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?
Example Questions For Exit Interviews
Need a few questions to start that next exit interview? We have compiled a few great examples, used by leaders across the globe
What made you start looking for a new job in the first place?
Why have you decided to leave the organisation?
Did you share your reasons with anyone in the organisation? How did they respond?
What was the state of your relationship with your immediate manager/supervisor?
What could your supervisor do to improve their effectiveness in management?
What do you think about this organisations management and leadership as a whole?
What did you like most about your job?
What did you dislike most about your job?
What would you change about your job?
What did you appreciate about the organisation?
What did you detest about the organisation?
What would you recommend to help the organisation create a better workplace?
Did you have the resources and support necessary to get your job done? If not, what was missing?
Were your job responsibilities correctly described in the job description during the hiring process?
Did you know exactly what was expected of you in your job and have clear goals to achieve?
Did you receive enough feedback about your day-to-day performance on the job?
Did you feel happy and/or engaged in your job?
Did you clearly understand and feel a part of the achievement of the organisations goals?
Did management care about you and help you accomplish your personal and career goals?
The Benefits Of Conducting An Exit Interview
Its a fact that a departing employee will provide more honest feedback than any current one because unlike existing staff members, they have nothing to lose. And while it may be too late to resolve any grumbles or gripes for the former employee, the feedback they provide can be used in a positive way to improve practices for current and future employees.
Businesses have structured their exit interviews to cover a wide range of work-related issues including:
- company culture, mission and values
- workplace environment
- relationships with colleagues and managers
- support for professional development and career advancement
- level of employee satisfaction and staff morale.
The information harvested from the exit interview process can be used to improve a range of workplace practices including:
- processes for recruiting and hiring new team members
- more effective job descriptions
- improvements to workplace design and the office environment
- changes to company culture or team morale.
So, although exit interviews may at first appear to be a pointless, after-the-horse-has-bolted initiative, the truth is that they have an essential part to play in ensuring a healthy and responsive management structure for every business.
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Why Do Businesses Have Exit Interviews
Exit interviews give your employer a chance to connect with you from a different perspective, Kavenagh says.
It encourages open dialogue and discussion and can be a learning opportunity for the employer within a safe, no-consequences environment.
If your workplace conducts regular pulse checks to gather feedback from employees, the information you reveal in an exit interview shouldnt come as a huge surprise.
An organisation that is in constant development and wants to learn, change, progress and engage its workforce will run interim interviews, so there arent too many surprises at exit, Kavenagh says.
Exit interviews might be reinforcing some of the gaps in the organization they are already aware of and trying to change.
Exit Interviews Whats The Point
One of your best employees has given their notice. You know that you cant change their mind and get them to stay. You also know they will want to leave a positive impression behind for future reference checks. Knowing this, is there any point in doing exit interviews with them?
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What You Need To Know About Exit Interviews
An exit interview is a meeting, discussion or survey you might be asked to take part in when youre about to leave a company or workplace, to share information about your experience there.
While the process varies from one organisation to another, youll most likely be asked questions either in person one-on-one, or through an online survey.
Often, exit interviews are organised by human resources departments, and surveys might be conducted through third-party companies.
Exit interviews help businesses find out why an employee is leaving and learn about that persons time at the company. Its also a chance for businesses to get feedback on things like culture, management, structure, morale, and workload.
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.
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Preparing For The Exit Interview
HR professionals may prepare for the exit interview by reviewing the employees personnel file. They may also briefly interview key staff and supervisors to find out more background information. Remember that not all employees are willing or comfortable sharing their feelings, especially if they are quitting because of exclusion, harassment, internal politics, or gross misconduct by someone else. So, an HR professional will go into the exit interview already knowing the average length of employment at the company, the top reasons why staff quit, and the turnover patterns within groups or departments. They must be prepared to establish trust and elicit answers to hard questions.
If an employee has been with the company for a long time, they will have many contacts and useful information about how to successfully perform the jobs duties. Therefore, employees may expect questions about contacts with whom they already have a relationship to maintain those connections going forward. Managers may request additional tips to pass along to the employees replacement and may even ask the exiting employee to help document their job duties and responsibilities.
Obtain Feedback On The Current Work Environment
In most cases, outgoing employees tend to be more forthcoming and honest with how they feel about the workplace. Conducting exit interviews can help you get a first-hand perspective on how things are within your companys departments or teams. These fresh insights can help you identify areas of improvement within your company culture, leadership, and practices.
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How Would You Improve Employee Morale
Just hours ago, this employee was in the thick of things. He was dealing with company culture and being influenced by others morale first-hand. Living through that on a day-to-day basis gives him unique insight into how that morale and culture can be improved. This is the time to find out what he thinks.
What Criteria Did You Use When Seeking A New Employer
The way you answer this exit interview question gives your current employer insights into why you’re choosing to work at a new company. Share the reasons you left the role and what appealed to you about your new position. For example, you may be interested in working for a smaller organization, or an office closer to your house. You can also discuss your salary expectations and other variables that factored into your decision.
Example: My new employer provides additional training opportunities to help me advance my career. The smaller team structure allows me to work more closely with experienced managers and learn from them in a way I couldn’t in my role with this company.I see more opportunities for promotions in my new position.
