Exit Interview Questions

Many employers give departing employees an exit interview because of the information they can get about the company and its operation. Although employees may be a bit timid about speaking out as they are leaving, you can help facilitate a productive exit interview with the right strategy.

What Is an Exit Interview?

Exit interview questions are a series of questions that the employer asks an employee who is resigning. The point of an exit interview is to find out why the individual left so you can work on improving the workplace. Employees have a completely different perspective than their employers. So, they may be able to provide you with information about things that you hadn’t considered.

The Importance of Exit Interviews

Whether you are seeing high employee turnover or not, it’s helpful to know what is causing employees to leave. Of course, if you are seeing a lot of employees walk out the door, it’s even more critical to determine why.

You can obtain valuable information about what is driving employees away. As a result, you can resolve the issue. Remember that every time an employee leaves, it costs money to fill that void. Getting the best hire and then keeping them satisfied is a step in the right direction. You’ll save money and have a better work environment.

Examples of Exit Interview Questions

This exit interview template of sample questions can assist you as you conduct the sessions:

1. What motivated you to start looking for another job opportunity?

Start the exit interview questions by getting straight to the point. What led the employee to begin the job-hunting process? That’s assuming they were job hunting and a recruiter didn’t contact them, which would be a whole different conversation. Most people who leave have been looking for a job and going on interviews before landing a job they want.

There is a chance that the person is simply moving to another state or town. In that case, leaving may not have anything to do with how the company was run. The way they answer the question can help you know how to follow up, and their answer can help you determine if there are certain perks that employees are leaving for. If many employees say they are leaving due to poor compensation, lack of benefits, or career advancement, then you may have to reconsider the employees’ pay scale and training opportunities.

2. Was your manager helpful in making you succeed at work?

Managers are responsible for ensuring that their team succeeds on the job. So, when an employee exits the company, it’s helpful to find out whether the manager did their job in that regard. The manager can either provide the person with the resources they need to excel, or they may neglect them, and the employee feels they can’t be successful.

3. What were your favorite and least favorite things about the job?

This exit interview question can give insight into what made the job exciting and rewarding for the employee. You can use this information to entice the new candidates you will be interviewing. You can also make good use of the answer about the least favorite thing about the job by ensuring the next person you hire doesn’t dislike whatever it is.

4. How do you think the company could improve?

You may get a whole range of suggestions and ideas from departing employees. Some may not be practical but don’t discount all of them. Even if you can’t implement them as stated, you can at least find out what types of things people are looking for in a work environment.

5. Was there anything that could have changed your mind about leaving?

This may be a pointed question, but it’s necessary to get to what the dealbreaker was for the person. It can help employers view the work environment and situation from their perspective. It can help employers know what types of things they may need to offer in the future. For example, if a person says they would have changed their mind about leaving if they had a quieter workspace, more flexible work hours, or better benefits. You don’t know what they will say, and that’s the point. What is said gives insight for future decisions.

6. Do you feel your job changed during your employment time?

Sometimes job requirements change over time. What started as a set of job responsibilities could evolve and look very different by the end of a person’s employment. It’s critical to know if this happened to the employee. Furthermore, if it did occur, it’s vital to know if the changing role impacted their decision to leave. If the job evolved and became more involved, more difficult, or required more training, this is something you need to address with the next new hire.

7. Did you share any of the concerns we discussed today with the company before deciding to leave?

The answer to this question can bring much information. If the person did not share their concerns, then it may be because they didn’t feel like they “could.” In other words, the company culture didn’t promote it. This is something that you would want to change so employees feel comfortable enough to go to their supervisor with complaints.

If the answer is yes and it was ignored or worse yet, they were retaliated against, then you may need to do more workplace training with the managers. Management needs to have an open-door policy, so employees feel safe coming forward with whatever issues they have.

Tips for Conducting Exit Interviews

These tips can ensure the exit interview goes well:

  • Let the person know in advance about the exit interview. Don’t spring it on them suddenly. That would make the person feel uncomfortable.
  • Ensure that you have a comfortable setting for the exit interview.
  • Let the employee know that everything they say is confidential, and the information is only used to help the company grow.
  • Reassure them that their answers won’t affect their reference in any way (this is provided they would be getting a good reference).

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