Create Lifelong Advocates For The Organization
Treat departing employees with respect and gratitude. That may encourage them to recommend their former companies to potential employees, to use and recommend the companies products and services, and to create business alliances between their former and new employers. You want to leave as an ambassador and customer, said one North American financial services executive.
How Would You Describe The Culture In The Company
How leaving employees answer this question will help you with your employer branding activities. Based on recurring themes, you can leverage the good that emerges out of the answers to better present your company to jobseekers.
The not so good, on the other hand, needs to be addressed if its something that exiting employees keep mentioning.
Team Collaboration And Communication
Teamwork makes the dream work. And the opposite of it can genuinely make work-life challenging to endure.
Needless to say, its crucial that an employee can connect, relate, and empathize with their team members. It can quite literally shape how they work and their mental health too.
So, if there is a rotten apple in the team, here are some exit interview questions to help you find out the issue:
Sample Exit Interview Questions
Reasons for leaving your job
Sometimes it can be a challenge to verbalize your reasons for leaving. Research shows that the main reasons that people leave their jobs voluntarily are:
- For career opportunities that involve advancement and self-development
- A better work/life balance
- An improved fit with the company and job
- For more suitable management and leadership styles
- Availability of training
What Skills And Qualifications Do You Think We Need To Look For In Your Replacement
Who has better insight into what it takes to do your job well than you? Spoiler alert: nobody. You were the one who got the work done day in and day out. And, chances are, you did it well. So, your employer wants to know what qualities they should keep their eyes out for when replacing you.
Perhaps your original job description emphasized that you needed to be great with database management. But, once you were there, you realized that database was rarely even touched by anyone in your office. It was an obsolete job duty that they kept pasting over from description to description. Instead, you think that looking for someone with strong organizational and multi-tasking skills is a way more important facet to emphasize. Trust me, your employer will appreciate this information.
An exit interview is really nothing to stress over. Think of it as your chance to have a valuable and honest discussion about the ins and outs of the position youre leaving. And, if you do start to feel stressed, just ask yourself whats the worst that can happen. After all, they cant fire you.
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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.
Tips To Prepare For An Exit Interview
Here are the following tips that will help you prepare answers for your exit interview.
- Maintain objectivity: Concentrate on the task at hand. Instead of talking about individual individuals, talk about the organization as a whole.
- Rehearse your answers: Seek assistance from a friend or coworker.
- Take notes: Keeping a record of your departure interview can help you recall what you and the interviewer stated or agreed on, as well as provide you with an accurate backup if needed.
- Pay attention to nonverbal cues and body language: Before the interview, take a few deep breaths and relax consciously. This will assist you in being composed and attentive during the interview. Maintain an open body language throughout your departure interview to assist you feel more comfortable.
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About The Exit Interview
Ideally, the exit interview is part of a well-structured employee offboarding process. From a practical point of view, its good to keep in mind that:
- Its best to have a neutral third-party, like someone from the HR department, to hold the exit interview since employees may not always have a great relationship with their manager you dont want them to hold back or be overly positive when in reality they have valuable feedback.
- Employees remember their first day on the job, but they also remember their last. The exit interview is, therefore, a big part of how leaving employees will remember you as an employer so try to take all feedback seriously!
Well now take a look at 29 example exit interview questions to help you improve your employee experience. To make the list less overwhelming, weve divided the questions in 5 bite-sized categories:
Related resource ahead! Continue reading below
Did You Feel You Were Given Adequate Training For The Job Why/why Not
This question is particularly important for employees who are leaving their job within the first 6 months. Employers need to ensure theyre giving their employees every opportunity to flourish through structured training and equipping them with the right tools. This question could reveal holes in the onboarding process.
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What Prompted You To Begin Searching For Another Opportunity
Kick off the exit interview by asking the employee why theyre leaving. Are they relocating to a different area? Going back to school? Or do they feel that your company isnt the right fit? Their answer can help guide the discussion and spark ideas for follow-up questions.
This question can also help you determine which opportunities, benefits or perks your company could be offering to attract and retain top talent. For example, if you notice exiting employees often say theyre leaving because there wasnt enough opportunity for advancement, it could be a sign that managers arent properly addressing their employees career aspirations.
Were You Comfortable With Your Working Time
This question can be used if your business has a flexible working time policy. Some employees may leave because they have to work too many hours, too few hours, or the work schedules interfere with their personal lives. You may need to apply different employee scheduling strategies or find a better scheduling system to avoid future turnover.
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Do You Feel Your Manager Gave You What You Needed To Succeed
From training and one-on-one meetings to performance reviews and career development opportunities, managers have a responsibility to make sure each of their team members have the tools and feedback they need to excel in their role. This is one of the best exit interview questions, as it can reveal if employees feel abandoned in any of these areas so it can be addressed with their manager.
Is There Anything Else Youd Like To Add
Exit interviews tend to be structured by employer questions, so this is your opportunity to hand the reins over to your interviewee and allow them to speak about anything that hasnt been covered. Listen attentively and respectfully to anything they say here, and make sure not to interrupt or correct them if you believe what they are saying is incorrect. By ensuring that they feel listened to, youre safeguarding a good future relationship and ensuring that they move on to their next role with nothing but positive memories of their time working with you.
