How Long Have You Been Considering Leaving Our Company
This is a simple question that will tell you whether this was a rash decision or a decision that happened over time. If it seems sudden, then it was likely caused by a certain event, and youll be able to better tailor your questions to get to the motive behind the employees decision.
What to Look For
Look for a time range. A year versus a month is a big difference. Determine whether any major company changes happened at the time they considered leaving an acquisition, a change in management, and so forth.
Is There Something We Could Have Done To Retain You
Being one of the most asked interview questions, this question is asked in a rather candid manner.
Your answer will act as feedback to your Hrs and employee which will benefit the future employees.
However, avoid being unnecessarily sarcastic, harsh, or negative. You can answer such candid exit interview questions like this,
I have had a great journey while working in this organization.
I was really excited about the awaiting opportunities when I first came and to date, I have had a great experience of learning.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the opportunities and experiences.
I must now move on to look for new opportunities, challenges, and learnings. Thank you .
Prepare For Your Interview
Your exit interview is as important as your job interview. So be sure to come prepared for the meeting, be on time and professional, and dress appropriately.
Do: Make sure that you know how to positively explain your employment experience before your exit interview, even if the experience wasnt pleasant. If youd like to prove a point, bring any materials that could support it, such as records or emails.
Don’t: Wear casual attire or inappropriate clothes. This is a serious process, so make sure that you take it sincerely. An exit interview is a learning experience for you and the company.
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Why Conduct Exit Interviews
The usual way to perform this closure is an exit interview. This technique is a useful tool to identify possible failures in the organization, to find out why the company is not being able to retain an employee who may be very valuable or to learn about their experience in the company.
However, it is not uncommon for exit interviews to be poorly done or not done at all, and therefore of no use. This in itself reflects a major flaw in corporate operations that must be corrected: it is legitimate to decide not to conduct exit interviews, but doing them badly is even more damaging to the company than not doing them at all.
Exit interviews are based on a very simple assumption: employees must be considered as a source of relevant information for the company. It is true that they are not always a 100% reliable source of information, due to the high level of subjectivity that some of their opinions may have, but they are a source of information after all.
Company Policy Of Rehire
Some companies have a policy of rehiring. Though, bringing back an employee who has left you at one point in time is an apprehensive task. However, maintaining records of an ex-employee on performance, the reason for leaving, and other vital parameters can help decide if the company should rehire an employee.
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What Inspired You To Leave This Company And The Position Youve Held
After gathering information on the positives and challenges the employee experienced, try to discover their motives for leaving, while continuing to set a positive tone for the conversation.
Listen carefully for information on when the employee decided to look for a new job and the exact factors that contributed to their decision
Is There Anything We Could Have Done To Keep You
Again, be honest but keep it reasonable.
If you resigned because you wanted a promotion and a pay rise, find a constructive way to say that.
It is also ok to say that there was nothing they could have done. If you are moving or want a fresh start, then nothing could have kept you there. If you are leaving for reasons entirely out of their control, let them know.
With everything that has happened in my personal life this past year, I needed a fresh start. I very much enjoy working for this brand but there is nothing you could have done to retain me. It was just a move I needed to make.
Having been in the agency for three years, I felt that I was due a promotion. I was informed that this would not be likely for another 18 months. My new role is more senior and representative of my current performance. Had there been more promotions available, I may have considered staying.
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Ask The Employee To Complete A Written Survey
Consider asking the exiting employee to complete a written survey before your meeting. This will provide them with the opportunity to think about their responses in advance. You may find that the employee is actually more open in a written survey because they feel more comfortable. Plus, when you are able to read their thoughts prior to your meeting, you can develop questions that guide the conversation.
Exit Interview Best Practices
Ultimately, an exit interview doesn’t just help you understand why your talent is leaving it also helps you ensure you can implement strategies or cultural changes to improve the satisfaction of employees who stay.
However, it’s not always easy to discern what a highly productive exit interview looks like.
To learn more about exit interview best practices, I spoke with Winston Tuggle, an HR Business Partner at HubSpot. Here are some of the best practices he suggests.
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Exit Interview: 6 Tips To Approach It Successfully
An exit interview is a technique used by many companies to exchange feedback with an employee who is leaving the company.
