know how the exit interview can be a can of worms, asking for one and using the information gathered from it was part of my job.

Topics Frequently Covered in Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are information-gathering exercises that seem harmless enough. Typical questions include your . . .

  • reason(s) for leaving,
  • new job and level of pay,
  • ideas for building a better workplace, and
  • opinions about whether you had the resources to do your current job.

Your interviewer will also probably solicit your evaluation of . . .

  • the company's top leadership and strategy,
  • your supervisor,
  • your workgroup and the job's organizational culture,
  • pay and benefits,
  • training and development, and
  • work-life balance.

You may feel honored that HR asks your opinion, but before you make a mistake by agreeing to that exit interview, take a moment to consider your company's true motives and the risks involved with participating.

You better believe HR is writing down what you say in an exit interview.

You better believe HR is writing down what you say in an exit interview.

Reasons Not to Do an Exit Interview

Every rule has exceptions, of course. Examples: if you absolutely love your company and hate that you're leaving, or if you're an intern or coop student hoping to land a full-time job.

Alleged Benefits of Saying Yes to the Exit Interview. . . But Here's the Flipside

Fosters goodwill so you can keep the door open in case you want to return to the company later as a "boomerang" employee.

Exiting employees frequently overshare during exit interviews, or what they say is used the wrong way.

You can provide helpful suggestions on how to improve the workplace.

Why? You're leaving. If the company truly wanted to know, they would ask those who are currently employed then take action based on the results.

Keeps relationships positive with professionals you may see later in your career.

Declining an exit interview isn't rare. Unless you decline rudely, they're likely to either not recall it or not hold it against you.

Allows you to reach closure regarding leaving.

An exit interview is not therapy. Often, it's not confidential either, regardless of well-intentioned assurances from HR. Again, employees frequently vent and cause damage to themselves.

You can be candid without fear of retribution because you're leaving.

Hold on there: That candor can burn a bridge faster than gasoline and a bucket of dynamite. You may need a reference someday or run into these folks again. Besides, most exit interview feedback is given a cursory glance and never produces actual change. You just wasted your time and a lot more.

Why Companies Conduct Exit Interviews

HR is listening! They're asking you questions and writing down your profound answers. The floor is yours! As you leave, you may be tempted to unload about that incompetent, micromanaging boss, those lazy coworkers who waste work time on social media, and those unbearable corporate policies. But before you shoot yourself in the foot, stop to consider why companies conduct exit interviews.

There's a stark contrast between the stated reasons that companies perform exit interviews and the real motives behind them. Doe-eyed neophytes may believe that agreeing to an exit interview will build goodwill, that they'll help improve the workplace, and that the process will give them closure, but they might be wrong. In reality, the exit interview's purpose is to determine if you intend to sue the company.

Should You Tell the Truth in an Exit Interview?

Oh, no, no. That is simply naive and wishful thinking. In practice, what the exit interview chiefly seeks to determine is your intent to sue the company. That's why a good HR representative

  1. asks the exiting employee whether they have any compliance issues to report, and
  2. requests that they review and then sign the interview notes.

Some workers do indeed wait until they leave the company to report harassment or some other major compliance issue. Although it can be a case of better late than never, waiting until an exit interview to report an egregious problem raises eyebrows regarding your credibility, even though HR is legally compelled to investigate it.

If you make such a major revelation, expect your exit interview to be used by the company in defending itself against your claim. And unless you disclose a compliance issue, your exit interview will usually receive only a cursory glance (and perhaps distribution to others in the organization) before being filed away.

Thus, employees who provide feedback about cranky supervisors, poor work-life balance, and lack of training and development are speaking into a black hole. True organizational change rarely comes from this ineffective HR process, and you've just wasted your time and emotional energy. Besides, if you're like many exiting employees, you probably overshared candid opinions on a variety of subjects and, in so doing, burned at least one bridge.

The chief motivation for conducting an exit interview is determining whether you intend to sue the company.  All the other stuff is naive and wishful thinking.

The chief motivation for conducting an exit interview is determining whether you intend to sue the company. All the other stuff is naive and wishful thinking.

The Downsides of Exit Interviews

Exit interviews often degenerate into at least mild venting sessions, even when employees don't intend for the session to go that way. Remember that HR documents and shares every word you speak, regardless of any assurances about confidentiality or only sharing the information on a "need to know" basis. (The more you "dish," the more there's a need for others to know!)

