Tuesday, May 14, 2024

How To Request An Exit Interview

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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.

How Would You Describe The Culture Of Our Company

This question isn’t probing for specific examples but instead will help you identify trends. As you keep track of employee exit interviews, watch for trends throughout to help you identify real concerns. Identifying trends can also help you separate legitimate concerns from the personal opinion of employees who are emotional or feel negatively about the company.

Effective Exit Interview Questions

It’s important to have a productive meeting with the employee that results in an open and honest conversation where the employee feels at liberty to share their thoughts with you about their time employed at the company. Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • Why are you choosing to leave our organization?

  • What are your thoughts about working here?

  • What is the company doing right?

  • What do you feel the company is doing poorly?

  • How can we improve as an organization?

  • Do you have any specific thoughts about your manager or the department you work in?

  • Are there employees who feel the same as you do?

  • How do the other employees feel about their jobs or the company in general?

  • What are your favorite things about working here?

  • Do you have ideas you wish you would’ve been able to implement during your time here?

  • What are your favorite things about your direct supervisor?

  • Would you have any advice for the person we hire for your position?

  • Who are some employees, managers or executives who have made a positive impact on your time here, and why?

  • Is there anything we should do differently during employee orientation?

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Would You Recommend Our Company To A Friend Looking For A Job

If at all possible, you want the answer to this question to be yes. It indicates the success of the company as a whole. The outgoing employee may be dissatisfied with small aspects of her job, but you want her to talk positively about the company. If she wouldnt recommend your company to her friend, find out why and then fix it.

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

Exiting Letter From Employment

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

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Make It A Positive Experience For The Employee

An employee should never dread their exit interview it should be a positive experience complete with open and honest feedback. The HR team member leading the conversation should never make the employee feel bad about leaving or make them feel guilty for looking for work elsewhere. Additionally, the meeting leader shouldnt use this time to ask the employee to reconsider leaving.

The conversation needs to be casual and the employee should never feel like theyre being ganged up on. Employees sometimes worry about burning a bridge after leaving an employer if they speak up about certain details that arent working or provide brutal honesty. Making the conversation comfortable helps to build trust in the process.

Getting An Exit Interview Invitation

An exit interview invitation is not always offered. In a mass layoff, for example, the one-on-one interaction of an interview is beyond the capacity of most companies exit meetings are focused on quickly moving laid-off employees through their benefits and post-layoff options. Invitations are usually issued through an exit interview email or letter and templates for employers can be found online, according to AIHR Academy.

Employees can also place a request to return for an interview via an exit interview letter or email of their own. If you’re leaving of your own accord, the process of requesting an exit interview can be as simple as checking a box requesting the meeting on an exit form.

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Understanding The Positive Aspects Of Employment

By understanding the positive aspects of employment with your organization, it will also make it easier for you to retain critical employees and improve your workplace productivity. You will have the information you need to make the changes necessary to provide a desirable workplace.

Because you are allowed to ask almost any question in an exit interview, it’s a good time to inquire about compensation and benefits at competing companies. You may discover you top the list. You could also ask the person that is leaving for any positive information they want to share about managers, the organizational mission, the vision of the company, and if your organization excels at communication.

Gain Insight Into Managers Leadership Styles And Effectiveness

Company Exit Interviews (The Truth)

This equips the organization to reinforce positive managers and identify toxic ones. One executive at a major restaurant chain told us that several exit interviews shed recently conducted revealed that micromanagement was a big problem. The conversations, she said, led to some very tangible outcomes, such as establishing training and development initiatives to create better managers.

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Why Are They Done Why Are They Important To Hr

An exit interview is an opportunity for employers to better understand what they are doing right and identify areas for improvement.

In theory, employers hope to increase productivity and decrease turnover by surveying employees as they sever their relationship with the organization.

Exit interviews are also an important way for Human Resources to get a sense of why employees are leaving for other positions. In practice, Human Resources may be less than interested in organizational improvement. After all, it would require a lot of paperwork.

An exit interview can be a good time for constructive, positive criticism. It is important, however, to pay close attention to how youre being received. Better to leave any criticism at the door if it will cost you good will and potentially harm your reputation.

How Do You Prepare To Conduct An Exit Interview

When you conduct an exit interview, there are specific ways you can prepare ahead of time.

  • Send out the interview details soon as you can. Dont wait until the employees last day with the team to let them know that an interview will occur. As soon as youre notified of an employee putting in their two weeks notice, find a time to hold the interview as close to their last day as possible.
  • The HR professional handling the exit interview should also learn as much about the employee, their department, and their role as possible. Knowing their responsibilities and how they contributed to the company will make the interview more effective. Its also a good idea to understand details like how long they were at the company and any record of complaints or disciplinaries made against, or raised by, the employee.
  • If possible, make this meeting face-to-face. If it is, make sure the conference room or interview location is private and secluded enough where the employee doesnt feel like theyre being watched. And, whether its face-to-face or virtual, block enough time so that the employee doesnt feel rushed and they have enough time to say everything theyd like to say.

Being prepared ahead of time is your best bet to get as much feedback as possible from the employee and know the most relevant questions to ask.

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Schedule An Exit Interview

Clemson Universitys Exit Interview Process is designed to help identify workplace issues and concerns that impact employee retention and turnover. The process is intended to give separating employees the opportunity to make suggestions and outline any concerns about their experience at the University. Employees are also given the opportunity to ask questions about the offboarding process.

Faculty and staff who are voluntarily separating from the University are strongly encouraged to participate in an exit interview, although completion of the exit interview is not mandatory. Clemson Universitys Exit Interview Process consists of an initial online survey, followed up by an interview with a representative from the Office of Human Resources , either in person or via phone with permission from the exiting employee.