Sometimes an employees career in a particular job ends abruptly: they resign, or are suddenly fired, and do not come back the next day. In these cases, there is no opportunity for an orderly and productive conclusion of the employees career, nor for the company.
On other occasions the end occurs in a more progressive manner, for example with a few days notice. It is then possible to carry out some closing action to clarify under what conditions the person leaves and what are the outcomes of their relationship with the company .
Did You Feel Supported By Your Manager
Depending on the departing team members job role, they may not have a unique perspective about the organizational culture at the larger level. One area you know the team member has direct experience with is their manager.
Once you ask them if they felt supported by their manager or not, probe into what their manager did or didnt do well.
Possible follow-up questions:
Do you feel that leadership recognized your contributions? If not, how do you think it can be improved?
Can you provide examples to elaborate on your answer?
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Leave Space For Employee Details
Take note that youll be keeping exit interview forms for recording purposes. So, they should have information about their respondents . Thats why you must leave space at the top of the forms for employee details. Put blank spaces where the employee will write their name, job title or position, department, and date of resignation or termination.
Do You Have Any Observations To Share About Your Onboarding Process
This is where employers try to find out how well they’re accommodating their new employees at the workplace.
Whatever you say will be taken as feedback so be very clear and detailed in your answer. If they made you fill out an excessive number of forms, mention that. If you loved the interactive and group training sessions, mention that.
Even if it’s something as small as being impressed by the office building and facilities, it will go a long way towards helping you build rapport with the employer.
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What Factors Influenced Your Acceptance Of This New Role
Be honest, but not petty.
Work environments are constantly changing and evolving. If your current organization has not updated its values or policies, then this feedback is essential.
Most businesses will not make changes unless there is substantial evidence to back it. These exit interviews allow HR to find patterns, thus allowing them to make the appropriate alterations.
You are under no obligation to divulge all your deciding factors. Choose one or two that you think will help the organization improve themselves in the future.
My new role comes with a benefits package that suits my lifestyle. It includes a gym membership, on-site counseling, and requests that all lunchbreaks be taken away from the desk. The work environment is less formal.
This new role promises a new challenge, added responsibility, and more money. These three factors are pivotal to me achieving my goals, and I felt they were not available to me here.
Where Should An Employee Exit Interview Occur
An exit interview should occur on neutral ground, like in a separate meeting room. A one-on-one conversation with a colleague from the HR department should create a good atmosphere in which the employee can open up without feeling like they are being interrogated. Use a questionnaire to guide the discussion so that you can be sure to cover all the topics that you feel are relevant. Take notes on the employees answers.
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What To Avoid During An Exit Interview
Don’t ask about specific individuals. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re asking about someone for a particular reason. Specifically asking about someone could give the employee the incorrect impression that you’re attempting to build a termination case against an individual. The exception is if you ask a generalized question about management.
Don’t address office gossip. If an employee chooses to discuss office slander or gossip, do not engage. You may want to consider letting the employee know that they can share their feelings, but that you cannot and do not have an opinion on the matter.
Don’t give your opinions. This is the employee’s chance to speak, and it’s important that you listen, ask questions to make sure you understand what they’re saying, encourage them throughout the process and provide a safe space for them to feel comfortable being open with you.
Don’t ask an employee to reconsider. A manager may want to ask an employee to reconsider once they receive the employee’s two weeks’ notice, but refrain from asking during the exit interview. The purpose of the interview is to learn more about an employee’s experience.
How Honest Should You Be In An Exit Interview
People often ask this question. It is a fine balance between being open and transparent and not creating a bad impression.
- Always act professionally
- Provide honest feedback but do it politely and diplomatically
- Avoid being rude, petty or unpleasant
- Avoid complaining about colleagues, managers and job duties
- Support your answers, both positive and negative, with specific examples to give them credibility
- Keep it factual rather than just sharing your feelings and emotions
- Be proactive and constructive by providing possible solutions where appropriate
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Ensure Interviews Stay Confidential
You’ll also want to make sure your exit interviews are confidential between the HR team and employees. While data or general insights can be used to improve employee experience and should be shared with leadership, your employee needs to know their exact complaints won’t reach their old manager or coworkers.
What Are Your Recommendations
Why they ask it: This is an open-ended question that usually comes near the end of your exit interview. HR is trying to see if theres anything you want to add that maybe they didnt ask about.
