Exit Interview. Honest or not?

Posted

My last day with company I'm scheduled to do exit interview. I have had a VERY bad experience with charge nurse. Should I be honest in interview or not? I like the department besides her and like hospital overall. Other co workers have complained about this charge but NO one will speak up..I do not get it. Honest or not?

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. 2,418 Posts

I will just tell you my personal experience so somebody else can learn from my dumb new grad mistakes.

I wrote some brutally honest stuff in an exit interview once. I really felt like I had been led on and treated unfairly as a tech (they all but promised to hire me as a RN and it didn't happen), and I let them know that in no uncertain terms.

Fast forward a year or so later, I found myself moving back home, having relocated out of state for my first nursing job. I hadn't planned to come back to the same area, but that's just how it worked out. I attempted to apply at my former employer. I had everything they were looking for - my BSN, a specialty certification in the area, and stellar references. The interview even went very well. Then... radio silence. I'm assuming they looked at my previous exit interview.

Moral of the story: if there is any possible way you might EVER work for that employer in the future, DO NOT be honest in your exit interview. Especially if it's a large company, especially if they are expanding and buying up lots of hospitals in your area. You don't want to end up in that position where that employer is the only game in town, and they don't want to hire you back because you look like a disgruntled employee.

Dogen

Dogen

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 1 years experience. 897 Posts

I doubt that people take exit interview feedback seriously. It's kind of like online reviews, people leaving a company are more likely to be unhappy and thus you take their feedback with a grain of salt. Not that it isn't worth sharing what you feel, but I think it would be more impactful if you found a way to do it professionally and dispassionately, so it came across as an educated critique of a problem rather than complaining. Even then I don't foresee it leading to real change... and if it does, you won't ever know.

Boog'sCRRN246, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 11 years experience. 784 Posts

Is this particular charge nurse the reason you are leaving or is it something else? If she is the reason, mention it objectively, but don't go into the realm of snark and sarcasm.

Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

I will just tell you my personal experience so somebody else can learn from my dumb new grad mistakes.

I wrote some brutally honest stuff in an exit interview once. I really felt like I had been led on and treated unfairly as a tech (they all but promised to hire me as a RN and it didn't happen), and I let them know that in no uncertain terms.

Fast forward a year or so later, I found myself moving back home, having relocated out of state for my first nursing job. I hadn't planned to come back to the same area, but that's just how it worked out. I attempted to apply at my former employer. I had everything they were looking for - my BSN, a specialty certification in the area, and stellar references. The interview even went very well. Then... radio silence. I'm assuming they looked at my previous exit interview.

Moral of the story: if there is any possible way you might EVER work for that employer in the future, DO NOT be honest in your exit interview. Especially if it's a large company, especially if they are expanding and buying up lots of hospitals in your area. You don't want to end up in that position where that employer is the only game in town, and they don't want to hire you back because you look like a disgruntled employee.

I think this is excellent advice for the reasons listed above. On the other hand, if circumstances are different for you, I say be brutally honest. Remaining professional and offering honest and constructive feedback is the way to go, IMHO.

llg

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

There are usually ways of being honest without being brutal. Try to find them. For example, if you had a positive experience with your manager, patients, physicians, and most of the other staff ... that those positives should be emphasized as they represent the majority of your experiences. If there is simply 1 bad co-worker, he/she should not be the focus of the interview. It could be mentioned as one negative aspect amongst many positives.

Boomer MS, RN

Boomer MS, RN

Specializes in Med Surg/ICU/Psych/Emergency/CEN/retired. Has 17 years experience. 511 Posts

There are usually ways of being honest without being brutal. Try to find them. For example, if you had a positive experience with your manager, patients, physicians, and most of the other staff ... that those positives should be emphasized as they represent the majority of your experiences. If there is simply 1 bad co-worker, he/she should not be the focus of the interview. It could be mentioned as one negative aspect amongst many positives.

Perhaps the use of "brutally" was too strong a word, but I stand by my response. Not being completely honest is just that...not being honest. It seemed to me the OP was focusing on the CN issue, so I addressed that. An exit interview is not an evaluation when positive feedback is more important. And as someone else noted, it's unlikely that anything will change as a result of anything the OP says in the exit interview. Doesn't mean OP can't include positive comments too. Up to him/her. Unfortunately, one bad co-worker can be the focus of a person's professional life. I have witnessed nurses leave because of this.

Marisette

Marisette, BSN, RN

Specializes in Registered Nurse. Has 28 years experience. 376 Posts

Why bother with the exit interview. Politely Refuse. What good will it do you now? It may come back to haunt you if you are looking to get employed again there. The people that remain in the department should be the one's speaking up if the charge is a problem. You are out of there.

dishes

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

I have seen cases where exit interviews established a pattern of behaviour from one individual and corrective action was taken.

NEVER if you have negative remarks to make. It will only come back to haunt you somehow.

Just say you had a fabulous learning experience, you are a better nurse because of your time

at the facility, and positive stuff like that.

I hate to say you should roll over, but you work because you need to pay bills and support your family

and there is just no benefit to you of saying negative stuff in an exit interview - or any other time, really.

Put the past behind you and move on. Best wishes.

James W.

146 Posts

I'd suggest that you could avoid 'burning bridges' by turning it around,

& saying - this is an interview, so, is there any specific issues you want frank

feed back on, & state that you are providing such materiel on request,

& on a 'without prejudice basis' - without which, you 'plead the 5th'..

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,962 Posts

Erm, don't burn your bridges. You may need to cross them, or meet up with some of the same people later in your career.