What Can We Do Better In The Future
As much as praise is important, so is constructive criticism. And while you may have addressed specific aspects of your interviewees role in other questions, this is a chance for them to raise more general issues that they think the company could work on. These may be simple to solve, such as having a better payroll system, or more complex, such as an issue with managerial structure. Listen carefully and take criticism on board with grace.
Do Not Share Any Comments Other Than Your Own
Your job may not have been a prison, but the no-snitch rule still applies. Dont share or repeat things that colleagues have told you with confidence. You might be leaving, but they are not.
If theyre already gone, its still not your place to burn their drawbridge. If Lisa wanted to have to swim a ditch to get back into the good graces of your mutual employer, she can burn her own bridge. As tempting as it may be to use a colleagues comments to substantiate your own complaints, dont. Lisa goes Thank you.
Exit Interview Do’s And Don’ts
With a robust job market percolating along, you may be thinking about changing jobs.
If youll be quitting, youll likely be told to go to an exit interview before hightailing it out. I cant emphasize enough how important it is to do this right. Say the wrong things and you could harm your career if you either want to get a reference from your nearly-ex employer or one day decide you want to come back.
Ill give you a few pointers in a moment, based on my own experience and my interviews with eight career consultants and HR pros who spoke on and off the record.
Ive resigned from five jobs during my career, and each time I dreaded the exit interview. In many ways, it was more nerve-wracking than the interview I had before being offered the job. In three exit interviews, my gut urged me to shout, Im outta here! and bare my soul about why I was jumping ship. I fancied that I wanted to help my soon-to-be former colleagues by letting the powers that be know what theyd better fix if they didnt want to lose more employees like me.
But my head, thankfully, told me to zip my lip. And, boy, am I glad I did. Im still regularly hired to work as an expert columnist and writer for former employers and bosses from my previous staff positions.
What HR Wants From an Exit Interview
My advice: Proceed with caution, or your words can haunt you down the road.
Closing the Door on a Future Relationship
5 Tips for Exit Interviews
For your next exit interview, follow these five tips:
Actively Listen To Employee Responses
Pay close attention to the wording the employee uses. Rather than assume you know what they mean, ask clarifying questions. This is your chance to pinpoint your shortcomings as an employer and improve, ultimately boosting your employee retention rate. Making an assumption could cause you to focus on the wrong aspect of your workplace environment and unknowingly allow a problem to persist.
Reasons Why Exit Interviews Are Important
Weve compiled a list of 10 reasons highlighting the importance of exit interviews to help your organization get the data and insights needed to create a more positive work environment and to protect your organization from risk.
No matter the size of your company, exit interviews provide an opportunity for an employee to discuss the workplace environment, concerns about misconduct, or issues within management.
Learn how employees feel about how management teams handle issues in the workplace and what bearing that has on whether they stay or leave the organization.
Exit Interview Tips And Best Practices
This list of tips and best practices will help you streamline a successful exit interview process.
1. What to say in an exit interview
Its important to phrase questions and responses correctly to achieve the results you want in an exit interview.
Open-ended questions are incredibly important since it allows people to give a more personal response that you cant get from yes or no types of questions.
Make sure your interviewee knows that youre looking for honest feedback and that their answers wont reflect on future references from the company.
Ask targeted questions, but also allow the interviewee to lead as much of the conversation as they feel comfortable with.
2. Dont let the questionnaire take over
Yes, you do need to keep a list of questions to cover during an exit interview. However, there are plenty of valuable insights you can gain that might not be specifically covered in your questionnaire.
Let the questions lead the conversation, but dont cut off your interviewee when responses lead to other relevant topics being brought up. You may find that some of your most unexpected information comes from organic conversation.
3. Follow up after the interview
Likewise, if there are answers that management feels are especially helpful, you can follow up with a call or email to get expanded feedback.
4. Keep the pressure off
Keep the atmosphere relaxed, casual, and open so that your soon-to-be former employee can answer all questions fully and truthfully.
