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Exit Interview Questions For Executives

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Question : Would You Ever Consider Working Here Again

An Exit Interview with Henrietta Fore, former Executive Director of UNICEF

This is one of those exit interview questions that can be particularly insightful. If an employee says theyd consider working for your company again, their experience may not have been too bad. It may have been an employees own internal factors that caused them to leave .

Conversely, if an employee admits they would not consider working at your company again, ask why, and take note. Whatever reasons they site should be issues your organization works to address.

Be Sure To Record Your Insights

Exit interviews paint a clear picture of your employees experiences. Be sure to take notes and document the feedback that arises from the exit interview process. That can help you identify trends and patterns affecting your employee retention.

Many companies already have an HRIS platform to manage onboarding, offboarding, employee satisfaction and other human resource tasks. These systems often include databases and sections for notes where you can include takeaways from verbal exit interviews.

Consider an additional, online exit survey to glean hard metrics about why people quit. This allows you to ask quantifiable questions , as well as comparing one departing employees responses to historical data.

For example, Qualtrics Employee Experience generates an online exit survey for your departing colleagues. Answers are gathered into a dashboard, so you can see trends over time. That includes what percentage of employees would consider returning to your company. Declining scores on this metric might signal a toxic workplace that should be addressed more broadly.

How does your organization approach offboarding interviews?

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Examples Of Exit Interview Questions For Mixed Roles

Donât give into temptation and create a word document with 10 exit interview questions that youâll use for every individual. Itâll be a massive waste of everyoneâs time.

You canât ask everyone the same questions because each position is different and people experience the workplace differently. Junior staff and interns have limited work experience so often their expectations can be bordering on unrealistic.

That said, their youth and lack of experience are most likely to make them more open and honest in intern exit interviews.

General staff could be more guarded because theyâd like to leave on a good footing, even if there were issues that prompted them to leave. There could be an underlying fear that saying too much could result in poor past employment references further down the line. Thatâs why the reassurance of strict confidentiality is essential.

Management and executives are privy to far more than anyone else, and they have a good feel for the industry and marketplace. You will want to know what theyâre thinking and why theyâve lost faith in the company. A senior and impartial HR practitioner must manage these exit interviews.

Itâs important to know that – regardless of the seniority of the role – you can gain just as much value from one to the other. Itâll be packaged in a different way, though, so your exit interview questions need to reflect that.

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Have Someone Other Than The Manager Run The Meeting

Do you want open and honest feedback from the employee? You wont get it if their manager is leading the meeting. You also wont get it if their manager is present in the meeting.

If their manager feels like they have to be in attendance, the HR professional leading the exit interview should let them know they can come in for ten minutes at the start or ten minutes at the end. Whatever the case may be, they shouldnt be in charge of running the interview.

The HR professional leading the meeting should be trained to take the feedback and put ways to improve the department or company to action. They can also provide an unbiased atmosphere for the employee to feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts.

Do You Have Any Other Issues Or Comments Youd Like To Address


This is a very open-ended question, so it invites the employee to comment on topics that may not have been addressed in the other questions. Its also potentially volatile in that it can reveal things you werent aware of and may not want to hear.

But those things you werent aware of can fester and spread and infect your employees writ large, not just a select few. Better to get it out in the open now so you can make the necessary changes.

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What Does Your New Position Offer That Influenced Your Decision To Leave

The answer to this question will indicate the specifics of where your company is lacking. It could be company culture. It could be pay or benefits. It could be lack of flexibility. It could be any number of things.

The important thing to remember is that the information the outgoing employee provides can be used to pick up the slack where your company has fallen short.

How Could Management Improve

There were a number of things that management did really well. Expectations and roles were clearly defined. I always knew that I had the support of my team and really valued the comradeship that was fostered at Company X. If I had to give one area for improvement I would say that I sometimes felt that I didnt have the creative freedom to explore new and better ways of doing things.

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Why Did You Begin Looking For A New Job

Any HR specialist must understand the reasons why employees leave their company. Perhaps, behind most of the layoffs in a particular department, there is a low personal culture of the manager or a lack of clear guidelines for promotions and raises. Watch the results for trends and repeating responses.

Exit Interviews: 7 Best Practices And Precautions For Leaders

NPR’s Exit Interview With President Obama | Morning Edition | NPR
  • 11/19/2021
  • 7 minute read

Youll never know for sure why an employee has chosen a role elsewhere unless you find out. Here are 7 best practices to follow during an exit interview.

