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Exit interview - should I be honest .......

(14 Posts)
Easy Mon 08-Aug-05 16:13:35

Or just smile sweetly and go?

I've been on this contract since November, and it has been the worst job I've ever had.

There was no proper specification when I arrived, my line manager made it clear after 2 months that she didn't like me (I'm older and much more experienced than she, perhaps she felt intimidated. Or maybe she just didn't like me).

The project changed direction twice, I've been treated like a mushroom since February (kept in the dark, and hat sh*t thown at me ocassionally), and finally the whole project has been stalled because one director threw a wobbly. My notice ends next week, and I've got to come in every day to get paid up to the end of my notice, although there is bog-all for me to do.

The HR department have invited me for my exit interview on my last day (I don't think my line-manager will be there). What do you think?

Marina Mon 08-Aug-05 16:18:54

YES! If the HR Department does its job properly, you can be as scathing as you like and they will filter what you have said for further consumption. You could also be providing them with much needed ammo to take action against this awful manager.
Remember, the next person working for her could also be a Mumsnetter...
It is usual for a line manager NOT to attend. I would check, obviously, and maybe stipulate that she is absent if they were planning to invite her.

mears Mon 08-Aug-05 16:36:05

Definately yes. That is what exit interviews are all about. Agree with Marina.

Easy Mon 08-Aug-05 16:51:15

I guess I'm paranoid. I was thinking about possible references, but I can't see me wanting a reference from this manager anyway.

goldenoldie Mon 08-Aug-05 17:06:27

Yes, suspect you are not the first to have had this treatment and it will allow HR to build a good picture of what is going on.

Easy Tue 09-Aug-05 09:20:52


My line manager has just booked an appointment with me too. Now that one may be harder to handle.

Marina Tue 09-Aug-05 11:10:28

Oh yes, that will be a bit awkward Easy.
Remember with regard to references that it is usually HR who provide them, and they will have their own view on your performance...and that these days they are written with a view to being shown to the candidate if requested, so she'd never dare put anything nasty or untrue. Because you could then sue the pants off her.
Good luck with both interviews.

Blu Tue 09-Aug-05 11:15:22

Yes, I think you should be honest in the exit interview, but 'constructively honest' - 'it would have been more productive if I had been allowed to...' and 'I didn't always feel as if my maturity and experience were called on to the full benefit of the comapny' and 'a future employee might find it easier to settle if...'. If you make it sound 'personal', the HR dept might take it as a mutual personality clash. Don't rant, be direct, straihgtforward, but not a mass of seething bitterness, iyswim!

With Line Manager, just try to be bland and non-committal.

oops Tue 09-Aug-05 11:29:56

Message withdrawn

FairyMum Tue 09-Aug-05 12:06:40

I think you should be honest, but only bring up a few negative points. If it's too much, you risk being written off as bitter and negative. I think what is said in exit interviews is only interesting if more than one person says the same thing about a manager. I also think you should be honest to your manager directly. It's a bit cowardly not to discuss it directly with the person you have a problem with imo.

Nightynight Tue 09-Aug-05 12:50:59

If you dont need them for a reference, then you can be as honest as you feel like. All the better if the line manager IS there - she'd be looking out for her job, while you would be revelling in the knowledge that it meant nothing to you...

Easy Tue 09-Aug-05 13:27:26

Thanx all. I esp like Blu's phrases, and will rehearse a couple before I go in with HR.

I have decided to be quite bland and utterly inoffensive to my line manager, even tho she waited 3 days to tell me that the project had been cut, and I struggled to run 3 training courses to enthuse a totally un-interested audience during that time, for no good purpose.

I will be calm, I will be calm.

Blu Tue 09-Aug-05 13:35:14

I thik it's ok to say things like 'I found it v frustrating and a bit de-moralising to teach those courses without having been told the project was cut, and perhaps i could have been dping somethingmore useful at that point'.

That is v different from saying ' you are disrespectful inefficient and incompetent to work for'.

Good luck - there's nothing much to worry about, really!

Easy Tue 09-Aug-05 13:40:53

Yes, you're right.

I did wonder why, in my first 4 weeks here, my line manager kept telling me what a good manager she was, and how much her 'team' all liked her.

They've just had a big office shuffle round here, and she now has a private office, 2 floors away from her team!

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