As a result of your oversharing, you risk tarnishing your professional reputation on your way out, as others inevitably learn of your criticisms about them and the company. Sure, you may not need those supervisors or coworkers now as references for your new job, but what about the job after that? Will you see them again in your professional life, perhaps in a new capacity? (Good luck mending those relationships!)

Also, consider that a copy of your exit interview will go in your personnel file, which is kept for many years after you leave. Although in today's litigious climate, companies often verify employment by only checking dates of employment, job title, and salary, sometimes they do ask questions such as "Would you rehire?" A lengthy exit interview detailing problems with supervisors and coworkers can certainly be perceived as evidence of an attitude problem or trouble getting along with others.

Finally, don't forget that your employer already had ample opportunity to ask you about your feedback before you decided to leave. Why open yourself up to these risks now, particularly with no clear benefit? You don't owe anyone this exit interview. If the organization truly cares about what employees think and feel, it will solicit feedback from those who are staying, then take decisive action based on their response.

Decline the exit interview professionally . . . then do your happy dance out the door.

Decline the exit interview professionally . . . then do your happy dance out the door.

How to Decline an Exit Interview

Don't let anyone tell you that exit interviews are mandatory. Unless you have a specific contractual agreement requiring participation (ask to see a copy), you can always decline. However, you need to decline professionally and with finesse.

The best-case scenario is avoiding the exit interview altogether. Be polite and choose an option that fits you and your situation the best. Here are some ideas:

  • Say that you're slammed with saying your goodbyes, completing a key deliverable or tasks, transitioning work to coworkers, training a replacement, and/or packing up your workspace. You don't know how all this will get done, and you're so sorry, but you cannot squeeze this in right now.
  • Say that you've shared all the feedback and ideas you have for the organization and can't think of anything more you have to offer. But thanks anyway for the invitation!
  • Say that you appreciate them reaching out to you, but in the time that you have left, you prefer to focus on looking forward rather than backward. You sure hope they understand.

Be brief. Don't defend or explain further. Use uncomfortable silence if you need to. Repeat your key phrase if you're not being heard. And be sure to say these things with such sticky sweet sincerity that even you almost believe it.

If You Still Feel Compelled to Do an Exit Interview

I hate offering these options because you really should decline. However, if the desire to be "nice" has overwhelmed you and you feel compelled to participate in this useless and potentially harmful exercise, minimize your risk with these options:

  • Ask your interviewer to email their exit interview form because you are so incredibly busy tying up loose ends. Say that you'll return it to them with your written answers. (At least this gives you an opportunity to think twice about the impact of your responses.)
  • Request to schedule the exit interview via phone for a date after you leave. You may or may not get around to returning that call, however, because your new job will have you so busy. You'll also have a more detached, balanced perspective then.
  • Give in and attend the exit interview, but offer vague platitudes instead of telling the truth. For example,
  • "I'm not sure. I haven't given much thought much to that."
  • "This role isn't the best fit for me right now."
  • "I just feel like my work here at this company is done."
  • "I wanted to explore other opportunities."
  • "I don't feel comfortable divulging my new pay rate. That's private information."

Be calm and professional in your demeanor, and refuse to get sucked into negativity. Imagine the people you're talking about—executives, coworkers, and supervisors—are sitting there listening to your feedback.

Burning bridges or even telling white lies doesn't help anyone. Ultimately, the decision of whether to participate in an exit interview is yours alone, so carefully consider whether you want to invest the time, emotional energy, and risk. As you waltz for the door, strive to keep your dignity and reputation intact. Your new chapter awaits!

To Learn More

Accused of Wrongdoing at Work: What to Do

15 Ways to Know When It's Time to Quit Your Job

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Several of my subordinates have recently resigned, and my employer is using information obtained from them to take disciplinary action against me. What are my rights?

Answer: Multiple former employees have apparently raised a concern about either your general management style or an alleged violation of a company policy. HR has likely investigated the matter, including talking to you and other relevant parties and gathering additional data such as your performance reviews, prior complaints against you, the history of turnover on your staff, etc.

Based on HR's investigation, the company may determine that corrective action is necessary (i.e., discipline up to and including discharge, performance coaching, job change). The fact that the complaint(s) came from employees who are no longer with the company does not negate the allegations. Investigative complaints commonly come from not just current employees but also customers, vendors, family members, ex-employees, and sometimes anonymous parties. If there are multiple people saying the same thing that makes allegations more credible unless they have a motive to hurt you.