Theres always a reason for an employee leaving their job.

Maybe it was due to an abrasive or under-trained manager. Or perhaps it was because they were looking for a role that offered more work-from-home opportunities. And of course, it could have been simply for a higher paying salary.

Whatever the case may be, youll never know for sure why an employee has chosen a role elsewhere unless you find out. And the best way to find out is in an exit interview.

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Example Questions The Managers

  • How much did your managers actions match their words ex. did they do what they said they would?
  • An employees relationship with their manager can have a huge impact on their engagement and job satisfaction. Trusting your manager to follow up on what they say helps support a good working relationship.

  • What challenges were present when working with your manager?
  • An employees upwards feedback can help strengthen the management of your replacement hire. It can also highlight when to explore training options or review performance levels.

  • How were feedback and ideas exchanged and did you feel it worked?
  • Employees that receive constructive feedback and are able to suggest ideas back can feel valued and supported. As they progress in their role, employees feel greater job satisfaction.

    Exit Interview Questions To Inspire A Productive Conversation

    Much like a job interview, theres no way to know for sure what will be asked in an exit interview.

    However, there are some questions that are commonly-asked. Curious about which questions usually end up on the must ask list? Were sharing some sample exit interview questions in a variety of categories.

    If youre an employer, these questions will help you dig down to the most valuable opinions and experiences. And if youre an employee, reading through these questions will help you enter that conversation with a little more confidence.

    Read Also: What To Expect From An Exit Interview

    Example Questions The Organization As A Whole

  • On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend to a friend or colleague?
  • This question supplies employer NPS data, which provides insight into loyalty and engagement. Engagement, in particular, is negatively correlated with staff turnover, so investigating that could change.

  • How fairly or unfairly do you think this company treats all of its employees?
  • An employees perception of organizational justice can have an impact on the likelihood of turnover if the perceived level of justice is low, it could be a factor to consider.

  • What would you change about the company?
  • Youll find more information on why the departing employee is leaving, or gain the employees unique perspective of the company from their interactions with customers, suppliers or other peers.

  • In your opinion, where does the organization perform well?
  • Areas perceived as positive enough to warrant complimenting by a departing employee are likely to be shared in a positive light in the future. Verify the results and explore these gems in more detail.

  • How can we improve our training and development?
  • Maybe the employee liked learning in a specific way or using a specific training option. Or did they learn outside of the available training on offer? This could improve the way training is delivered.

    Were You Supported Enough In Your Job Role

    Blank Exit Interview Form

    If your answer is ‘yes’, then say so and give examples of how and when. This interview is for feedback it doesnt always have to be negative.

    If your answer is ‘no’, give suggestions about what support you would have liked and when.

    If there is a particular incident where you felt that you were not offered any support and it affected your work, mention it but keep it impartial.

    Example Answers

    I was pleased with the support given at this organization. When I received a customer complaint, I was allowed to share my point of view and my record was considered before a decision was made. There were regular training sessions and I had monthly review sessions with my line-manager that I found to be very useful.

    Unfortunately, I do not feel that I was supported enough in my role. While there were regular training sessions, I felt that it was every employee for themself. When a colleague complained about me, I was not allowed to explain myself. I was punished for something that was a misunderstanding. I appreciate that the incident happened during a busy period, but there was no support offered to me from any senior members.

    Common Exit Interview Questions

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    Why Are You Leaving Your Position Or What Led You To The Decision To Leave

    Employers may ask this question to find out if employees are leaving because they have been offered a better opportunity or for personal reasons. Try to maintain a balance between honesty and politeness when answering this question. If applicable, employees can mention the skills or experience they’re hoping to get from their next job.

    Example answer:I have really enjoyed working here, and I have learned a lot over the course of my employment. However, I feel like I have accomplished all I can in this role and need something different. While I have learned much at this job and honed my skills and experience, I feel it is time to go in a different direction. I have gained invaluable experience for the future, and I feel the time is right to expand my experience and strengthen my abilities.