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End Your Relationship On A Positive Note
Sometimes, leaving a company can leave a bitter taste in ones mouth, but conducting an effective exit interview can help facilitate a better departure from your company.
An exit interview done right can help you discuss any differences and express your openness to criticism. Moreover, it eliminates any bad blood between the company and the exiting employee.
An Overview Of Exit Interviews
Most HR experts agree that employees who quit usually have the same motivational reasons: a new career, an unexpected job offer, or an unresolved grievance. Other reasons include poor pay, benefits, job fit, flexibility, and job security. There is also a common HR saying: employees dont quit their jobs, they quit their supervisors. Research by the Society of Human Resource Management shows that it usually costs over $4,100 to replace an employee. These costs include job ads, interviews, screening, and training. The costs for replacing an administrator or mid-career employee are two to three times higher.
Companies that experience high turnover rates without ever investigating or resolving issues will suffer financial losses, interrupted operations, and poor staff morale. So, when an employee suddenly resigns for voluntary reasons, its a surprise that needs to be scrutinized. If there is a legitimate reason, such as moving or having a baby, the exit interview offers healthy closure that is respectful and meaningful. This is a chance to praise and thank employees, which is very useful for providing positive word-of-mouth marketing.
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Benefits Of Using The Right Exit Interview Questions
Interacting with your employees even after they have decided to move on is always a good idea. This allows you to know the reasons behind and explore them further to contain future exits. Let us look at the key benefits of conducting exit interviews.
Gives you information to bring about changes
Employees have no reason to hold back during exit interviews their response is honest and candid. This highlights issues that HR or managers may not be aware of. This is data that can help you contain future exits.
Gives you the opportunity to discuss commitments
Several companies have clauses and riders in employee contracts. It is ideal to discuss any commitments, obligations, etc. with outgoing employees to reduce liability for both parties.
Gives you data to convey to supervisors
Employees may put forth information that may help managers address and bridge gap areas. This can help contain further attrition from specific teams or functions.
Lets you collect references
Even if your employees leave, they can always come back or refer their friends and family to the organization. Use exit interviews to get references for future relevant job roles.
Do I Have To Do An Exit Interview
Exit interviews are entirely voluntary, so its up to you whether you take part or not.
You might request an interview because youve enjoyed working for the organisation and youd like to pass on positive feedback, Kavenagh says.
You might be leaving the company on really good terms and you’ve got some great feedback to provide and say thank you, and you’d like to pass on that gratitude. Often people do it because they care.
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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.
What Are The Benefits Of Conducting Exit Interviews
Especially considering the relatively small investment , there are plenty of benefits to conducting exit interviews:
- Genuine Feedback: As mentioned above, the most obvious purpose of exit interviews is to gather feedback. Hopefully, employees feel safe providing feedback throughout their employment without it negatively impacting their jobs. But the great thing about a departing employee is they dont have much to lose by speaking their mind. So, ask the tough questions.
- Amicable Parting: Whether your employee is leaving because of their choice or yours, theyre still people who deserve respect. An exit interview might not be able to correct every less-than-satisfactory experience, but it can certainly help.
- Employment Wrap Up: An exit interview is a perfect place to ensure employees understand any lingering obligations like equipment returns, non-competes, intellectual property agreements, etc.
- Q& A: You might not be the only one with questions, either your employee might have a few things theyd like answered, too. Whether theyre looking for answers on setting up COBRA insurance or why they were passed up for a promotion last year,, an employee exit interview can provide a lot of clarity.
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Exit Interviews Pros And Cons
Lets start with the Cons:
- Outgoing employees are not always candid about their reasons for leaving, whether thats because they dont want to burn any bridges or because theyre not emotionally invested in the company any longer.
- If the employee does have strong negative feelings, exit interviews can get tense or heatedespecially if the interviewer takes offense.
- If the company doesnt have a formal exit interview structure, it can be difficult to identify trends among departing employees.
- Likewise, if the company fails to organize and analyze the information theyve gathered, then theres essentially no purpose in conducting the interviews.
Now lets get to the Pros:
- Outgoing employees can offer a unique perspective on company culture and employee satisfaction. They can be more honest in identifying issues within the company than a current employee who fears repercussions.
- Departing employees have been researching and interviewing with other companiesoften competitors. So, they can provide insights into the perks and advantages that drew them to those competitors. This information is extremely useful for recruiters.
- Provides information that can help companies identify good and bad managerswhat managers keep coming up among employees reasons for leaving? What managers are seeing the most turnover?
Would You Consider Changing Your Mind And Continuing To Work With Us
An employer may ask this exit interview question to see if there’s anything they can do to retain you as an employee. Considering this question beforehand will allow you to provide a confident answer. If a promotion or salary increase would change your mind, you can be honest about the other opportunity at your new company.
If you’re not interested in staying, make that clear without closing the door to future opportunities. Maintaining a positive working relationship with past employers is vital for building your professional network.
Example: In my five years working with this company, you provided me with great learning opportunities and valuable skills. I loved working with the team and enjoyed coming to work every day. However, there are more career development and learning opportunities in my new role. I would always be open to working here again in the future under the right circumstances. But for now, I’m confident in my decision to take on a new role with a new organization.”
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