Exit Interview Questions: The Ultimate List (+ pro tips)
An exit interview should be conducted when an employee leaves a company or organization. Exit interviews are valuable for both employers and employees. As a business owner or team leader, you can gather useful information about employee experiences from an exit interview and ascertain why a staff member is leaving the business. Exit interviews also provide an opportunity to highlight problems and identify areas for improvement. Carrying out exit interviews can help company owners and employers to address issues and boost employee retention rates.
In this informative guide, we’ll discuss the reasons why exit interviews are beneficial and share a comprehensive list of exit interview questions to ask when employees leave. We’ll also offer some advice to help you make the most of every exit interview.
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What Is The Purpose Of An Exit Interview?
An exit interview provides an excellent opportunity for an employee to give honest and open feedback about their experiences as an employee and explain why they are leaving. Employers have the chance to ask questions and gather information from departing members of staff, which enables them to learn more about why employees are moving on and gain an insight into how they view the business.
Conducting exit interviews allows employers and team leaders to learn more about employees and the workplace culture and ethos and it can play a crucial role in pinpointing weaknesses and highlighting areas for improvement. Employers can use the feedback they receive from departing employers to identify reasons why people may be leaving or thinking about changing jobs. They can then address problems that could be impacting health and well-being, performance at work, progression and development or commitment to the business.
The benefits of exit interviews for employers include:
- Improving your understanding of why employees want to leave
- Outlining and understanding company problems
- Gaining a better insight into company culture and values
- Getting an employee perspective on the business
- Identifying issues to address to reduce the risk of losing more employees
- Enhancing relationships between employers and employees
- Identifying barriers to employee retention and loyalty
- Collecting ideas and feedback to make improvements in the future
- Gaining an insight into what other companies are offering if the employee has accepted another job offer
For employees, exit interviews also provide an opportunity to share honest opinions, raise concerns and put ideas and suggestions forward.
Examples Of Exit Interview Questions To Ask
If you are conducting an exit interview with a departing employee, it’s beneficial to make the most of the time you have and get as much insight and information as possible. To help you plan your exit interview, we have put together a comprehensive list of exit interview questions that will help you to uncover problems, make improvements, increase your chances of holding onto your best employees and learn from the feedback you receive.
Here’s our ultimate list of exit interview questions:
What Prompted You To Look For Another Job?
This popular exit interview question is helpful for employers and HR teams and professionals who want to understand the reasons why employees want to leave the company. The individual’s responses and comments may shed light on underlying issues that the management or HR department were not aware of or highlight problems that could be impacting other members of staff.
Why Are You Leaving The Company?
This is one of the most critical questions to ask an employee during an exit interview. It provides valuable information about why the individual is leaving the company and what has motivated or compelled them to make the decision. In some cases, there may be reasons, which have nothing to do with the employer or the job.
In other cases, there may be areas of concern or problems, which the employer could address to create a better working environment or enhance employee well-being, for example. Understanding why people are leaving the business can help to improve retention rates further down the line if the employer or business owner is willing to use the feedback and take action.
Did You Feel Valued And Appreciated During Your Time Here?
Studies show that feeling valued and appreciated in the workplace is increasingly important to employees. This question enables leaders and HR professionals to gauge employee perceptions and opinions of their value to the team. If people say that they didn’t feel appreciated, the company can then take steps to improve and develop employee recognition. A 2022 survey revealed that almost half of Americans have left a job because they felt undervalued.
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Did You Get Enough Training And Development Opportunities During Your Time Here?
Many people accept job offers with ambitions to get ahead and develop their career prospects. Asking about staff training and opportunities enables HR teams to learn more about how employees rate the company’s training programs and identify areas for improvement. If employees feel that they didn’t get the opportunities they were looking for, the company may decide to invest more time and money in training and career progression.
Did You Feel Like Your Work-Life Balance Was Respected?
Questions about work-life balance enable employers to learn more about how employees view their workloads and working hours and determine whether they could make changes or introduce policies to improve the balance. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 77% of US employees have experienced signs of burnout at their current job (source).
What Did You Like Most About Working Here?
This question provides opportunities for outgoing employees to highlight positive points and outline company strengths. Employers can learn more about what makes the business an attractive proposition for employees and build on strengths to improve staff retention rates and outshine competitors when trying to attract top talent.
What Did You Like Least About Working Here?
This is an important question, which encourages departing employees to be honest and open about the reasons why they’re leaving and share their thoughts about issues or problems that may prompt others to consider following in their footsteps. It’s beneficial for employers to recognize their weaknesses as well as their strengths. Rectifying problems and identifying solutions could help to reduce the risk of losing other employees and create more pleasant working environments and experiences.
Were You Happy With The Overall Work Environment And Culture?
This question provides valuable information about how employees perceive the company culture and workplace environment. Employees may have a very different view from employers.
What Could The Company Have Done To Keep You?
Asking employees what the company could have done to keep them is an effective way to pinpoint areas for improvement and make changes that will reduce employee turnover rates in the future.
Were There Any Workplace Policies Or Procedures That You Felt Were Unfair Or Ineffective?
Addressing unfair or ineffective policies and procedures that may increase the risk of employees leaving the company can help to boost satisfaction rates and well-being while also increasing employee retention rates.
Were You Able To Take The Necessary Breaks And Time Off?
Employee burnout is an increasingly important topic of conversation among employers, employees and HR professionals. Burnout can impact physical and mental health, workplace culture, productivity and attendance rates and absenteeism. If employees feel that they were not able to take breaks, this should prompt employers to review current practices and make changes.
Did You Have Any Conflicts With Colleagues Or Management During Your Time Here?
Interpersonal conflicts and disputes with managers or colleagues can offer a valuable insight into relationships between individuals and shed light on underlying issues, which could be impacting employee satisfaction and well-being and reducing retention rates.
Were You Satisfied With The Way Your Contributions To The Company Were Recognized And Appreciated?
Making employees feel valued and appreciated can help to create a positive working environment and encourage engagement, commitment and loyalty. Over 60% of employees admit to working harder if their efforts are valued by management (source).
Was The Workload Fairly Distributed Among Team Members?
Unfair workload distribution can put employees at risk of stress, anxiety and burnout and it may also lead to conflict and resentment among teams. If some employees feel like they are overworked constantly while others have a much lighter workload, this could impact their health and well-being, their performance and productivity and their desire to stay at the company.
Were Your Compensation And Benefits Competitive In Comparison To Other Companies?
Compensation and benefits are crucial factors for employees who are considering new job offers or thinking about leaving a company to work for another employer. If employees feel that they are not getting the compensation or benefits they deserve, this can affect productivity, effort and motivation. Employees may also be more inclined to look for jobs that offer access to better benefits packages.
Did You Feel That Your Manager Gave You Adequate Feedback And Support?
Effective management and leadership can make a huge difference to employee morale, motivation and loyalty and encourage engagement and dedication. Good management is essential for creating positive, productive and healthy working environments. Managers should provide clear, honest and fair feedback and offer support for their employees.
Top 5 tools for conducting exit interview questions
We recommend these top 5 tools for conducting exit interview questions:
An exit interview can offer benefits for both employers and employees. Employees can give their honest feedback about their experiences at the company, which enables employers and HR teams to highlight issues or problems and identify weaknesses.
Exit interview questions encourage employees to share opinions and voice concerns, allowing employers to work on areas for improvement and strive for better company culture and a more positive working environment. Employers can learn a lot from asking departing employees questions. They can use feedback and ideas to address and resolve problems, improve relationships between the management and employees and boost employee retention rates moving forward.