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Exit interviews are a critical step in the employee separation process. Yet, in most organisations in Pakistan, they are often ceremonial procedures only; standard questions are asked and certain forms are signed. However, exit interviews should be about listening to the employee, and viewed as an opportunity for the management to find out why their organisation isn’t an ideal workplace.

HR Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t schedule the exit interview at the last stage of the resignation process. Conduct it immediately after the resignation notification, so remedial steps can be taken, especially if the person leaving is a key resource.
  • Use the interview to learn about issues afflicting other employees and share the top reasons for turnover with the senior management.
  • Don’t ask leading questions such as, “Your co-workers were wonderful weren’t they?” if you want to hear out the employee.
  • If the reason for leaving is listed as ‘personal’ make sure to investigate whether the employee has ticked this option to avoid listing issues such as harassment or knowledge of fraudulent activities.

Employee Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t use the exit interview to badmouth your former boss or vent about how you were not rewarded with a promotion. This will only reflect your poor social skills. If the reason why you are leaving is that you had a hard time working for your boss, state the problem. For example, “I was forced to work late on a daily basis which took a toll on me and my co-workers.”
  • If the person conducting the interview is at a senior level, convey your thoughts regarding the performance management system and key issues that your department faced.
  • If you were being discriminated against because of your religion, gender or ethnicity, state specific instances. If possible, provide evidence/witnesses to back your claim.
  • Share your career objectives with the interviewer; he or she may be conducting an exit interview now, but could be recruiting you at another organisation in the future.

– Sadya Siddiqui

The writer is a branding consultant and can be contacted via LinkedIn.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on February 26, 2012.

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