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What Happens During An Exit Interview

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Exit Interview Form Template

What Happens When You Leave Google? (exit interview)

Once an employee has given their resignation letter, you’ll want to send them a form with some of the following questions. Give them time to submit their answers through the form before meeting with them to discuss their answers, face-to-face.

Below are some of the questions you’ll want your exit interview form to include. Simply copy and paste them into your preferred word processor.

Always Ask The Same Questions

When it comes to exit interview best practices, Tuggle suggests, “For conducting productive exit interviews, I think one key is asking the same questions of all people who leave. This structure allows us to codify the exit responses so we can extract actionable data around why people are leaving, and how we can improve the employee experience.

We do this by having a standard exit interview form that leavers submit, and then have an unbiased third-party follow up in-person to go deeper on the answers the person filled out in the exit interview. Exit interviews aren’t necessary unless you plan on using them to gather as much data as possible that can be coupled with employee survey data to understand the employee experience.”

Did You Feel Fulfilled In Your Role

This is a deep one, and can be answered from several different angles. Were you able to see the purpose behind your work, or did it feel meaningless? Did you find opportunities for advancement, whether in your overall career or in personal goals?

Long story short: did this role meet your needs and expectations, as determined by your values?

The answers to these questions can help your employer increase employee engagement and retention in the future. Dont beat around the bush or lie to avoid making your employer feel bad, but rather see this as an opportunity to share insights that can help them move forward.

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‘i Think Is Really Unhappy Here’ Or ‘nobody Is Happy Here’

Don’t speak for others. “This can hurt you in the eyes of people who may have shared confidences with you,” Kerr says. “Just make this about your story, no one else’s.”

Also, don’t try to suggest the ship is going down with you. “Even if it’s true, your coworkers won’t appreciate it, and you’re not their spokesperson,” Taylor says. “If they’re about to jump ship, that will be their task.”

What Is An Employee Exit Interview

Exit Interview: What To Expect

An exit interview is a meeting with a terminating employee that is generally conducted by a human resources staff member. The exit interview provides your organization with the opportunity to obtain frank and honest feedback from the employee who is leaving your employment.

Managers and supervisors are also encouraged to conduct exit interviews with employees who are leaving the organization. These interviews with an exiting employee can provide information that the manager can use to avoid losing additional employees. And, when trust exists between the manager and the employee who is exiting the organization, the employee exit interview feedback is useful for organizational improvement and development.

The exit interview is an integral component of your employment ending process because the information you obtain can make major improvements in your organization. In some organizations, the exit interview is conducted as a part of the employment termination meeting in addition to the rest of the steps on the employment termination checklist.

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For Many Businesses These Are The Only Moments Where Those Honest Conversations Do Happen

Still, there are various reasons for workers moving on to participate, they agree. For one, it can make the employee look professional, agree both Pringle and Cotton, and leave a good final impression. And, adds Cotton, its nice to be nice.

Part of that niceness extends to creating a better environment for the people remaining at the company. Ben Branson-Gateley, CEO and co-founder of CharlieHR, a London-based HR software company, believes its important to do the good deed for the remaining employees, since itll be useful and helpful for them.

This can be particularly true in highly problematic work cultures, where issues like harassment or sexism may continue to affect colleagues well after one worker leaves. These kinds of red-flag issues are important to bring up so the company can look into and take action on them, says Pringle.

It may well be that other team members are experiencing the same, adds Cotton. And your experience may not benefit you. It will benefit the company. And it will benefit the colleagues who are around you.

For many businesses, these are the only moments where those honest conversations do happen, says Branson-Gateley.

and a good time be selfish and strategic

You should think hard about what you want from an exit interview before deciding how much to open up, experts say

But if the workers primary goal for an exit interview is a little bit of release, then saying nothing or being genial may not be in their best interests.

What Not To Ask

If you follow a few simple rules , you shouldnât go far wrong. And remember, stay professional at all times. Itâs far better to say nothing during those awkward moments and move on to the next question than to throw petrol on what should be dying embers.

Facts, not feelings. Be professional. Listen.

  • Never aim questions towards specific people.
  • Donât feed into gossip.
  • Avoid anything that could be misconstrued as harassment, discrimination, or
  • Donât try and convince the employee to stay.
  • Keep everything professionalâstay clear of any personal issues or arguments.

