Wednesday, July 17, 2024

What Should I Say In Exit Interview

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Ask your employee about their everyday life in the workplace and if that is part of the reason why theyre leaving. They can point out aspects of the employee experience you didnt notice because they dont directly impact you.

For example, one of the reasons theyre leaving may be due to frustration over slow business management software. With this valuable information, you can investigate alternative solutions that will benefit other employees.

Were You Supported Enough In Your Job Role

If your answer is ‘yes’, then say so and give examples of how and when. This interview is for feedback it doesnt always have to be negative.

If your answer is ‘no’, give suggestions about what support you would have liked and when.

If there is a particular incident where you felt that you were not offered any support and it affected your work, mention it but keep it impartial.

Example Answers

I was pleased with the support given at this organization. When I received a customer complaint, I was allowed to share my point of view and my record was considered before a decision was made. There were regular training sessions and I had monthly review sessions with my line-manager that I found to be very useful.

Unfortunately, I do not feel that I was supported enough in my role. While there were regular training sessions, I felt that it was every employee for themself. When a colleague complained about me, I was not allowed to explain myself. I was punished for something that was a misunderstanding. I appreciate that the incident happened during a busy period, but there was no support offered to me from any senior members.

Common Exit Interview Questions

Never Say Things Against The Person You Worked Under:

Whether you will admit or not, you are likely to learn something new in each company you join. Each company you are a part of will teach you some lessons, either on a personal level or in terms of your professional wisdom. At no point in time should you make the mistake of saying something negative about the person who you worked under.

Even if you considered him or her to be a terrible individual, you should just withhold your anger and not say fowl things. Believe it or not, hardly any employee likes his boss, so there is no need to point out any negative things about him or her.

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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.

What Did You Dislike Most About Your Job


Here it isthe flipside of the coin. Its time to share those not-so-great aspects of your position.

Maybe you hated having to coordinate the monthly board meeting. Perhaps your boss was a complete meddling micromanager. Or, maybe you think your entire department needs to be restructured in order to work more efficiently and effectively.

Nows your chance to be honest and share those complaints that you normally reserved for mutters under your breath and venting sessions over cocktails with friends.

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What To Say In The Exit Interview So You Leave On A Good Note

Not every organization conducts exit interviews, but for many, they are standard procedure when an employee leaves. Employers hold exit interviews either in person, over the phone, or sometimes even by an online survey in order to get valuable feedback about an employees experience with their company and to gain deeper insights into things like company culture, work environment, morale, management performance or any other work-related issues the employee had.

If youre asked to participate in an exit interview, youll likely be asked some version of the following questions:

  • Why are you leaving?
  • What were the best and worst parts of your job?
  • How happy were you with things like salary, benefits, perks, time off, the office environment, etc?
  • How do you feel about your managers or supervisors?
  • How do you feel about the support/training/feedback you received?
  • How do you feel about your relationship with your coworkers?
  • What recommendations do you have for the company on how to improve?
  • Would you recommend this company to others? Why or why not?

Since youre already on your way out , it can be tempting to just breeze through the exit interview without giving the process or your answers much thought. And you could be wondering: whats in it for you to put additional thought, time and care into this exercise?

Be Honest, But Not Bitter

Be Specific

Be Sure to Give Positive Feedback, Too

Did You Have The Tools To Succeed At Your Job

Why they ask it: An employer should give you the things you need to do your job. This isnt just physical tools, like a computer or phone. Tools include training, professional development, mentoring, and timely feedback. HR is asking if you had what you needed to succeed because if you didnt, it might be something they can provide current and future employees.

How to answer it: This is a case where you can probably be more honest than with other questions, but choose wisely. If your biggest problem was a loud office or a lack of training, bring these things up as they may be easy to fix.

For example, Im not really a fan of open office plans. And the bench-style seating didnt work for me. It was very distracting. Also, I would have liked to receive feedback about my work more often than I did. Im not the kind of person that likes to wait for my annual evaluation to see how Im doing.

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Here Are Some Important Questions To Ask:

1. Why are you leaving?

2. What is the company doing right? Moderately right? Poorly? Very Poorly?

3. How could conditions be improved?

4. What would you do to improve the situation that is causing you to leave?

5. How do other employees feel about the situation? The company in general?

6. What isnt the company currently doing, that if it started to do, would improve things?

7. Please describe your general feelings about working here. If possible, please tell us why you are leaving.

8. What were three things you enjoyed most about working here?

9. If you could change three things, what would they be?

10. Are there ideas that you have that you wish you could have implemented while you were here?

11. Please describe the three best things about working with your supervisor.

12. What would you change about our new employee orientation program? In other words, are there things that you wish you had known before or during the beginning part of your employment with our company?

13. Who are the three people who have made the most positive impact on you and your career here at the company?

14. What advice do you have for the next person in your position?

Is There Anything Else Youd Like To Share Or Address

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Ending with an open-ended question gives the employee an opportunity to share any other information they feel is important. They may have something to say that doesn’t relate to any of your other questions. Providing a platform for them to voice an opinion or grievance gives them space to talk about something that may otherwise have remained unheard.

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Why You Should Conduct Exit Interviews

With employees leaving their jobs in record numbers since 2020, the Great Resignation reflects major shifts in the global workforce, from the reasons why employees leave to the ways employers are reimagining the workplace experience. According to Work Instituteâs mid-2021 Retention Report, top reasons why employees left their jobs in 2021 were for career reasons and work-life balance reasons , the manager they were working with or the total rewards of the position .

A high employee turnover rate can be costly for any organization, not only when it comes to recruiting and training new talent, but also in terms of serving customers and increasing revenue.