How to answer it: Sometimes, youll have specific ideas that are perfectly safe answers. For example, if the health insurance is lacking, remote work options are too restrictive, or the time-off policy isnt great, you might suggest improving these. Two weeks off a year just wasnt enough for me. You may want to consider adding more PTO to the benefits package or allow work-from-home days to attract more candidates and reduce burnout.
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Update It Permissions And Access
The HR department must work with the IT department to ensure that the employees employee login, access to their PC and other information is no longer available to them. It is also a common practice to redirect their emails or add an out of office message to it for a short duration of time.
Furthermore, sensitive credentials that are known to the employee should be changed and their entrance access should be revoked. If the employee handles clients then the HR department must also decide whether the clients should be informed about the same or not. These are very important tasks to ensure the security of the company
Was There Anything Lacking In The Training We Provided You
This is more of an honest feedback question that human resources will ask you to gauge how interesting their investment in a training program is for employees.
Be honest here since there is not really any wrong answer. Just remember to back your answer up, whether its a yes or a no. Additionally, give reasoning so that it doesnt seem like you are trying to get the interview over with.
For example, you can say that you really liked the employee feedback that managers asked for at the end of each session, or the development opportunities that the training provided.
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Share The Feedback With All Stakeholders
Keep all exit interviews in one place and put together a process for sharing feedback. A leadership team might want access to where the exit interviews live, or maybe they just want you to work out any suggestions for change with the appropriate stakeholder. Sometimes it depends on timing because exits come in waves and one-offs and it might be best to present all the feedback at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter. In any situation, make sure time is scheduled with appropriate stakeholders and there are recommendations for change if needed to avoid a black hole of feedback.
There might be a month where one person exits and the feedback can directly go to a team manager to work out any recommendations. Its a great idea to try to get to the root of the problem and update the leadership team with the actions youve taken. In the case where you get one-off exit interview feedback, you can work directly with management to reach a solution. For example, if several employees mention issues with team meetings, you can work with the manager directly to explore different ways to achieve the goal of the meetings or potentially change the meeting structure. This type of feedback and the actions taken to make changes can be brought up as an update during a leadership meeting at the end of the quarter.
Do You Think Theres Someone Else Who Should Leave Instead Of You
While you want to get feedback on management and employee relationships, you shouldnt let things get too personal. If your former employees have bad experiences or grievances to disclose, give them space to mention them. But you dont want to actively initiate a blame game. So, avoid questions targeted at specific people or issues.
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What To Say In An Exit Interview
Good leaders make things better for others, and the exit interview is a small, but important, way to contribute to this aim. What should you include in your feedback? The author offers six suggestions: 1) Your reason for leaving 2) How well your job was structured and if you had the appropriate tools to succeed 3) If you had opportunities to learn and grow 4) How you feel about your manager and other leaders 5) What you liked most about your job and the company and 6) Your top recommendations for improvement.
Given that most people will hold multiple jobs over the course of their professional lives, you may have the opportunity to participate in an exit interview at one or more points during your career. While not all organizations conduct exit interviews, if you do have the opportunity to participate in one, it is a chance to provide helpful feedback to the organization, so that it can learn and continuously improve for current and future employees.
Whether you are leaving to pursue a new opportunity, escape a toxic leader or environment, seek better work-life balance, make a career change, or all of the above, you dont want to make the exit interview an emotional venting session. Be calm and constructive, sticking to the facts while being both open and direct in your responses. Youll want to include the following information in your feedback.
How To Conduct A Successful Exit Interview
Different exit surveys will gather different types of feedback. Some ask for direct feedback on the persons manager while others just ask about the role and reasons for leaving.
If an exit survey isnt clear to interpret you may want to consider redesigning your survey
Exit interviews should also allow you to dissect data by performance levels, tenure, and role.
Unlike an engagement survey, where you deal with constructs built around employee attitudes, an exit survey should be much more practical and simple to design and interpret. If an exit survey isnt clear to interpret you may want to consider redesigning your survey.
It can be useful to include a few open text fields in your survey too often they elicit rich detail and nuances about an employees decision to leave compared to multiple-choice questions.
While historically these have been difficult to turn into insights, text analyticssoftware can process language and sentiment analysis to allow you to automatically analyze many thousands of open-text responses.
This then creates topics, themes, and trends to allow you to spot patterns and interpret the data.
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