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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.

What Should I Say In An Exit Interview

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.

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Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position

As you might guess, this is likely the key question that your employer wants answered during your exit interview. What the heck caused you to want to pack up your bags and go?

Youre asked this for a few different reasons. First, your employer wants to identify whether or not there was a single event that precipitated your departuresuch as a falling out with your manager or a co-worker. Secondly, he or shes hoping to determine if there are any shortcomings with the position that need to be resolved before bringing in a replacement.

Remember, one of a companys key goals is employee retention. And, your feedback is critical in helping to achieve that!

Be Sure Of What You Want To Speak Of

There can be various reasons for which an employee decides to leave an organization.

So, the best thing to do is to pinpoint the factors you want to speak of instead of scrambling all over while answering exit interview questions.

Think about why you are switching your job, is it because of a bad job/ boss? Is it because you are not feeling challenged enough? Or, Is it because you can’t fit into the company culture?

Think through the points you would want to cover and practice it well. Doing so will help you to stay on track while answering exit interview questions.

Also, practicing your answers beforehand will prevent you from an emotional meltdown at the time of the interview.

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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Exit Interviewing

In-Person Exit Interviews

With in-person exit interviews, Associate in Nursing 60 minutes representative meets one by one with every terminating worker.


  • Can give data concerning edges and retrieve company property throughout the interview
  • Gives a private bit to every worker
  • Can seek for additional data on every question


  • Employees could also be afraid to share sensitive or negative data throughout Associate in Nursing in-person interview
  • For larger corporations, it’s going to be too time-intensive to interview each worker
  • It’s troublesome to trace data received verbally throughout Associate in Nursing interview

Telephone Exit Interviews

Telephone Exit Interviews area unit conducted over the phone by Associate in Nursing 60 minutes Representative or an out of doors third party authority.


  • Can seek for additional data on every question
  • Can enter knowledge into a pursuit system whereas conducting the interview
  • Easier to schedule than in-person interviews


  • Time intense if done in-house by Associate in Nursing 60 minutes Representative
  • Expensive if through with an out of doors authority
  • Employees usually reluctant to verbally share sensitive or negative data

Paper and Pencil Exit Interviews

Paper and Pencil Exit Interviews area unit sometimes conducted by a kind that’s given to the worker on their Last Judgement or armoured to the employee’s home.



Online Exit Interview Management Systems


Distill The Answers Into Insights

How Exit Interview Checklist is Pivotal for Offboarding

Identify patterns you see from different exit interviews, and use that data to draw conclusions on which feedback you should use to improve the employee experience moving forward. As mentioned, take similar notes for each exit interview. To make it easier, you could use a survey software that helps you collect the employees written answers.

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Exit Interviews Will Improve Your Company Culture

Exit interviews are the key for improving your business from the inside out. Knowing what makes some employees leave can help you keep the employees you already have. As a result, youll improve your company culture, reduce turnover, and boost productivity leading to a better and better workplace over time.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Nov 11, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated November 11 2021


Your Top Recommendations For Improvement

Identify the top one or two areas for improvement within the organization. These may also be the factors that would have kept you from leaving . These recommendations may include things like more flexible work options, more competitive compensation , a culture that is more welcoming of dissenting views, better upward feedback mechanisms, and so on.

Taking the time to share the information above can help focus the organizations improvement efforts. Good leaders make things better for others, and the exit interview is a small, but important, way to contribute to this aim.

  • Rebecca Zucker is an executive coach and a founding Partner at Next Step Partners, a boutique leadership development firm. Her clients include Amazon, Clorox, Morrison Foerster, the James Irvine Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and high-growth technology companies like DocuSign and Dropbox. You can follow her on Twitter: .

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Exit Interview Tips: How To Leave Your Job On Good Terms

Tags:Career Advice

Want to leave your job on good terms with bridges intact? Read on to learn more about exit interview questions, answers and tips to leave your job in the best way possible!

When we talk about a job life cycle, were typically laser-focused on the process of landing the job. We talk less about what to do on your way out.

Even if you are relieved to be saying your goodbyes, you dont want to accidentally light any bridges on fire. Your future career can be affected by how you navigate this transition.