    Read more: How To Explain Your Reasons for Leaving a Job

    How To Prepare For An Exit Interview

    The best exit interviews are the ones that have been strategized and planned out before they occur. Having an exit interview template and the right exit interview questions will make it easier to conduct and collect the appropriate information from these interviews. Tailor your exit interview questions so you can gather as many actionable insights as possible. Exit interviews should be mandatory for a certain level of employee at your company. Usually, these are salaried professionals, executives, and other mid-to-high level roles. But you should also require them for roles within your company that also experience a high turnover rate. If many first-year employees choose to leave, you may want to prepare exit interview questions for all levels of workers.

    Ensure that an appropriate interviewer is selected, ideally from the human resource team so that unbiased insights can be obtained. This will also increase the chances of the exiting employee sharing information that they may not feel comfortable sharing with a direct team member. The timing of the exit interview is important as well since doing it too early can make the meeting overly emotional. Hosting it too late in the day can result in the employee mentally checking out from the role altogether and thus not sharing meaningful responses. Usually, the best time to ask exit interview questions is a week after the employee announces their intention to quit.

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    Do You Think Your Job Has Changed Since You Were Hired

    Job roles often change based on the fluctuating needs of the department or the company. Sometimes these changes demand a different set of skills than the position initially required and can make current employees less enthusiastic about their work. Hearing how a role has changed will provide you with critical details to include in the job description to make sure your next hire is well-suited for these new demands.

    Would You Recommend This Company To Others Seeking Employment

    Managers/Recruiter Tip Connecting the Exit interview and Recruiting Process

    When employees answer this question, they should be straightforward about why they would or would not recommend their employer to someone else. Employees who are being interviewed can consider offering suggestions that might make the position more attractive.

    Example answer:It would depend on which positions were open and what that persons career goals might be. I would recommend this company to friends or family if the position matched what they were looking for. A comprehensive benefits package would make the job more appealing.

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    Did You Have Clear Goals And Objectives

    Exit surveys often reveal not only shortcomings in team management but also unfair or unclear rules of promotions and granting pay raises. Employee morale will decline over time if they do not know the goals of their job. During the research, it is worth checking how the companys processes look in practice.

    Question : How Would You Rate Collaboration Across Your Team And The Company

    86% of people in leadership positions sight lack of collaboration as a top reason for failure at work. Further, employees tend to be 17% more satisfied with their work when they collaborate. Given the importance of collaboration in the workplace, use exit interviews as a way to gain insight into the state of it at your company.

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    Do You Feel Your Job Description Changed Since You Were Hired How

    The way we work is constantly in flux, so it should come as no surprise if an employee indicates that his job changed while he worked at your company. Take the information this employee gives and use it to update the job description before starting the hiring process. That way, you can be sure you are looking for the right skills to fill the vacant position.

    Would You Recommend This Company To A Friend Why Or Why Not

    9 essential exit interview survey templates

    Even though they ultimately decided to leave your company, former employees can be excellent referral sources. In an ideal world, every exiting employee would answer yes to this question but the reality is there may be some who are so unhappy with their experience that they would feel uncomfortable referring their contacts. In this case, identify the issues and make corrections as quickly as possible.

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    Get Started With Your Own Exit Interview Survey

    If your company has experienced high turnover, low employee satisfaction scores or you want to boost employee retention, begin to understand why people are leaving by using our exit interview survey software. We have a free exit interview survey template, designed to best practices.

    The insight from employees, who have nothing to lose and want to share their honest experiences, can highlight areas for improvement and underlying issues.

    Get started with our free exit interview survey template

    How To Conduct The Exit Interview

    Whether you decide to ask all or only some of these questions, its vital to approach exit interviews with the right mentality and a defined plan of action. According to Harvard Business Review, exit interviews depend upon two elements to be effective:

    1) The employees honesty & forthrightness

    2) The organizations willingness to change

    Lets discuss honesty first. Employees who leave your organization may not express their true thoughts for a variety of reasons. If employees leave on negative terms, they may be unwilling to offer their feedback because they have a good riddance attitude. Others may be worried about burning bridges with former managers. In that same HBR article, an HR professional at a European mining company explained, Are they really going to tell you theyre leaving because they dont like their boss? Probably not, because they want references.

    One of the upper managers here at BambooHR shared with me some of his best tips for conducting such interviews:

    Once youve set the right tone and encouraged honest employee feedback, its up to you and your organization to do something about it. HBRs research revealed that, when asked for examples of a specific action taken as the result of an exit interview, fewer than one-third of executives could identify one. That means about two-thirds of existing programs appear to be mostly talk with little productive follow-up.

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