What You Liked Most About Your Job And The Company
Include positive elements of your experience at the organization what you liked and appreciated most about the job, your team, and the organization. Just as individuals need to hear positive feedback to know what they should continue doing, so do organizations. This could include specific benefits offered, investments made in your learning and development, or an aspect of the company culture that you most valued.
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Do You Feel You Received Proper And Complete Training
Companies want their employees to feel prepared for their jobs. This is an area in which you can really help by sharing your candid experience. If you did not feel ready or if your training did not cover enough, let your employer know. Share practical ideas for improvement so future employees are better prepared.
Example:The best thing you can do for new employees is to make sure they understand their roles and supply them with the tools they need to perform their job. I didnt always feel as though I had the resources to do my job well, so I think new employees can benefit from more thorough and frequent training. To fully prepare new employees to meet the companys expectations, management might consider additional training or refreshers so new and current employees can meet their tasks to the best of their ability.
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How Do You Feel About Management And Do You Have Any Feedback Or Suggestions For How We Can Improve
This question gives you the opportunity to help your employer see your position from your perspective. Stay objective and fair when sharing feedback. Be specific and give your feedback in a positive way while keeping the focus on improving the company.
Example:Overall, I am satisfied with the way management has guided me in my job, but there is room for improvement. Management sometimes overlooked the ways they could utilize my role, so I occasionally felt somewhat stagnant. However, if they empower new employees to feel independent from the beginning, we can get more innovative and new ideas from them to add value to the companys success. This seems like a more effective solution than waiting for directives.
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Keep The Interview Consistent Objective And Simple
Exit interviews should be conducted by a member of the People Operations Team or another HR leader. If these roles dont exist in your organization, try using a manager/director from another department. Since a significant number of employees leave because of their relationship with their direct manager, asking managers to conduct exit interviews with their direct reports can create an awkward and potentially inaccurate exit interview. Having someone who wasnt directly involved in the employees day-to-day work life conduct the exit interview will ensure a somewhat objective stance for both parties.
Now for the interview: Keep it short and simple, with just a handful of questions. Interviewers should touch on highlights, lowlights, and recommendations for the future. You can also just let people talk about their experience with the company if they want to. Because the meeting is scheduled for 20 minutes, you know that it wont go too long, and there will usually be a nugget of information that you can learn from. You can then opt to take feedback to the entire leadership team if you have a month with multiple exits or simply present it to the team manager if theres only one exit that month.
Do You Have Any Proud Moments To Share With Us During Your Time Here
Not all exit interview questions are complicated to answer.
One of such most asked interview questions is about the proud moments of an employee while working in their organization.
After all, HRs would want to leverage the positive aspects of their organization to attract future employees.
So, feel free to answer these exit interview questions with great positivity and enthusiasm.
There were quite a few moments while working here that I am proud of.
However, the one moment I am really proud of is when our team managed to achieve and cross the Half-Yearly sales target despite a few road bumps.
Despite the pressure to meet targets, the team had each others back at all times which led us to victory.
Hence this particular moment is one of my most proud moments while working here.
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What Did You Enjoy About Working Here
Again, dont assume that everything not brought up in an exit interview is a positive or that the employee only has negative things to say about their experience. Asking this question will help understand your value as an employer.
Follow-up Questions to Ask
- Which of your job responsibilities did you most enjoy?
- What first attracted you to our company?
How Would You Improve Employee Morale
Just hours ago, this employee was in the thick of things. He was dealing with company culture and being influenced by others morale first-hand. Living through that on a day-to-day basis gives him unique insight into how that morale and culture can be improved. This is the time to find out what he thinks.
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Always Pick The Best Interviewer
Most of the times exit interviews are done by the HR department. In some ways, this makes sense as employees may not feel comfortable speaking openly with their own supervisors or team leads. However, both HR and managers can involve themselves in this important process.
A study from the Harvard Business Review found that interviews conducted by an employeeâs supervisorâs manager will most likely produce the required change.