Exit Interview Questionnaire: 12 Questions To Try

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What questions should you ask during an employee exit interview? This structured exit interview questionnaire will help you to address all the important topics and obtain relevant results that you can then meaningfully evaluate.

If you are well prepared, you will be able to go into the conversation confidently, avoid heated discussions, or superficial verbal sparring. In short, everything will work out perfectly.

These are twelve exit interview sample questions you can use for your company:

Best Practice: Notice the wide range of topics covered in these exit interview questions? Thats because an exit interview should not simply focus on the employees exit. You should take this opportunity to gain insights into all areas relevant to employee satisfaction. These will then influence retention .

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What Are You Most Proud Of From Your Time In This Role

As with the first question, this one can enable a positive conversation and be useful for identifying how your organization contributes to employeesâ sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Listen for details on projects they completed, training they undertook, outcomes they were able to achieve, and any recognition they may have received. Also be sure to ask what they enjoyed about these accomplishments and what made them feel proud.

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.

  • Departing employees are generally more forthcoming than those still in their jobs
  • You will learn the reason for an employees departure
  • The exit interview allows the employee to provide constructive feedback and leave on a positive note
  • That last touchpoint provides you with an opportunity to review continuing obligations with the employee
  • It provides the opportunity to ask if there are any open issues of which you need to be aware. This can help reduce risk and identify matters that may require immediate attention.
  • You will get a candid assessment of your organizations environment and culture
  • Insight into recruiting, on-boarding, and training needs may be revealed
  • The feedback will help you to identify areas that can help improve staff retention
  • Improvement opportunities in management development and succession planning can be detected
  • Its cost-effective to facilitate quality exit interviews
  • 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.

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    Exit Interview Questions To Ask Employees

    Understand why employees are leaving the organization, ask questions to gain insights, and apply the insights to company practices going forward.

    An exit interview is a conversation between an employer and a departing employee. Exit interviews are usually conducted by someone on a human resources team, a third party consultant, or the manager of the departing employee. The interview allows the employer to discover opportunities to improve by gathering feedback from an employee who has filled a role.

    What Did You Like And Dislike About The Job

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    Why they ask it: Theyre asking you this because theres a chance that they want to compare your notes to previous employees who had your role, or they may rethink the position.

    How to answer it: Talk honestly about what you liked and about what you disliked, but keep things professional. Or, feel free to make a small joke about your dislike. I really like the amount of training I received over the years. I learned a lot about the strategic aspects of marketing and will be able to use those skills wherever I go. I disliked the coffee. But, seriously, there wasnt anything I disliked, but I do wish the company offered more remote and flexible work options.

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    What Should I Say In An Exit Interview

    As an employee, the exit interview is your chance to reflect on your experience and provide feedback about it in a confidential way, says Brendan Kavenagh, CEO of Davidson Technology.

    If you feel safe, you can offer suggestions for improvement, Kavenagh says. You may or may not have felt comfortable doing that with your direct line manager.

    Not everyone feels comfortable revealing all during exit interviews, so dont feel that you have to discuss anything you dont want to.

    Why Is Conducting Exit Interviews And Surveys Important

    The hiring process is expensive and can take a long time. If at the end of it you employ people who stay with your company only briefly:

    • You waste time and money on recruitment
    • Every time someone leaves, a bit of company knowledge or process goes with them
    • Leavers may also be detractors, affecting your companys reputation

    By providing departing employees with the opportunity to give honest feedback, you can gather valuable insights to improve the employee experience for both current and future employees.

    Typically, only about a third of employees leaving an organization complete an exit interview. Given the potential richness of exit information, all employers would benefit from encouraging every leaver to respond to exit surveys.

    An exit survey is a means to an end. The goal is not to prevent the employee from leaving. Instead, it is to learn and use it to gain insights to help retain talent, prevent bad hires, improve management practices, and ultimately drive better organizational performance.

    It really does pay dividends in the long run to invest time, energy, and care into finding out why people are leaving, in order to minimize future attrition.

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    If You Must Go At Least Try To Come Out Ahead


    Quitting a job. Its been romanticized in songs like Take This Job and Shove It by Johnny Paycheck. The Ramones wailed about The Job That Ate My Brain. In real life, resigning can disqualify you from Employment Insurance or severance pay. And then theres explaining it to potential employers when they ask why you left.

    In any case youll know when its really time to go. Should you feel theres no option but to leave despite not having a new job lined up, try to arrange the most favourable exit. See if you can get a positive reference, an agreement to label your departure a downsizing, or even a beefed up severance package.

    Sound like too much to ask? It all depends on your employers policies, and your own negotiating skills. Also your stomach for risk.

    Avoid Resigning Hastily

    The best way to leave is with your reputation and all your bridges intact. How you resign will influence your career in the future. It will also hit your pocketbook right away.

    Keep your cool in a heated resignation. It takes time to plan a favourable departure. Rushing out in a fit of pique may seem satisfying today. You wont be gloating though when Employment Insurance declines your application. Or when you flee without a dime of severance. Unless you can prove extenuating circumstances , youre probably throwing these away.

    Inform Your Employer That Youd Like To Leave On Agreeable Terms

    Ask For A Positive Reference

    Ask To Be Terminated Without Cause

    Were You Comfortable Talking To Your Manager

    Leave Request Form Template

    The unique thing about this question is that it reveals details about two individualsthe outgoing employee and the manager.

    First and foremost, you can use the information you glean from the employees answer to improve the performance and development of the manager who still works for your company. Second, you can use the information to help in finding a new employee for the team.

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