Friday, March 1, 2024

How To Conduct Exit Interview

Don't Miss

Choose The Right Interview Format

The Exit Interview

The ease of doing exit reviews should keep both parties in mind. For an interviewer, holding a face-to-face interview is the best bet to get the most out of the meeting.

You can show that you genuinely care about what the exiting employee has to say through a face-to-face interview.

A face-to-face interview will enable the discussion to flow like a conversation. It, in turn, will make the interviewee relax enough to provide you with some valuable employee feedback that you can work with to improve retention. Nothing says goodbye as a warm handshake and a pat on the back.

However, there’s a downside to it. Not every exiting employee is likely to feel comfortable with a face-to-face interview. The exit interview process will yield less satisfactory results if the employee doesn’t want to be there!

To combat such scenarios, consider offering a departing employee the alternative to a face-to-face meeting. It can be in the form of an online questionnaire or might even be a phone interview.

Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position

This question will jump start the conversation surrounding their unhappiness at your company or details of the more compelling offer they received.

Follow-up Questions to Ask

  • What made you want to start looking for a new opportunity in the first place?
  • What was the biggest factor in your decision to leave/accept a different offer?

How To Conduct An Exit Interview: 5 Steps For An Effective Experience

AlumniAces Member

In an article for The Balance Careers, HR authority Susan Heathfield shares valuable insights on how to conduct an exit interview for optimal results.

Susan is a management consultant and company owner at Techsmith operating out of Williamston, Michigan, United States. As an organization development consultant, she specializes in human resources issues and values-based management to create forward-thinking workplaces that foster successful careers for employees.

In short, she is an expert in the field of employee engagement, talent retention, and the importance of employee experience. As such, Susan advises employers to remember that this experience includes the encounters a person has at the end of their tenure at a given business. Which, of course, includes the all-important exit interview.

Here are a few key takeaways from Susans piece on effective exit interviews.

Don’t Miss: How To Send Thank You Letter After Interview

Examples Of Exit Interview Questions

The exit interview questions may vary according to each companys needs but some common ones include:

  • What do you like most about working for us?
  • What did you like least about working here?
  • Why are you leaving your position?
  • If you could change one thing about our organization, what would it be?
  • Is there anything that you would change about your job?
  • Do you feel like we could have done anything differently in order to keep you from leaving?
  • What do you think of our leadership team?

The data gathered from exit interviews can be used to learn more about employees, their job satisfaction, and what could have been done to retain them. Exit interviews arent just an opportunity for you to get the feedback they are also a chance for your departing employees to give feedback on what they liked and didnt like about their job or workplace.

This can help them process their feelings as they leave the company while giving management insight into what needs improvement.

Purpose Of Exit Interviews

Your Guide to Planning and Conducting Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are an important part of the employee lifecycle because they give employers insight into the employee experience, including some of the challenges employees face in their role, what opportunities for growth were presented to them, and how they feel about the relationship with their manager.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of losing an employee is between one or two times their annual salary, with higher costs for highly-skilled positions such as sales, executive management, and high-volume production roles like manufacturing and distribution.

Exit interviews provide you with invaluable insight into your organization so that you can take actionable steps to improve retention and reduce turnover costs. The ultimate goal of an exit interview is to gain insights from employees who are leaving so that managers and HR leaders can make improvements to the workplace and enhance engagement.

Explore This: Free Interview Consent Form Template

The goal is to understand what might have led someone to choose to leave, and if theres something that can be done to improve the company or the workplace experience for people who remain. While exit interviews can cover any number of topics, they generally focus on asking questions about why the employee is leaving and what could be done to improve the workplace experience in the future.

Read: 13 Best Chrome Extensions for Recruiters

You May Like: How To Be Ready For A Job Interview

Conducting An Exit Interview Effectively

Conducting an exit interview is better than not doing one at all at the least, it shows you care about people opting to exit the organisation. However, there are some very quick wins that will ensure they are being run in a more effective way. These are our top three tips to ensure your exit interviews are as effective as possible


Great exit interview processes mean the leaver knows they are safe to share the real reasons they are going. And that theres a firewall between that process and referencing.


Who conducts the exit interview makes a big difference to the outcome. Theres an old saying that people join organisations and leave managers. And theres more than a grain of truth in it. So having a line manager conduct an exit interview for their own leaver is never a good idea. The question always has to be who is most likely to get to the truth? That could be HR, a line manager from elsewhere in the business, or even a third party.


There needs to be the right balance between structure and enquiry. To be able to report on the findings of your exit interviews, there does need to be structure to your process. However, you also need to give your exit interviewers the freedom to dig deeper on certain areas or questions sticking to a script may mean missing clues. Thats why questionnaires alone arent sufficient.

