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December 26, 2008

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I agree about not burning your bridges. Who knows, maybe they can come back and bite you some day. It's best to leave in good terms if possible, as they are still a part of your references and perhaps even future network contacts.

They still do them--I have one coming up. I see no upside at all for the interviewee.

One could always request a non-disclosure agreement if the company insisted on an exit-interview. If they don't agree, you have a viable reason not to submit.

There is no benefit for the interviewee.

Keep in mind that if the company cares about the issues covered in the exit interview, they would not wait until someone was leaving to discuss.

Also, the company will have signed statements of the interviewee...whatever you say can and will be used against you.

The problem with non-disclosure is enforcement.

I recommend being a neutral and non-committal as possible. Skip the "offer a few minor suggestions for improvement." Saying that nothing comes to mind should be sufficient.

It is a small world. While many companies will only give employment dates, you never know who attends the same church, goes to Rotary, is in the same Masonic Lodge, or just happens to pull up a bar stool in a convention across the country.

My last two jobs had exit interviews. One company wasn't being run well and I was happy to leave, and I refused to give an exit interview saying that I had already expressed my reasons for leaving and saw no reason to elaborate further. The other company I was happy with but it was time to do something new, so I did the exit interview and it was a fine experience, plus I learned that in the file on me my boss wrote that they should definitely hire me again in the future, if the possibility arises.

It all depends on your reasons for leaving, if the place is miserable, it may be best to avoid the exit interview, if you're changing careers or even career paths and that's the sole reason, it may not be a big deal.

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