Lie in your exit interview and avoid criticizing your boss: Expert

  • Be prepared to lie during your exit interview to leave your job on good terms, said one expert.
  • Avoid saying bad things about your boss, Robbie Abed, author of “Fire Me I Beg You,” told Insider.
  • Stay positive and avoid criticism, even if it is “constructive,” he said.

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You’ve finally had enough of your manager and joined the record number of people quitting their jobs.

You want to leave a good impression – so you continue to show up, work hard and make sure the transfer goes as smoothly as possible. Then a member of the HR team requests an “exit call” to ask why you are traveling.

What should you say during the interview?

If you want to go on good terms, “just say nice things” – even if it means “lying like hell,” according to Robbie Abed, author of “Fire Me I Beg You: Quit Your Miserable Job” (without risk) it all), “a book published in 2017.

“So many people think they want to be the hero on the way out. The reality is that if you wanted to make a change in a business, you would have done it while you were there,” Abed said in a recent interview with Insider.

“If they ask ‘do you have any constructive feedback?’ You should say, “Not really anything. I enjoyed working here and I hope I get to work with others in the future,” Abed said.

It is unlikely that HR will keep your interview to itself, so negativity will not help you or the company, Abed said. In fact, it can backfire and make you look bad. “From a purely financial perspective, it simply does not make sense to leave on poor terms. It’s the dumbest thing you can do career-wise, financially wise,” Abed said.

Jill Cotton, career counseling expert at employer reference firm Glassdoor, agrees that it’s best to stay positive and let your emotions out.

“It’s important to remember that the exit interview is not really about you. They exist so employers can understand your decision to leave and take advantage of your insight,” Cotton said.

Cotton recommends that you prepare a few specific examples of positive experiences, such as describing how much you have learned or how much you have grown during your time in the role.

“Showing the company what they did right shows good grace,” Cotton said. She also said you should keep notes during the interview to make sure it stays on track.

But what if you quit because you really hate your boss?

Even though you’re resigning because of your boss, both Abed and Cotton said you should not highlight anyone as the reason for your departure in your interview.

“Talk more generally so you stay honest but professional,” Cotton said.

Abed claimed that regardless of the bad things you say about your boss, HR will already know about it. “This is not new information for them. They are keeping the person there for other reasons,” he said.

Have you recently quit your job and want to share your experience? Contact this journalist at sjones@insider.com.

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