Exit Interviews



What is a dating Exit Interview?
Why are dating Exit Interviews crucial?
Exit Interview Example
Hire a professional Exit Interviewer
What to do with Exit Interview results
 

What is a dating Exit Interview?
 

During my MBA training at Harvard Business School, I studied a useful management tactic called "Exit Interviews." When an employee is leaving his job, a Human Resources manager often conducts an Exit Interview to ask his opinions about the company, his boss, and his co-workers. Because the employee is on his way out the door, he tends to express himself candidly. This candor, in turn, allows the company to learn specific and useful information in order to improve its business and better retain good employees in the future. Smart managers will react constructively to the feedback, especially if they hear the same thing over and over again from several exiting employees.

When I became a professional dating coach, I wanted to understand why some of my clients' first (or first few) dates failed, or why they had promising flirtations through an online dating site, only to end up never hearing from him again. I hoped to unmask typical deal-breakers (or "date-breakers" as I call them). So I pioneered this Exit Interview technique to use in the dating world. As a service for my private dating clients, I will call several men who have "disappeared" after their initial interest, and find out what really happened. Yes, I know it sounds terribly embarrassing, but information is power. In the end, the candid feedback my clients receive is far more empowering than embarrassing. They have used this feedback to tweak their dating style, have retained the men they actually want, and found a wonderful mate quickly.
 

Why are dating Exit Interviews crucial?

Okay, I know what you're going to say--it's what every woman says initially: "I'd rather die than have someone interview my ex-dates!" But let's face it: we live in a feedback culture today. From Amazon.com customer reviews, to eBay and TripAdvisor ratings, to viewer voting on "American Idol," to automated telephone recordings that warn "This call may be recorded for training purposes," feedback is normal in every other part of our lives.

Many women would feel comfortable seeking feedback in a work context (calling back prospective clients to ask why they took their business elsewhere, or calling job recruiters to ask why they hired someone else), yet never in a million years would these same women allow someone to seek feedback from a date. It's ironic because dating is perhaps the most important area where feedback can literally change your life.


After ten years of experience with Exit Interviews, please believe me when I tell you that Exit Interviews are more empowering than embarrassing. It's proactive, not desperate, to get answers and make improvements—as you probably do everyday in your job. And in the dating world, I'm not suggesting you make the calls yourself: you need a third party to get the feedback for you (more on this later). Of course no one ever enjoys having an ex-date called on her behalf, but it is a means to an end. Just like getting vaccines is a means to prevent diseases (and no one likes having a needle jabbed in her arm).

If you truly want to find the right mate, it can be extremely helpful to bite the bullet and find out what's really going on during and after your dates. Uncovering the gap between your perceptions and his perceptions will enable you to find your mate quickly and efficiently.


According to my research, 90% of women are wrong when they predict why he didn't call back. You may have a recurring pattern of which you are completely unaware that is sabotaging your dates and potential relationships. Why wonder needlessly when you can just get the information you need, direct from the source?
 

Exit Interview Example

Sophie, one of my private clients in New York City several years ago, complained to me on the phone about James, a 27-year old investment banker. They had had a great first date, she said, but two weeks passed without a word from him. She said to me, "Rachel, why didn't he call me back?" Well, I had absolutely no idea—how could I? I'm not a psychic and I hadn't gone on the date with them. But I did have a radical thought: why not call James myself and ask him?

With Sophie's permission, I called James. He was surprisingly willing to talk about their date. Sure, I had to use my charm to get past his initial "there was just no chemistry" answer, but he opened up after a few gentle, probing questions. I had expected that my phone-call attempt would simply become an unreturned voice message, but it actually turned into a thirty-minute discussion with this guy. I learned that while he thought Sophie was attractive and the date was fun, she had made several references to being deeply rooted in New York. This had concerned him. According to James, one of the things she said was: "I love New York-- I'd never leave the city. My job and my whole family are here." James was originally from the west coast and hoped to move back there after working a few years on Wall Street. He concluded that Sophie was geographically inflexible and didn't think it was worth pursuing a relationship with her. He admitted shyly that he used to enjoy dating a cute girl without thinking about the future, but he was ready to settle down soon and only wanted to date women with long-term potential.

When I relayed this feedback to Sophie, at first she was surprised—then even a little angry at the wasted opportunity. She remarked, "Well, I do love New York, but for the right guy, and especially if we were married, I might be willing to move." But of course that's not what she had conveyed to him. And because they'd only known each other for an hour, he never probed further about her long-term geographic intentions. She didn't have the option to find out if James could have been her "right guy." She made The Never-Ever mistake on the first date. {The Never-Ever mistake is discussed in Chapter 3 of "Have Him At Hello".}

The Exit Interview idea is simple, but powerful. I've been calling men like James for ten years, logging over 1,000 Exit Interviews.The honest responses I've collected have proved invaluable to my clients in helping them find a wonderful mate.
 

Hire a professional Exit Interviewer

If you're interested in hiring a professional Dating Exit Interviewer, I have personally trained several dating coaches across the country to perform this service. They will set up an initial phone call to discuss your situation, then contact 3 men on your behalf to get some candid feedback about your personal dating style. This feedback always leads to insights about you that you're unaware of, which will empower you to to retain the men you actually want in the future. Please contact me if you would like more information and a referral.

 

What to do with Exit Interview results:

This information is not always easy to handle, but will make all the difference next time in helping you avoid the misperceptions men may be making about you. Keep your eyes on the prize, and know that anything you hear is only helping you achieve your goal to find the right partner. And of course you will learn about many positive comments from the men as well!

Of course some men that exited your life will have many problems and issues of their own, and you will not necessarily respect all their opinions. If only one guy said you "talked too much about yourself," you should be conscious of that going forward, but don't assume it's a major issue. But if three men said you were "too aggressive," you either need to make some adjustments in your behavior or pick different types of guys who would consider that trait as a plus. Brainstorm with your Exit Interviewer some solutions to tweak your first impressions accordingly.

Information is power! As you're going through this process and gathering information about how men perceive you, try to visualize turning down lots of second dates in the future while you concentrate on getting to know that one Mr. Potential you really like who called you right back.