As far as your rights are concerned, you can ask whether there is/was an investigation and what has been specifically alleged against you, but HR does not have to disclose it. It's not a court of law but rather a company's process. Therefore, your best bet is to tell your side to decision makers, listen to the feedback, and not even think about retaliating because that could make it so much worse.

Question: My former employer has sent me 4 emails requesting that I complete an exit interview. I left the job 2 months ago. He did not receive my resignation well. He raised his voice and hung up on me on a different occasion. How do I get rid of this guy?

Answer: I'm assuming, of course, that you don't owe your employer anything, such as unreturned property or company files. His behavior sheds ample light on what probably motivated you to quit. More than three requests for an exit interview is more than "reminding" someone. It's verbal harassment in my book.

Don't be tempted to sink down to his level with raising your voice and other heavy handed behavior. He does not control you anymore, and it's driving him crazy.

You don't owe him an explanation for choosing another employer. You don't owe him any further communication now that you're gone. You can SPAM the email address and screen calls. You can report him to higher management via a certified written letter stating that the contact is unwanted and that you're hereby requesting that the company immediately cease and desist (i.e., stop it now).

If the harassment persists, contact a lawyer regarding a cease and desist letter or the police regarding harassment. Keep a copy of all emails and a log of his phone calls in case you need them. You don't have to put up with his behavior. I bet you're glad you're gone!

Question: Is it legal for leadership to take part in the exit interview?

Answer: While it's legal, yes, it certainly doesn't encourage healthy criticism, especially if they are part of why you left. This is another reason why you should say no to an exit interview -- you cannot control the structure of the exit interview, the questions asked, who attends or conducts the interview, or what they do with the information.

© 2017 FlourishAnyway


Robert Sacchi on July 03, 2020:

Thank you. I appreciate it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 03, 2020:

Bob - I'm hoping for the best for you.

Robert Sacchi on July 02, 2020:

It just adds up to a month's pay. With the lost unemployment from that period it doesn't seem worth it to burn a bridge. Maybe something will come up before the month is out.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 01, 2020:

Bob - Best of luck! If you end up taking the severance offer, then hopefully you can invest it well for your future.

Robert Sacchi on July 01, 2020:

Thank you very much. I got a look at what they're offering. I think I'll take my chances unless I get a job offer within the month.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 01, 2020:

Bob - If you're referring to an offer for a severance package (separation agreement) those are negotiable. Before you sign, know that you'll be giving up certain rights. Take a look at Consider especially what it's going to cost you with insurance, how easy is it really in this economy to find another job (age and how long you've been with the organization), any patents or special contributions you've made, etc. Negotiate accordingly.

Robert Sacchi on June 30, 2020:

When people get a Voluntary Separation Letter, should they take it as an offer they can't refuse?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 11, 2020:

lia - Dumb it down and answer it in short statements with no elaboration. If you get stuck, just say you don't feel comfortable saying more, can't think of anything more, or don't have anything more to offer.

lia on February 10, 2020:

Hi Flourish, i've decided to just attend the exit interview. But how would you suggest I answer questions that I am not comfortable answering, like 'what does your new job offer that this company did not'? I just want to leave on a positive note and just bite the bullet for 20-30 minutes, but also would rather keep the answers to question like that one, or 'would you recommend this company to a friend' to myself.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

NML - I'm glad this was helpful!

NML on July 26, 2019:

Thank you so much for this insightful article, it has been super helpful for me :-)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 16, 2019:

Erin - It's a significant violation of trust. The genie is out of the bottle now, but if you want you can write an email and cc: your home email account. Express to the VP of HR and whomever manages privacy matters how disturbed you are that the information was shared when you took specific measures to ensure that it would NOT be. (This doesn't surprise me though.) Try to cite a company policy such as a data privacy and protection policy (if your company has that) and/or the company's relevant values. Basically, use their own words against them. Make sure you name names regarding who you dealt with and who shared it (if known). There's nothing you can gain from this breech except experience. I wouldn't let it go unnoticed, however. I'd tell all my coworkers. Share it as widely a possible so others will not participate in exit interviews. Some good needs to come from your experience.

Erin O'Regan on July 16, 2019:

I signed a form saying 'i do not consent' to them sharing my exit interview, and they shared it anyway, surely that is a breach of data protection?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 11, 2019:

Joanie - No, they cannot make you do an exit interview. Be professional about it, but just tell them that do not want to give an exit interview. They don't want your ideas. They are trying to legally cover themselves. If they don't accept "no" for an answer and ask over-the-phone questions, proceeding to attempt to conduct the interview anyway, use the broken record technqiue, saying either "no comment" to everything or "I don't wish to participate in an exit interview." You don't have to say why. "No" means "no." You are in the envious position of retiring, so you are in control here. Be passive aggressive if you need to. You just don't have to do it. There's nothing positive in it for you.

