We already have some questions which answer how to turn down an exit interview (you don't) and how to say nothing at an exit interview I got a multiple choice to fill out - different topics to rate from 1(very bad) to 4(very good).

While it's obvious that I shouldn't select 1 at all it becomes very hard to generalize that much without hurting anyone.


How was the relation to your bosses?

Now I'm in trouble because I had the best boss ever - and I wouldn't hesitate to mention this. But I totally didn't liked my Boss'es Boss. Giving a good mark would mess up honesty and improvement for the company, also it would annoy me. Giving a bad grade would damage the relation to the company and the boss I liked.

I'm extremely concerned about the exit interview anyway; Not to vent will be hard and from what I know from HR and with this sheet it's going to be nearly impossible. Not because I didn't liked my job. Because I loved it but after a change in the organisational structure the fun vanished, my health reduced and work time increased and all projects took disastrous paths. (we are 3 people in our division, we all got extremely frustrated. My boss will be retiring within ~3 years, my other colleague can't find a new job because of his health condition that requires special gear. They couldn't hold their promises of reducing my work time, they couldn't offer home office. After my doc tried to convince me quitting completely I could agree with my doc to just reduce my work time, he got me a note. The company ignored this (against the law), I was fine with that. But my bosses boss started to rant behind my back that I'm just lazy and try to have a cushy number. At that moment I started looking for a new job)

Mentioning (again) that I quit because of health is not only unnecessary (I mentioned it before I resigned and before I even looked for a new job), still somehow I have the urge to at least let them know that I think it's a no go to ignore your employees health requests, ignore laws and ranting behind their backs.

  • Can you elaborate on how you knew your Boss's Boss was talking bad about you behind your back?
    – bhilgert
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 21:29
  • @bhilgert it slipped from my boss when he was venting on how all projects lead to nothing since the change of leadership
    – Swizzler
    Commented May 13, 2017 at 5:49

3 Answers 3


Don't bother filling the form (or avoid being negative if you cfeel you really have to complete it). Don't try to improve the company.

Exit interviews are a waste if time invented by HR because it looks like it should be useful - but they are almost never followed up on and almost never caused a change in any company's policies.

In the end, you're leaving and have nothing to gain from the exit interview, but can lose a potential reference for the future.

  • 5
    My previous employer backed down on the second year of a salary freeze about 4 months into it after the rate of resignations exploded and virtually everyone who left cited it as one of their top reasons for going. Your individual responses probably don't count for much but if a signal gets strong enough they might have no choice but to respond. Commented May 12, 2017 at 23:34

It sounds to me like you're over-thinking it. Just put bland 2's or 3's on the form. Maybe a 4 if you want to, if there's something you did like. It won't make any difference to anything anyway.

Don't over-think any of the questions - you'll just make things harder for yourself. Just whizz through the questions, putting whatever answer feels most appropriate.


Your company appears to have treated you poorly and, for that alone, you don't really owe them anything other than not causing problems on your way out the door.

If the best HR could come up with for exiting employees is on par with the surveys I get after renting a car, they don't actually care. If turnover is high enough that a survey like that could provide any kind of meaningful data, they don't actually care.

That said, if you have something you must get off your chest that their survey doesn't cover, don't fill it out. Tell HR they're not going to learn anything useful from your answers. Offer to sit down with someone from their department and someone in your management chain and explain it. If they accept, take the high road and make it a calm, rational, professional discussion. If they don't, they don't actually care.

Don't worry too much about the bridge-burning aspect of it. Unless employers giving more than confirmation of employment is customary where you live, not giving them everything they want on the way out isn't going to hurt you one way or the other. Companies don't like going beyond that anyway because it exposes them to legal liability.

It sounds like you have a good relationship with your boss, and in the end, that's usually the important thing. If he thinks enough of your work to be a reference at all, he may be willing to do so speaking for himself and not as a representative of the company. (As a general practice, making sure that's clear up front with your references and prospective employers helps lubricate the process for everyone involved.)

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