Why Are Exit Interviews Important

Exit interviews can help organizations understand why someone decided to leave your company. Organizations should not fear learning the real reasons often it is discovered that your employee is simply taking time off to raise children or moving across the country to take care of an aging relative.

On the other hand, organizations may be ignorant of the many ways in which the leadership of employees is failing. Did their supervisor have a toxic relationship? Do they feel overworked with little to show for it? Or were they offered a similar job elsewhere with better health insurance and benefits? People dont typically leave full-time jobs on a whim, so its important to understand what drives employees to make this extreme choice.

You May Like: Java 5 Years Experience Interview Questions

Ask If You Can Share Their Responses With Management

Make sure the employee knows that the exit interview is confidential, but you may want to ask if the employee is open to you sharing their specific feedback with others in the workplace, like their direct supervisor or the executive in charge of their department. No matter what, you should assure the employee that anything they want to remain private will be. Many employees want to make sure that their reputation remains intact and look to you to assure them it will be.

Ideal Exit Interview Process

How To Conduct An Exit Interview

There are a variety of ways to conduct an exit interview. The employer should provide a few different options to find a method that suits the employee. In an ideal scenario, the employee will initially complete a survey that produces quantitative results. This will be followed by a short face-to-face meeting where the employee is able to expand on certain points in a qualitative way.

Read Also: How To Say Thanks After Interview

Exit Interview Process Checklist

  • Ask the employee if theyd be willing to participate
  • Offer the employee a variety of ways to feed back: in writing / a phone call / face-to-face
  • Schedule the meeting in the diary
  • Ask the employee to complete an exit survey beforehand
  • Produce a structured list of questions for the face-to-face meeting
  • Give the employee the opportunity to view / complete the questions prior to the exit interview so theyre not caught off-guard
  • Conduct the exit interview in a private room
  • Store and record the feedback confidentially
  • Use the feedback to determine action points for the business

How To Conduct An Exit Interview: Best Practices And Tips

Employee exit interviews can be a powerful instrument in helping your companys growth – but they can also be tricky. Are you unsure whether you are conducting them effectively?

If so, dont worry weve compiled insight on how to conduct exit interviews! Read on to learn some of the best practices of exit interviews.

Recommended Reading: How To Ace Behavioral Interview

What Did You Like Most About Your Job

Give yourself a chance to breathe and your employee, too by focusing on the positives. That way, you dont accidentally overhaul the things that work. If the employee answers that they loved the people they worked with, for instance, continue attracting top talent to your firm.

What to Look For

Listen specifically for the people aspect and the project management aspect of this answer. If the employee loved the projects they were working on or the people in their team, youre doing the core things well. If they only mention surface-level things, such as the snacks or the free parking, youll want to revise your recruiting strategy.

How To Conduct An Exit Interview

How Conducting Exit Interviews Can Help You Increase Retention ...
  • Guides
  • How to Conduct an Exit Interview
  • An exit interview is a question-and-answer session between an employer and an employee leaving the company. When you get hired at a new company, you probably dont think about what it will be like when you leave.

    But for the employer, its important to make sure that their employees are happy, and that theyre getting what they need from their job. It helps the employer know whether or not theyre doing their job well and if they arent, how they can improve.

    It also helps them know what their employees are looking for in terms of future employment. This is why an exit interview is conducted with a departing employee to understand the reasons for their resignation.

    In this article, we will discuss the concept of an exit interview, and its benefit for both the exiting employee and the employer/organization. But first, let us look at the meaning of an exit interview.

    Free For Use:Employee Exit Survey Template

    You May Like: What Questions To Ask Interviewer At The End

    Include The Positive Aspects

    Comprehending the positive aspects of employment within your organization makes it easier for you to retain essential employees and improve overall worker productivity. By understanding these positive aspects, you will have the necessary information required to provide a desirable workplace.

    During an exit interview, you are allowed to ask all questions. This is usually the best chance to inquire about things such as remuneration and compensation benefits, employee recognition practices, etc., at competing companies. You may find out that you top the list! Additionally, you could ask the departing employee for any positive feedback that they would want to share about your companys managers, the organizational mission and vision, or if you excel at lines of communication. All this could provide you with valuable insights and information that could help improve your organization at large.