Conducting exit interviews with departing employees can be especially vital to the way your organization operates, because they give you the chance to learn more about your organization from the departing employee’s perspective. You can use information you gather to improve company culture, attract and retain top talent, and better serve external customers and clients.

Use the questions below to gather feedback and make the exit interview experience a favorable one for everyone present.

A Guide To Giving Feedback Without Burning Bridges

An exit interview probably isnât the first thing on your mind when you decide to quit your job â nor should it be â but at some point, the issue is probably going to surface. After all, at many companies, an exit interview is a standard part of the offboarding process, right along with notifying your team of your departure or returning your computer to the IT department.

While exit interviews provide you with a great opportunity to make your voice heard, they can also provoke anxiety: what if your soon-to-be-former employer doesnât like what you have to say? When handled correctly, though, exit interviews are no cause for worry. In fact, they can provide you with closure, put you at ease and help you move onto your next great opportunity.

In this guide, weâll share how to prepare for an exit interview so that you provide your employer with the feedback they need while avoiding bad blood and burnt bridges.

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Good Reasons For Leaving A Job

There are many reasons you can and should explain why youre looking for a new opportunity. As professionals grow in the workplace, there is a natural flow from one job to the next as people seek out new learning opportunities, career development, new environments and other factors. Lets look at a few examples of good reasons youre looking for a new job:

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

18 Things You Should Never Say During An Exit Interview

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.

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Exit Interview Questions To Ask

Youre looking for valuable insights, and those only come from focused, relevant questions.

Also consider that an exit interview shouldnt take more than 10 minutes to complete. Even the most patient and generous employee is going to have a limit of how much time theyre willing to commit to reflecting back on their soon-to-be-former employer.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid too many open-ended questions and instead focus on questions that can be rated, which improves data collection.

Matrices can helpful to bunch several questions under one overarching theme. For example, under the banner question Decision To Leave Company X, you could include sub-questions such as salary/benefits, leadership, and the physical working environment as influencers.

Add an additional matrix with questions digging deeper into the employees time at Company X. Was Susan satisfied with the training and development she received? Did she get the support she needed from her manager?

You can use logic to suss out further details from low scores. If Susan scores a question with a 1 , then a logic to a qualifying question could provide the assessor with valuable information. Another option is to include a open-text box to allow the respondent to qualify their scores.

Feel free to cap the interview with a NPS question . Coupled with perhaps an open-text question about what the company could have done to retain the employee.

‘my Boss Was The Worst Because ‘

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” says you must remember that just because you’re not speaking directly with your boss, doesn’t mean you should lose your cool or make any last-minute snarky comments.

“By being too honest about your manager you can shoot yourself in the foot if you ever want to return to the company, or expect a good reference from that boss,” she says. “Remember to keep your comments general, concise, and make them overall positive.”

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

I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me, 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 I need to expand my horizon. I felt like I did not get the support I could have gotten when I expressed an interest in my career progression. I realized that it might be time to go in a different direction for the sake of my career progression.

What Originally Inspired You To Work For Us

Why You Should Never Do An Exit Interview When You Are Over 50

Starting with this question can set a positive tone for the exit interview. In addition, it can be useful for identifying aspects of the employeeâs experience they found beneficial.

Listen carefully for information on these points, and when appropriate, request more details:

  • What the employee found attractive about the original job description

  • The employeeâs impression of the recruitment process, including the interview, getting an offer, and going through onboarding

  • What the employee admires about your organization, including its mission statement, products and services, and impact on the world

  • The degree to which the work the employee was doing aligned with their values

  • The employeeâs satisfaction with salary and other benefits

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Exit Interview Questions To Ask Your Employer

You may not think of the exit interview as a good setting for you to ask questions of your employer, but there are important topics to ask about during the offboarding process before you complete your separation.

Some of the frequently recommended questions offer limited value but we cover each one in detail below.

  • Will my feedback be anonymous? Even if HR attempts to keep your feedback anonymous , the timing of your departure and the nature of the information you provide can make it trivial to connect the dots for anyone involved.
  • What did I do well during my time here? What could I have done better? You are unlikely to get meaningful feedback during the exit interview itself. Human Resources will simply reference your previous evaluations and regurgitate the same comments if they even answer the questions. You are far better off asking this question to your boss before you leave because they may feel free to give more candid feedback. Also get input from your bosss boss and other leaders and mentors in the organization that you respect.
  • Can I use you as a reference? Use your final two weeks to secure references for the future, it is much easier to make the request face-to-face now and get their personal contact information. Just dont wait until the exit interview to do it.

Do’s And Donts For Exit Interviews

Here are more dos and donts to follow during your exit interview.

DO: Act professionally. Just like in any other interview, behave professionally in your exit interview. That doesnt mean you cant be critical or offer feedback on areas that need workbut avoid being nasty. And as much as possible, be positiveeven if you werent fond of the job, coworkers or company vibe. If you can, try to give at least one compliment during the conversation.

DONT: Complain, vent or be rude. Think of this as the flipside to the Do: act professionally advice. Your exit interview is not an appropriate time to complain about coworkers, a manager or assignments. Above all, be politeits fine to voice a critique, so long as its politely worded. Basically, dont be mean or hurtful.

DO: Share specific and helpful information. Was there a problem or situation that precipitated your job hunt and eventual departure? Thats something you can mention. If you do, keep it factualfocus on what happened as opposed to how you felt, and share specific examples. And, do your best to be a problem-solver, suggesting solutions where appropriate. That way, youll sound constructive and not like a complainer.

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