As an employer, you might be dealt some uncomfortable truths in exit interviews. If possible, try to take them as a suggestive set of guidelines, rather than a slew of direct personal criticism. Accept any praise for your company gracefully and take a proactive approach to criticism, resolving to change any perceived negative aspects. By viewing an exit interview as a learning experience, youll be guaranteed to get the most of out it.
- Provide free perks and over 1,000 discounts
- Recognise and reward employees
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Gain Insight Into Managers Leadership Styles And Effectiveness
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.
If You Were An Animal Which One Would You Want To Be
Dont be alarmed if youre asked weird interview questions. Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer a bunny, you will make a soft, passive impression.
If you answer a lion, you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?
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What Do You Like Least About Our Office
If, for instance, it turns out that many leaving employees dont like the fact that their manager doesnt sit with them in an open space you should consider changing this.
Or perhaps people would rather not have a dedicated desk so that theyre able to meet other colleagues. This is also something you can address pretty easily.
While these are often simple things, they can have a big impact on peoples day-to-day and hence their employee experience.
How Did You Come Into The Office And What Was Your Commute Like
Even with the work from home option people will often still need to come into the office. Knowing how employees get in and how long it takes them will help you make their lives easier in that regard.
If, for example, you have many employees using the metro you can look into a cycle to work kind of scheme for those who prefer cycling over a packed train ride.
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Most Effective Exit Interview Questions
Now that you are ready to conduct an effective exit interview, let’s look at how to craft the perfect exit interview questions.
Reasons for Leaving
The most important question you must ask your employees is why they have decided to leave. The answer helps you better understand their reasons and how they came to the decision to move to another employer.
- Why did you decide to leave?
- What made you accept your new job?
Gauging an employeeâs overall workplace experience can help you understand the day-in-the-lives of your employees.
- What did you like best about your job? The least?
- Do you think your job has changed since you started?
- Do you feel your manager gave you adequate and complete training?
- Were you happy with the benefits offered?
- Did you feel like your achievements were recognised?
- How do you feel about management?
- What was your relationship with your manager like?
- Did you get along with your colleagues?
- Was any feedback received from your manager helpful?
- How would you describe your overall employee experience?
Asking your departing employees about the work culture they experienced will help you make vital changes to your workplace environments.
Your former employeeâs professional goals will help you understand how you can support the future career goals of future employees.
Listen to your former employeeâs recommendations for easy ways to improve your company.
The Exit Interview Process
Have the employee exit interview take place in a quiet and comfortable room that is free of distractions. Start the session with some casual dialogue to help the employee feel relaxed and eager to chat. Avoid jumping straight into the questions. If you do, the employee may feel like they are being interrogated and immediately put their guard up.
Keep in mind some employees may be unwilling to answer the questions truthfully, particularly if they are concerned about burning bridges or compromising their chances of future employment elsewhere. Gently remind the employee there will be no consequences for giving honest answers in the exit interview, and the information will be used to improve the quality of the business.
Depending on your personal preference, you can give the departing employee an exit interview form to fill out, which contains multiple choice and short answer questions to complete. This can be used to complement the face-to-face meeting or serve as the entire exit interview itself.
Next Step After An Exit Interview
Many organisations conduct exit interviews and gain valuable information but dont know how to act on it to make positive improvements. PeopleSense by AltiusOrganisational Psychology services provide organisations with solutions across the employee life cycle, including outgoing employees.
If your organisation would like help with making the most of the information collected from outgoing employees, call Altius Group on 1300 307 912 or contact us online.
Would You Consider Coming Back To Work Here
This is a question you may answer if your employer may require a service from you later on. For example, a senior position may be vacant in the future. You can indicate that you may be open to future opportunities if it suits your career goals.
Example:Yes, I would be delighted to work here in the future in a higher-level role if it suits my career goals at the time.
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Reasons Why They Left
Yes, it is not a good idea to downright ask people why they are leaving. But that doesnt mean that you cant try to identify the root of the cause. Here are some exit interview questions that help you do so:
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
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Have You Informed Anyone Of Your Decision To Leave
If your response to this question shows that you’ve informed some staff members of your decision to leave, then your employer may send an email to everyone providing clarity on the situation. This can help sustain a positive work environment in the organisation.
Example:Yes, I have informed my team members via email that I’ll be leaving by the end of this month.
Do You Feel Your Job Description Changed Since You Were Hired If So Then How
To nip unrealistic expectations in the bud its good to ask leaving employees this question. If indeed their job description is different now then it should be updated asap to avoid disappointed new hires.
Changes can include, among other things, different skills, competencies, tasks and responsibilities.
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How Was Your Relationship With Your Immediate Manager
This question is a great opportunity to evaluate how well your team structure is working and iron out any managerial issues within the company hierarchy. If your interviewee mentions any issues that were borne out of uncertainty, you could perhaps think about organising some top-up training for your managerial team. If there was a clash of personalities that led to him or her not working well with their immediate manager, now is the time to apologise that that wasnt picked up on sooner.