Joanie on June 10, 2019:

I work remotely and gave 2 months notice for my retirement. I will be in corporate for a team meeting, but manager won’t do exit/ retirement interview then. My manager asked me to fly in 2 weeks before I retire to do the exit interview and said I have to reply by 5pm today. Can they legally make you and fire you if you don’t. I’m also waiting for my employee owned stock at that time.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 14, 2018:

Kapil Singh - Thanks for taking the time to comment. I wish you well.

Kapil Singh on March 14, 2018:

Very informative. Thank you for writing this and sharing your advice.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 01, 2018:

Robert - Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

Robert Sacchi on February 28, 2018:

This is good information for all who ae planning to resign from their job,

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 28, 2018:

Robert - Thanks for your comment. There are only potential downsides for the employee. If they know you well, they should already understand why you're leaving.

Robert Sacchi on February 27, 2018:

You give good reasons for not giving an exit interview, It does seem a useless exercise for the employee with no benefits and possible future problems,

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 20, 2017:

Andrew - Thanks for the kind kudos. Welcome to HubPages!

Andrew Haney from Florida on July 19, 2017:

Great advise! Loved this hub

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 17, 2017:

Rajan - It's good to see you again! Yes, they're only concerned with themselves from a legal standpoint.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 17, 2017:

I too believe that one ought to politely refuse a exit interview for the sole reason that they should have asked for reasons before a employee left rather than seeking them after the employee has resigned.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 16, 2017:

Kallini - They often have their minds long made up about you and only a significant reaction can shake it up. The important thing is to be happy and not hurt yourself in any way, legally, reputation, emotionally, or otherwise.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 16, 2017:

Kallini - I bet you are quite interesting to interview in this way. By the time they're done, I bet they have learned a thing or two.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on May 15, 2017:

I forgot the 2nd (the clever) part:


But as far as any exit or end goes, yes, it’s the most important part of anything. I have this book “33 Strategies of War” by Robert Greene which I was having been intended to read for a few years now and just recently opened and promptly closed. So, on my way to the shelf... I opened it on the ONLY bookmark and what do you think I chose as the most important chapter to read?

Know How to End Things (Robert Greene “33 Strategies of War”, Chapter 22)

“The Exit Strategy”:

“You are judged in this world by how well you bring things to an end. A messy or incomplete conclusion can reverberate for years to come, ruining your reputation in the process. The art of ending things well is knowing when to stop, never going so far that you exhaust yourself or create bitter enemies that embroil you in conflict in the future. It also entails ending on the right note, with energy and flair. It is not a question of simply winning the war but the way you win it, the way your victory sets you up for the next round. The height of strategic wisdom is to avoid all conflicts and entanglements from which there are no realistic exits.

Image: The sun. When it finishes its course and sets below the horizon, it leaves behind a brilliant and memorable afterglow. Its return is always desired.


Unless, of course, the sun is so bloody hot, that we wait for it to set and lead a nocturnal life like Bedouins. If one cares to think...

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on May 15, 2017:

And after all reasonable came and left and left their reasonable comments... here she comes (I wrote it back when you first published but being indisposed and all)


Hello Flourish:

This is a very informative hub. I agree with you wholeheartedly, but also know that I can’t keep my mouth shut and HR would be informed about every opinion of mine long before my exodus. In fact, I may be the sole reason why this particular company reconsiders the necessity of exit interviews altogether. Why? I can think of a few reasons such is – it’s possible that every attempt to interview me would result in me interviewing the interviewer and teaching them what to do, how to do, what they should not do unless they have a warrant...

and then I tried to support you with authority (people who don't admit losing their minds)


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 15, 2017:

Martie - It may not feel good or fair, but I'm trying to warn folks to expect this type of questioning if they wait. I'm sorry you experienced what you did. Thanks for weighing in.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 14, 2017:

"Why did you wait until now to report this?" - I've been asked exactly this. Because I didn't follow procedures, but bottled my grievances until the very end, my claim for compensation was unsuccessful, or rather partly unsuccessful. At the end of the day everything is about money. Beware!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 11, 2017:

Thank you, Peggy!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 11, 2017:

Peggy - Thanks so much for sharing! It's important information that people should know.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2017:

Shared this information on Pinterest on my Do You Know This? board and on Facebook.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 10, 2017:

