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Ask HN: Are Exit Interviews Honest?
2 points by aivosha 6 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments
I had people leave my team under different circumstances and Im always asked if I did an exit interview. Honestly i don’t even think Entrance interviews are all that useful or telling. Yes you talk. You ask questions you get answers. Most of the time they’re nervous. What do you get out of it that is really useful? Now the exit interview is even weirder. The very existence of it proves the first one was useless. And also what would compel the exiting person to be truthful and objective? What do you guys get out of it realistically and how do you act on that knowledge?

My philosophy is that if a company really wanted to know what I thought, they'd have asked me before finding out I was leaving.

Professionally, there is no upside to candor in exit interviews, and I'd advise ducking them entirely. If your manager really wants to know, they can buy you a few beers once you've been gone a month or six.

I have never conducted or been subjected to an exit interview, so this is 100% speculative...

I think how honest the departing employee will be in an exit interview will depend on why they're leaving.

If it's because of an unrelated life change, then they're probably honest.

If it's because of a problem with the company, then they probably aren't -- I know that when I've left jobs because of a problem with the company, I would never tell them that because I wouldn't want it to affect what they say when potential employers call them. I'd probably just say it was because of an unrelated life change of some sort.

Useless and a charade.

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