    Questions Regarding The Team:

  • Do you have any specific thoughts about your manager or the department you work in?
  • Were your manager and team members supportive and collaborative?
  • Do you think your manager has all the qualities of a good manager?
  • Who are some employees or managers who have made a positive impact on your time here, and why?
  • What do you like most about your manager or supervisor?
  • Also Check: What’s The Best Way To Answer Interview Questions

    What Should An Exit Interview Cover

    Start by letting the employee know, in advance, the goal of the discussion and what topics you want to cover. This will allow them to prepare themselves matter, and will typically result in a higher quality of answers. Make it clear that you are planning to have a conversation that is:

    • Open
    • Based on their personal opinion

    Example Questions The Workplace And Company Culture

    Exit Interview Tips (DO NOT Do This)
  • How safe or unsafe was your working environment?
  • Employee safety and how it is perceived within a company culture can have strong positive or negative effects on employee engagement which in turn is a driver of retention. Its essential employees feel safe.

  • How would you describe the organizations culture?
  • Your view of the company culture at a senior level can vary from the staff working on the ground. See if the cultural values are clear, or if more needs to be done to establish them within the business.

  • Who would you speak to in the organization about your concerns?
  • Explore how connected the employee was and who was in their networks. It will also show well your staff is communicating with each other at a peer-to-peer level, and where this is not happening.

  • Have you ever experienced any discrimination or harassment within the workplace?
  • Harassment and discrimination are serious offenses that must be handled correctly to protect the organization and its employees. If the employee experienced issues, find out why this went

    Read Also: How To Prepare For A Second Interview

    Importance Of Exit Interviews

    IMage via Shutterstock

    Exit interviews give employers the chance to learn from and about their most valuable asset: their people. The goal of an exit interview is to collect feedback about your company and learn how you stack up against industry competitors. Additionally, employees who have a positive exit interview experience are more likely to become promoters of your employer brand. This can reinvigorate your employee referral program with new candidate references.

    Also, exit interviews reinforce your true core values whether intentionally or not. Neglecting to make exit interviews a priority will signal to employees their input or contribution to your company is not valued. Conversely, asking each employee why theyre headed out the door and inquiring how you can improve as an employer will show that you appreciate the time they spent on your team and that you want to make the office better for your remaining employees.

    Tips To Help Recruiters Nail An Exit Interview

    Kate Heinz is a Built In product marketing manager who formerly covered career development, HR and tech recruiting topics. She previously worked as a content strategist for Yakkety Yak. Heinz holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan.

    Kate Heinz is a Built In product marketing manager who formerly covered career development, HR and tech recruiting topics. She previously worked as a content strategist for Yakkety Yak. Heinz holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan.

    Having an employee choose to leave your company is never an easy pill to swallow, especially in a job seekers market. With the demand for talent on the rise, recruiters and employers need to learn what attracts great employees and drives them out the door and fast.

    Conducting an exit interview is an important step in the offboarding process. It gives employees the chance to share their thoughts and employers the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Research shows that high turnover leads to poor performance, so implement exit interviews to get to the bottom of your sources of turnover, keep your people and grow your business.

    Recommended Reading: How To Crack Microsoft Program Manager Interview

    Benefit : Seek Patterns In The Exit Interview Data

    Don’t just conduct these interviews for the sake of it. An effective exit interview process doesn’t try to reverse the resignation. It works to seek out the patterns for why good employees leave. These same patterns will help you outline the retention strategies to reduce further turnover in your company.

    Create A Comfortable Environment For The Exit Interview

    How to Conduct an Employee Exit Interview

    The key to conducting an effective exit interview is to create an environment in which the exiting employee is comfortable providing honest feedback. The organizational culture that fosters useful exit interview feedback is one in which employees are comfortable sharing ideas openly, are encouraged to criticize processes and methods, and are never punished for sharing their thoughts.

    Don’t Miss: How To Conduct A Job Interview Questions To Ask

    Offboard Your Employees Seamlessly With Sample Interview Questions

    Asking the right questions is a core part of an exit interview process. The right questions will allow you to get useful suggestions and feedback that you can implement to better your organization.

    Use these well-researched questions to start learning everything you can from your departing employees today.

    Benefit : Increase Employee Retention

    People leave every day. Nevertheless, it is always a shock when it happens.With an employee’s decision to leave for the greener pastures comes the normal grief of finding a suitable replacement while considering the day-to-day impact that an exiting employee will have on the team.

    Do you know that the reasons behind departing employees are continually changing? Do you have any data to back up the reasons for the high employee turnover? Is it the job description? Or is the low salary the real dealbreaker?

    These are only a couple of the problems that an exit face-to-face interview will help you with.

    Don’t Miss: How To Master Interview Questions

    Determine Your Interview Format

    Offering the departing staff a questionnaire could save you time and eliminate awkward conversations. Yet, there are several advantages in holding a face-to-face exit interview:

    • Rather than filling out a standardized questionnaire, you have the opportunity to have a less structured dialogue that may yield surprising responses.

    We also found that providing the departing staff with options such as a link to an online questionnaire or a phone interview helps them feel more comfortable and provide honest opinions.

    More articles

    Popular Articles