Not that this will ever apply to me at this point in my life but it is important information to know. Will happily share this!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 10, 2017:

Yves - Thank you for your kind words of support. People have a lot of assumptions about HR, its role, and functions of HR processes (e.g., HR is a job mainly for extroverted "people who love people," HR's job is to represent or advocate for employees). Like other employees, HR employees have an obligation to the business' bottom line. Instead of dealing in the ROI of widgets, machinery and real estate, they deal in the ROI of people via labor costs, recruitment costs, etc. One of the biggest ways HR can impact the employment ROI is to reduce risk by averting employment lawsuits. It's a lot nicer, however, to think that the nice HR rep just wants our opinion to make the company a happier place.

savvydating on May 10, 2017:

I didn't know any of this at all! I am forever grateful to you for providing this information, Flourish. I would have thought that an exit interview would be a good thing. Now I know to decline once I choose to leave (which may be a number of years from now) Yes indeed, I will keep my lips zipped.

I didn't realize that HR is only trying to determine if the former employer will sue. Wow! How sneaky can you get? Well, anyway, now we all have a heads up due to this fabulous article you've written!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 08, 2017:

Larry - I appreciate you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 08, 2017:

Linda - Thank you for your kind words. I've never said "yes" to participating in an exit interview as an employee, but I've conducted many of them. It's just too filled with potential landmines with absolutely no benefit. I did write a brief goodbye email and sent it to people I cared about saying what I liked about working there. What you leave out speaks volumes.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 08, 2017:

I always find your office etiquette articles very informative.

Great read!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 07, 2017:

This sounds like excellent advice, Flourish. I've never had an exit interview, but if I'm ever offered one I'll think very carefully about what you've said in this article.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 07, 2017:

Bridget F - I'm glad you were able to gain some valuable insights for your career. Thank you for reading.

Bridget F from USA on May 07, 2017:

You have made a number of great points here, many of which I hadn't thought about. As a young professional this information is extremely valuable and something that I am sure I will use in the future.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 05, 2017:

Martie - One of the key questions in this situation was "Why did you wait until now to report this?" The employee just doesn't win, unfortunately.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 05, 2017:

Exit interviews exist, though rather informal. I believe it is an essential interview. The outgoing employee may draw attention to serious issues that need to be altered.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 05, 2017:

MsDora - I've done exit interviews as an HR rep and there were many people who took that approach. Glad you're happy with your decision and where you are in your life right now.

Suzie from Carson City on May 05, 2017:

Flourish....LOL! "Chatty," the ideal choice of words! "And, oh yes, by the way.....since I'm getting my butt outta here, there's just a few things I'd like to say...................." Ruh-Roh!!!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 05, 2017:

I remember one exit interview. I still think of it as a benefit for me, more than for the company. The adverse effects you mentioned are good to keep in mind, but I'd do another one if I had to, if even just to let them know that I'm happy with my decision to leave.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Paula - What terrific experience you have! You rock, girl! I used to do exit interviews as an HR rep and also investigated claims of harassment etc. that people would bring up as parting shots. People become so chatty and reflective when they change companies and end up saying way too much.

Suzie from Carson City on May 04, 2017:

FA.....Terrific advice! I hope this is read and taken as gospel truth. The younger, less experienced corporate employees are particularly singled out as ripe for singing like a canary~~very unfortunate issue.

I smiled through your entire commentary. I was literally corralled at one point to conduct a few exit interviews due to our chief of HR needing to take an emergency leave of absence. Because my own responsibilities were initial interviews of prospective hires, training seminars and Policy Tutorials, I had a major advantage of acquiring intimate personal familiarity of each of our staff members, their personnel records and tri-monthly evaluations. As a result, my exit interviews were custom-created per employee.

My main intention was to prove to the Big Kahunas, "we" as the interviewers, could pull from each individual, the precise comments & information we wanted. Ouch! How slippery can we get?? Ultimately, my point was well-taken, as the bottom line achieved a painless exit interview for both company and employee. In less than one year, I was able to convince the brass to phase out the ridiculous exit interviews altogether!

Your information is invaluable!.....Bravo! Paula

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Catherine - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Plenty of people take that approach (or try to). The challenge is not getting sucked in so that you say too much. Have a great weekend.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on May 04, 2017:

This is all good advice. I'm retired now and I don't think I ever worked for a company that did exit interviews. I think people should go ahead and do one for the "good will," but don't say anything but bland stuff. Just like when on a job interview, when you are asked, "What is you biggest flaw", you say something like, "I'm a perfectionist."

