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In an exit interview, (how) do I tell my manager about my replacement's lack of skills?

Today was my last day at the firm I worked for, and as part of the change in the company (my resignation) - management decided to hire an additional programmer - as I was given a small programming project to complete before ending the contract, and they wanted to hire someone who could complete it, after I leave.

This guy is a 4th year student (Software Engineering) and his C.V. is full of programming languages he apparently knows (summed up 3 pages)

Problem is: he knows crap. I mean this guy doesn't even know basic things, like using loops, very basic Object orient programming, and such.

Furthermore, he does not show any signs that a hard-working employee would have - I asked him several times to read some papers on several technologies we use - and when I asked him whether he did it (he didn't as he didn't know what I'm talking about when we coded together) - he said "Yes I've done that".

Not to mention the fact that he keeps bragging saying "Oh yeah I sold already a few products I programmed" (while having zero programming experience), but leave that aside.

My superior is the one who decided to hire him - I don't know what went on the job interview and what is the impression he got from him, but I have a hunch he got a whole different impression comparing to reality

Should I inform him that this employee doesn't fit the position? This project has a deadline and the fact that I will be (probably) giving consulting services to this firm, make me ponder about this issue.

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    If you haven't got something good to say, it's better to say nothing at all. Seriously, since you weren't involved in the interview process and they hired him. Let them deal with it, reinforces that you made a good decision to switch. – nikhil Oct 4 '12 at 17:49
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    You are leaving the company so it is not your concern anymore. They are not paying you to care anymore. – maple_shaft Oct 4 '12 at 17:58
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    If you had concerns, the time to voice them was when you realized they weren't minor concerns. It sounds like that time was several weeks ago... – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Oct 4 '12 at 20:13
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    They didn't ask you. It was stupid of them not to. But they didn't. Not your problem. If anything they'll be wanting you to do some consulting real soon since they know you're competent and he's likely to make a big mess. – Erik Reppen Oct 5 '12 at 0:05

I always believe, be the better person.

You have a person who has either lied, and/or used nepotism to get the job. So apart from making the guy unemployed you possibly undermine the person who hired/recommended him.

First explain to your superior that you believe he is not qualified enough to replace you, and is liable to undermine your superiors position when it all blows up.

Explain your concerns in a civil and level headed way. Ask your superior to assign him to something simple to complete in a realistic time that will gauge his level of skills. Ask to have him do it so as part of a project (eg. "Hey, we need this small app made to do X by Y for ... Can you complete and get back to me"). Then create the same app to show how long it would take.

If he is as bad as you say he is this should show it up pretty fast.

Also explain if he fails then the company still has time to hire someone else for your role before you leave.

To soften the blow on this as well is to create a list of his actual skills based on working with him and what level of training he will need to get up to speed. They may end up paying for that for him if nepotism is involved.

Avoid blaming your superior or being aggressive when describing the employee. All you want to be sure is the company is able to function when you leave.

If you don't do this, there is a very good chance that he will blame you for anything going wrong when you leave.


You don't outright say that he's not qualified. If he proves you wrong, you look bad, if you prove him wrong, you just got someone canned without giving them a chance.

If you want to do anything of use for the company about this employee, give them a small report on what areas you believe that this individual needs to improve in to help get that individual up to YOUR level of knowledge and expertise. This makes YOU look good, it gives the new guy a chance, and it gives sound advice for how your company can guide the noobie.


Saying bad things about people never looks good on you. However, saying nothing seems disingenuous to me as well.

What I would do is: only in the case that you are on good informal terms with you superior, I would mention that you are somewhat concerned about this guy's ability to get things done, and that you feel he might need some help along the way when you leave. No more than that, and don't say the things that you've told us.

If you are not close with your superior, I would say nothing at all.

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