Man: It's my last day at work tomorrow. I'll start my new job in 2 weeks. My human resources manager wants to conduct an interview with me before I leave[Q1].
Woman: Ah, an exit interview. Are you looking forward to it?
Man: I'm not sure how I feel about it. I resigned because I've been unhappy at that company for a long time, but I'm not sure if I should tell them how I really feel.
Woman: To my way of thinking, there are two main potential benefits that come from unleashing and agitated stream of truth during an exit interview. The first is release. Unburdening yourself of frustration, and perhaps even anger to someone who isn't a friend or close colleague can be wonderfully free.
Man: Let me guess. The second is that the criticism will, theoretically, help the organization I'm leaving to improve, making sure employees of the future are less likely to encounter what I did?
Woman: That's right. But the problem with the company improvement part is that very often it doesn't happen. An exit interview is supposed to be private, but often isn't. In my company, the information gained from these interviews is often not confidential. The information is used as dirt against another manager, or can be traded among senior managers[Q2].
Man: Now you've got me rethinking what I'll disclose in the interview. There is always a chance that it could affect my reputation and my ability to network in the industry[Q3]. It is a pretty small industry after all.
Woman: Anything you initially gained from the instant satisfaction of telling it like it is, you might lose down the track by injuring your future career prospects.
Man: Right. Perhaps I would be better getting things off my chest by going to one of those rate-your-employer websites[Q4].
Woman: You could. And don't do the interview at all[Q4]. Exit interviews are not mandatory.
Q1: What do we learn about the man from the conversation?
Q2: What does the woman think of the information gained from an exit interview?
Q3: Why does the man want to rethink what he will say in the coming exit interview?
Q4: What does the man think he had better do?