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

purl3agony - It's said that employees generally don't leave companies, they leave supervisors so it's generous of you to have set the record straight. When a supervisor, department, location, or role has too much turnover it's usually red flagged and that manager receives some extra attention. Same thing for turnover among high potential employees and those who are highly expert (highly professional). Thanks for reading and pinning.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

MizBejabbers - I'm sorry about your eyesight as my grandfather suffered from macular degeneration. I hope you have people who can support you through it, especially as it progresses. (Big hug.) I do like your feisty spirit. You've really been through it with that place. Shame on any boss who facilitates or worse yet directs bullying of an employee. I worked in state government for about two years and hated it with a passion. There were some good people but also some real turds. Thanks for reading!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Heidi - Maybe "Who Let the Dogs Out," and "Freedom" and "Take This Job and Shove It." haha There really is a playlist for just about every situation! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Shyron - They must have really loved you! What a great position to be in!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Bill - Me either! Thanks for stopping by!

Donna Herron from USA on May 04, 2017:

Great hub! I think you make some excellent points and I generally agree that exit interviews offer little benefit to any of the participants. I did submit to an exit interview at my last job, because I was afraid my leaving was going to be blamed on my immediate supervisor. I used the exit interview as an opportunity to say what a great boss she was, all the things she had helped me with, and tried to make it clear that my leaving was not her fault. Thanks, pinning to my HR board.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 04, 2017:

This is a good article and certainly food for thought as I will have one coming up soon upon my retirement. I have no qualms about saying goodbye as I have no desire to work other than freelancing once I’m retired. I’d never given any thought to the possible detriment of an exit interview. Younger workers should read this and take heed.

My state government agency has well over 100 workers and it is a revolving door run by micromanagers. However, in my 29 years here, they already know my opinion of them, so I will keep the exit interview nice and grin like a fox. Starting over 10 years ago under the new management, I was bullied and treated horribly by some other newer employees. Then the new director joined in with them instead of asking for my side of the story. I told her that she was too inexperienced to know that a “good” manager always listens to the bullied first and does not join in to browbeat the already bullied, but weighs the options. In my case she was shocked to find that some of the complaints by them were carried out by me under her orders. I kept my job because they knew I had all the documentation for a lawsuit for constructive termination (legal term). I did not apologize or allow her to save face. So I probably have enough black eye material in my file for three people already, and I don’t give a rat’s ruddy arse.

Our very experienced administrative assistant (working three levels down) told the same director “you don’t have to tell me how to do that, I was a secretary before you were born.” So, I think they already know what we think of them. I promise to play pretty.

By the way, all of us old retiring employees are begged to come back and help as temporaries during the busy season, and I probably will be asked too (these people are insufferable). So far, several have declined, as I will. Especially since my reason for retiring is that I’m being treated for macular degeneration, and eyesight is critical to my job.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 04, 2017:

Oh my! I totally agree that exit interviews are just a way for employers to feel good about themselves and employees to screw up their exit (whether it's positive or negative). Plus, these interviews (interrogations?) are so stressful for all involved. Something to remember if I ever go back to corporate. Is there a playlist for the exit interview? :) Just kidding. Great stuff as always!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 04, 2017:

Wow! I have always left on a good terms. When I left the company I worked for, for 22 years, I was called by that company for advice and if I was not working somewhere else I was called as a contractor to work in the place of employees who were going on vacation. I loved that company.

Thank you for the advice, and I will pass on the information.

Blessings my friend

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 04, 2017:

Great information! I'm happy to report I'll never again have to use this advice. :) Happy Thursday!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Peg - It is important. I've seen it come back and bite people legally when they complained to a government agency or when they tried to file for unemployment and claimed they were fired or quit under duress. The interview is a conversational record of the story they were telling at the time they left. It can make a liar or fool out of them, and it's their own words (and signature). Best to just skip it in most circumstances.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 04, 2017:

Kathleen - Most people don't give it another thought. Thanks for reading.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 04, 2017:

This useful advice should be required reading for all college students before graduation and their first corporate placement. The need to share grievances and malcontent about the company you're leaving will never be appreciated or used to improve their policies. You're quite right about the importance of delaying or denying the exit interview. Flaming bridges is exactly the result of sharing in this instance. Great reading on an important topic.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on May 04, 2017:

Interesting take on an issue I have considered just another box I have to check on my way out the door. Certainly another point of view to consider. Thanks