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As part of my job, I interview several candidates for various positions every week. I've already handed in my notice and I'm currently working my notice period.

One big factor for people when deciding to join (or not to join) a company is the people, and that especially includes the interviewers. It has happened to me that someone I interviewed joined the company and I left shortly after that, leading that person to quit as well, given that I was one of the reasons for him/her to join the company. This is more expensive than the candidate deciding not to accept the offer at all. At the same time, I believe teams should be as transparent and honest as possible, without harming their business, of course.

Should I let the interviewee know that I'm leaving the company? This would be done in a subtle and respectful way, without badmouthing the firm, and probably not during the first interview. The pros and cons of telling them and not telling them are pretty clear, I believe.

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    I would more question, why are the company asking someone who is leaving to interview potential employees? Wouldn't it be better fit to use someone who would be there for the long term? – Draken Feb 23 '18 at 14:32
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    @Draken If it's the person they're trying to replace, they might be the best qualified to conduct interviews. The decision might also make sense if they're understaffed or other people are too busy or unwilling or bad at conducting interviews. – Dukeling Feb 23 '18 at 15:34
  • @Dukeling Which I can understand, but if you're interviewing for a replacement, that changes the dynamics and often can be mentioned in an interview explaining the reasoning for the post. The other points raise further questions, it just seems odd to send someone to be the face of a company who would soon be leaving. It's often not the best sales tactic to do that! – Draken Feb 23 '18 at 16:01
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    I'd like would-be close-voters to consider this might be a good subjective question. I'll be in the chat if you'd like to convince me otherwise :) – rath Feb 23 '18 at 16:30

11 Answers 11

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I agree with the other answers saying you shouldn't mention it because the candidate will then start asking you about why you are leaving. Instead, you can get the same message across by saying the following:

Though I'm doing the interview today, I'm not actually the person you will be working with most closely. That would be Jane, our program manager. She was unavailable today due to < insert valid reason >.

This way you let the candidate know not to base their decision off of interactions with you, but you also don't say that you are leaving the company.

  • This approach precludes having the person the candidate will be working with speak with them. Unless that person is actually unavailable, excluding them from the interviewers during this visit is quite disadvantageous for both parties. And making up a fictitious such person is misleading. – Chris Stratton Feb 24 '18 at 0:03
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    @ChrisStratton In that case, you just modify it a bit: "I'm participating in/leading this interview due to <valid reason>, but I'm not the person you'll be working most closely with. That's Jane here." Or you ask Jane to say something like it. The basic idea still works: tell them you won't be working closely with them and tell them who they will be working with. – jpmc26 Feb 24 '18 at 6:54
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Personally, I don't think your current employer would want you to mention that you're leaving. If you tell the candidate you're leaving, it will likely lead to a discussion as to why, which would detract from your company's goal of hiring that candidate in almost all scenarios, and I can't really think of any scenario where it'd help your company hire them.

If you feel comfortable interviewing the person without mentioning it, then I think you should do that. If you're uncomfortable, then I think the professional thing to do would be to let HR, your boss, or both know that you think someone else ought to conduct the interview.

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Assuming you are still on good terms with them I would discuss this with your soon-to-be-ex employer and see what they think.

After all they are going to be the ones to deal with any potential fallout should the successful candidate be disgruntled if you leave before/soon after they start.

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As a candidate, I have been involved in a very lengthy process because many people left the company.

I honestly appreciate both the team lead and the country manager having telling me they were on their way out; part of the attraction of working there was dealing with them.

Without them warning me, I would also not understand the cultural shift that´s happening right before my eyes.

Whilst it will make me reconsider my position, it would be worse getting there and finding out only in arrival; I would feel cheated.

Hiring someone besides a negotiation, is dealing with a person. If a company does not respect me in the dating/hiring phase, I wont probably be there for long.

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Nothing is to be gained by revealing this. If you reveal that you are leaving and he asks why, then you open yourself up to legal issues should the company catch wind of it because no matter how gently you say it, he may repeat it in an unflattering way.

If you are leaving on good terms, then you'd be spooking a potential employee for no good reason. As you know the interviewee is also interviewing a company. If the interviewer were to tell me that they were leaving the company, I would not accept an offer as this would be a red flag to me and I would not believe any story no matter how positive.

This would benefit neither of you and could cost you in reputation, at the very least, the company a good employee and the interviewee a good job.

Don't mention it, it is not relevant.

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A point that hasn't been addressed is the size of the company (or team or whatever). How important you are to the decision to join the company will depend on just how many people there are working there and your place in the team. It may not be enough that you aren't working with them directly - in a small firm that's not such a clear distinction.

In other words your "weight" is stronger the smaller the company or team is.

Why does this matter? Well, your company may not want you to reveal that you are leaving, but if you are an important part of a decision for the candidate joining, not telling the interviewee about it is bad industrial relations. It may end up with an unhappy employee in the future, or someone leaving early. All bad, not just for the interviewee but for the company - for whom you are at that time working.

Not to mention that there might be bad feelings towards you, which might have an effect later depending on your industry.

So I suspect there are contextual factors that are worth thinking about, which is why I am adding an answer.

My own experience was (once) being interviewed by three people all of whom (unbeknownst to me) had given notice at the time of the interview. I was joining the equivalent of a firm with about a dozen people working in it, so suddenly losing those three made a huge difference. I joined because I had a very different idea of what I'd be joining than it turned out. Not good in the long run.

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Unless the position would be reporting directly to you then there is no reason to mention it.

Even if the position is reporting directly to you then you should still not disclose you are leaving as it is not good for the company. If the person does not accept an offer based on that information the company is harmed.

Even if you are not leaving you could be transferred or promoted. The candidate should not have an expectation he would be working for you.

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The best approach could well be to jointly interview the candidate along with someone who is staying and will have a key role in the project going forward; ideally the person who will be taking over your role, or else the person who will manage the role or otherwise someone who will be daily involved with the work of the new hire.

That lets you explain that you will be transitioning out of the project and handing it over to the other person, thus you are there because of background experience and they are there because of their key future role.

Should it end up being appropriate to be specific that you are transitioning out of the company entirely, politeness to the person in the room who is remaining with the company and project will be natural justification to keep the conversation on the the topic of the role the interview is meant to fill, rather than your personal decisions.

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Even though you already turned in your resignation and upper management is aware of this, you're still representing the company by conducting interviews. With that being said, you should represent the company. You leaving the company and the reason behind it are irrelevant and should not be brought up during the interview process.

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I do not see how this could be beneficial for either parties.

For you, you might risk losing the candidate that could put you in bad light in front of your current manager, and is a possibility that bridges will be burned if it turns out that the candidate did not join because you told them you are leaving.

It is true that the candidates usually take into account the kind of future colleagues when joining a company, but if you would not have a daily contact with the applicants when they join, this should not have too much weight in their decision.

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As most others have answered, I would recommend against saying anything in the interview, unless it's immediately relevant and mentioned by others.

Ultimately, even if the employee would be on the same team as you are at present, your continued presence (or lack thereof) at the company wouldn't be relevant until an offer was made to the candidate.

If you're the person who would be making said offer, then talking to your superior about your past experience and concerns would almost certainly be appropriate.

If someone from (say) the company's HR team would be making the actual offer, then it might be appropriate to mention your experiences to them, and to suggest that they note your impending/completed departure to the candidate. Whether they choose to reveal that information or not will then be up to them.

protected by Jane S Feb 25 '18 at 4:52

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