For far too many Bangkok professionals, they view the exit interview as an opportunity to get off their chest all the things they did not like about their job, colleagues and company. In their mind, since they have already quit and are going to a different company, they can say anything they want during the exit interview. This is absolutely the worst point of view any Thai professional can have and it can do serious damage to their career.
Keep in mind, the feedback of an exit interview is not confidential. If you say disparaging things about your boss, colleagues or company, rest assured your comments will find their way back those individuals. Furthermore, you are essentially guaranteeing that the people employed with that company will not be helpful to you in the future should you ever need a professional reference.
Although hiring managers or human resource professionals will often tell you that your name will not be linked to critical comments, trust me they will be. As we all know, there are often few secrets in any company and if you say something critical about a boss or colleague, they will usually go out of their way to let people know in the industry that you are a “bad apple”.
As a search firm, we often tell candidates that they have to look at the risk/reward scenario regarding exit interviews. In offering criticisms about others, you risk damaging your career for absolutely no reason as there is no upside as you are not going to get rewarded or improve your “brand image”. In contrast, if you provide polite and respectful comments you will be seen as a person who works well with others and is able to work through difficult situations.
At Bangkok Executive Search, if we find out that someone “burned bridges” before they left a company, we will not talk with them about an executive opportunity. In our experience, these individuals have likely created enemies within the industry and there is always a concern about trusting these individuals in the workplace.
Bottom line, don’t use the exit interview as an opportunity to tell a company all the things wrong within an organization. Instead, thank the company for providing you an opportunity while telling the interviewer what you liked about working there. In doing this, you’ll not only help your career, you’ll also develop some strong allies and friends who you can reach out to in the future.