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Exit Interviews Conflict Honesty

I just gave my supervisor notice that I have accepted an offer for another job. She said she will need to give me an exit interview before I leave. She is an impossible boss and I've waited a long time for the chance to tell her off. Since I'm never coming back, should I do it?

You need to look at what you can gain vs. what you can lose. On the gain side, if you launch a barrage of venom, you may unburden yourself of the deep stressful feelings that you previously had to contain.

However, when you start this attack, do you really think that your supervisor will surrender? She is more likely to launch a counter-attack, and you will be quickly drawn into a full-blown argument. So much for stress reduction.

And, things are not any better if her reaction is to surrender. By offering no rebuttal, she is telling you that she is not going to waste any more time with you. You can speak your piece, stamp your feet and wave your arms, but all you will be left with is the hollow feeling that accompanies a meaningless victory. This certainly does not reduce stress.

Although you are not coming back to this company, what you say in this interview matters immensely. It can come back to haunt you the next time you look for a job and references are taken. If your final meeting is a verbal bombardment, do not count on a positive reference, or a job offer.

If you want to quit as a winner, show that you are a class act in your exit interview. Be honest in describing what you liked and disliked about the company, and express your concerns in a factual, businesslike, and constructive manner. Your supervisor's final impression of you will be the most lasting one, and you have total control over what it will be.

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