Exit Interview Questions

Use the below-given exit interview questions to find areas of improvement in your company and end things on a pleasing note when an employee leaves.

Why you should conduct an exit interview

Taking the time to have a word with an employee who is leaving the company can be helpful for your company. Conduct exit interviews to:

  • Discover problems that employees don’t feel comfortable talking about when leaving the company (like lack of direction, retaliation, victimization, and micro-management.)
  • Find out what would motivate employees to stay with your company.
  • Collect benchmark data around compensation packages (like if an employee is leaving due to better benefits and more attractive offer.)
  • Know what training and development opportunities employees want.
  • Find out new ways to improve employee relations and performance appraisals.
  • Determine what employees feel about the company culture and if they feel respected and valued by seniors and managers.

Examples of exit interview questions

  • Tell me about your overall working experience here. Why did you resign?
  • Would you recommend our company to your friends who are looking for a job? Why or why not?
  • Did you feel lack of training, resources or tools in your work tenure?
  • Give suggestion how we can make this company a better place to work?
  • Do you think your work was aligned with your career objectives?
  • Did you get adequate training and assistance?
  • Do you feel your efforts were recognized and appreciated?
  • How was the behavior of your colleagues and supervisors with you?
  • What would you like to change about the company culture or working methodology?
  • What did you like the most about working here?

How to conduct exit interviews effectively

  • Try to end things on a positive note. Trying to discourage employees from leaving or blaming them for giving a very short notice will make the relations bitter. Instead, thank them for their work and wish them well for their future projects.
  • Be open to constructive criticism. An employee might have a lot to say about the company and it may also include negative feedback, so be ready to hear that. Also, use the feedback constructively to improve your company procedure and retain employees in the long run.
  • Prepare well for the exit interview. Think about the type of feedback you would be giving and plan your questions.
  • Ask a member of your HR team to conduct an exit interview. Employees might feel hesitant talking to their former Manager about why they resigned if, for example, they felt unappreciated.

How to overcome challenges during exit interviews

It’s challenging to get employees to open up during exit interviews, or to have them agree to be interviewed. Below are some typical exit interview challenges you will face with employees, with tips on how to handle them:

  • Employees concerned about their privacy: Employees don’t easily share about the reason for their resignation. Unless you guarantee them their interview will be a confidential discussion. Maintain a friendly, casual tone during your discussion to make employees feel comfortable.
  • Highly emotional employees: The decision to resign comes with strong feelings, either of anger or sadness. So, an employee’s last working day might not be the best time for a discussion. You can also share a questionnaire via email.
  • Employees who don’t want to participate in exit interviews: The employee leaving the company may feel exit interview to be a waste of time or just a formality. Don’t wait for employees to resign before you take their suggestions. Create an open communication culture through regular discussions and meetings.
  • Employees who hesitate to share details: Employees leaving your company may want to leave on a positive note. Thus, they might hesitate to mention what they didn’t like about their work experience. Try to ask questions positively: “Suggest how we can improve the work environment?” or “How you would have made your daily work better?”