How You Feel About Your Manager And Other Leaders
This is an opportunity to recognize good managers and leaders, highlighting what made them so good, as well as identify toxic ones. If your manager empowered you to make decisions and has shown good emotional intelligence, thats helpful information for the organization. Just as helpful, is knowing about those who may be detracting from a positive working environment or are even a contributing factor to your decision to leave. This may be a boss who demonstrates bullying behavior or manages by instilling fear. In particular, when multiple exit interviews echo the same negative feedback, the organization has even more incentive to act on it. They might provide coaching to the leader in question to help increase their awareness and mitigate unproductive behaviors, or in more extreme cases, launch an investigation that may lead to further action. Rather than thinking of this as telling on anyone, consider it as shining a light on a problem to be solved in order to make things better for your soon-to-be former colleagues and the organizations future employees.
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Tips For Effective Exit Interviews
- Since exit interviews are only valuable if staff members speak candidly, make sure you create a comfortable environment for them to do just that. You might consider going out of the office to talk over coffee or a drink.
- Consider having someone one level above the departing employees manager conduct the exit interview. The direct manager should already be familiar with the staff members perspective, whereas it might provide fresh information a level upward. Additionally, staff members with concerns about a manager may not feel as comfortable sharing them with the manager herself.
What Could We Have Done To Keep You On Board
It is a testament to the company that so many employees stay here throughout their career. Unfortunately, that leaves very little room for growth. I am at a point where I need a new challenge. I would have been open to staying here had I been able to grow into a new position with new challenges, but these opportunities were not available at this time. If new, higher-level positions were to open up in the future I would be happy to be considered and to return.
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Your Reason For Leaving
This is fairly straightforward perhaps you were approached, unsolicited, by an executive recruiter with an exciting new role that was also a step-up in title and pay. Or maybe you are relocating to be closer to family or to support your spouses new job. Or perhaps you are burned out and need a break to reflect on what you really want in your career and life. This is helpful for the organization to know and can allow the exit interviewer to probe further in the appropriate areas.
Why Should You Conduct Exit Interviews
A well planned and executed exit interviews are a very powerful HR tool, used by an overwhelming majority of top companies.
Research conducted by Burke Incorporated shows that:
91% of the Fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews.
If done right, exit interviews will help you assess the overall experience an employee has had with your company.Hence, you will be able to discover bottlenecks and identify opportunities to improve your retention rates and company culture.
Here are the top 4 benefits of conducting exit interviews:
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Be Vague And Use Positive Language In Your Exit Interview
When I left my first job, I was frustrated and a little disillusioned. I didnt think my boss had helped me find opportunities I wanted, and I realized that my own performance didnt matter.
So I started looking for a new job in a new industry. I applied for two jobs and landed one pretty quickly. Adios, old job!
I gave notice and began ticking off the list of things I had to do before I left: wrap up open projects, say goodbye to friends and colleagues complete an online exit interview? Whats that? I looked it over and saw that the company wanted me to give them anonymous feedback about my experience and tell them why I was leaving.
Ah ha! Its ANONYMOUS?! The perfect opportunity to tell them how I really feel! Ill tell them all about this crummy assignment I had to do, and how my boss wouldnt give me any cool opportunities and Hmm. I wonder who will read this? To Google!
Google told me to cool my jetsthe exit interview is not the place to let off steam or, as my friend Rob would say, go out in a blaze of glory. So I backed off and gave some general feedbackhard to find interesting projects, considering a career change, that sort of thingwithout going into too much detail.
It wasnt very satisfying, but Google said it was the prudent thing to do.
On my last day, I stopped by my boss office to give him my badge and say goodbye.
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 Are You Leaving
Some may see these first two questions as the same, but theyre actually very different. Your employee may have started looking to switch jobs for one reason. But she may have made the final decision for a host of other reasons.
These two questions help you determine everything that prompted her to leavefrom initial dissatisfaction to the final straw that broke the camels back.