As part of your exit process, theres a good chance that upon receipt of your resignation youll be asked to take part in an exit interview. Dont panic just yet! An exit interview is a great opportunity to provide feedback on your employer and organization as a whole in a way that is mutually beneficial.

The answers to your exit interview questions are meant to help your soon-to-be-ex company and ag recruiters improve moving forward. There will be some paperwork and formal documentation involved, but really it should be a productive conversation where you offer constructive feedback. Its an opportunity for you to get some things off your chest you might have been holding on to in fear of repercussions.

If youre unfamiliar with what a typical exit interview looks like, well lay out some possible questions to expect in this next section. A little preparation can go a long way!

The State Of Exit Interviews

Exit Interview: What To Expect

Too often EI programs fail to either improve retention or produce useful information. Weve identified two reasons why. The first is data quality. The usefulness of an EI depends utterly on the honesty and forthrightness of the departing employee. People may be less than candid on their way out the door for many reasons. Some feel pressed for time or unmotivated to explore their feelings. They may not want to say anything negative about a supervisor they like, or anything at all about a supervisor they dont like. As one HR leader at a European mining company puts it, Are they really going to tell you theyre leaving because they dont like their boss? Probably not, because they want references.

The second reason is a lack of consensus on best practices. The goals, strategies, and execution of EI programs vary widely, and the findings and recommendations from empirical studies are often vague or conflicting. But in our view, the deepest problem is that many organizations use EI programs as an excuse not to have meaningful retention conversations with current employees.

To get a clearer sense of the state of EI processes and outcomes, in 2012 and 2013 we surveyed 188 executives and interviewed 32 senior leaders. They represented 210 organizations in 33 industries, headquartered in more than 35 countries. Many interviewees were personally responsible for leading the exit process at their companies, and some reported on their own experience of leaving an organization.

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How Did The Job Match Expectations

The job may have perfectly met the employees expectations, or maybe it wasnt exactly what they were looking for when they were thinking about the next step in their career. Regardless, this question will help you determine where you could be clearer in your job postings and in your company image.

What to Look For

Listen for I thought I would be doing more of X or I was looking more of an X type of company. This will help you better refine your job postings and the way you represent your business online. If an employee was looking to work at a startup and youre an enterprise firm, youll want to screen future candidates for these expectations.

What Did You Like Most About Your Job

While the main goal of exit interviews is to get constructive feedback, that doesnt mean you wont have the opportunity to highlight any positives.

In a typical exit interview, youll be asked what aspects of your position you liked the most. Whether it was a particular job duty, your team members, or the weekly happy hours, your company wants to know what made you look forward to coming in each day. This knowledge helps your manager not only continue to expand on these positive attributes, but also play up the appealing traits when listing your position!

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Reflect On Your Experience In Writing

Itâs not always easy to wing a conversation, especially when you need to talk about something as difficult as why you chose to leave your company. Without proper structure, excessively harsh or critical statements might slip out, or you could forget something important you really wanted to bring up. To avoid something like this, itâs best to plan out in advance which items you want to cover.

âI highly recommend writing down notes to plan what you want to say,â advises Jude Miller-Burke, Ph.D., business psychologist and author. âIf you expect it to be highly charged, practice out loud. Reinforce to yourself that you will maintain boundaries and not succumb to your strong emotions

Write a list of all the items you want to cover, including positive feedback, critical feedback and what you think the company can do to improve overall. You probably wonât want to read off of this list verbatim in the meeting â that could come off as a little stiff and impersonal â just use it to help jog your memory around which topics to bring up and how to answer certain questions.

Who Conducts Employee Exit Interviews

How to conduct an exit interview

In a study involving 88 executives and 32 senior leaders from 210 organizations in 33 industries that were headquartered in more than 35 countries, Harvard Business Review researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the organizations conducted employee exit interviews.

According to the study, “Of those, 70.9% had their HR departments handle the process 19% had the departing employees direct supervisors do it 8.9% delegated the job to the direct supervisors manager, and 1% turned to external consultants.”

Further, they decided that the result of an exit interview should be actionable data. But, of the study participants reporting. only a third could identify a specific example of an action taken as a result of the exit interview data collection.

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