Exit interviews can provide valuable insight into the employee experience at a company and can help identify areas for improvement. As HR professionals, it's important to ask the right questions during exit interviews to gather this valuable information.
In this blog, we'll discuss 50 exit interview questions that HRs should be asking in order to gather meaningful feedback and drive positive changes within the organization. From questions about the employee's role and responsibilities to questions about company culture and leadership, this list will help HRs get a comprehensive understanding of the employee experience. With this information, HRs can work to create a more positive and supportive work environment for all employees.
Suggested Read: How to Create an Offer Letter Without Contractual Implications [10 Free Sample Offer Letter Templates HR Recruiters]
How to conduct an effective exit interview?
Your company's procedure and how you execute the departure interview will determine how it goes. For a more intimate experience, you could wish to conduct exit interviews with each employee in person. Once the dust from their leaving has cleared, you might wish to send the former team member a survey. Your decision is yours.
An exit interview should be executed in a professional and respectful manner. Here are some best practices for conducting an exit interview:
1. Schedule the interview
Schedule the exit interview at a convenient time for the departing employee, ensuring they have enough time to provide thoughtful and thorough responses.
2. Prepare a list of questions
Prepare a list of open-ended questions that will provide valuable information about the employee's experience, such as their role, responsibilities, satisfaction with their job and the company culture.
3. Create a welcoming atmosphere
Make sure the atmosphere of the interview is comfortable and welcoming. This will encourage the employee to be candid and honest in their responses.
4. Listen actively
During the exit interview, listen actively and ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of the employee's perspective.
5. Respect confidentiality
Ensure that the departing employee's responses are treated with confidentiality, unless they give permission to share the information.
6. Take action based on feedback
After the exit interview, review the information gathered and use it to identify areas for improvement within the company. Take appropriate action to address any issues that were raised.
By executing exit interviews in a professional and respectful manner, HR professionals can gather valuable feedback that can be used to improve the work environment for all employees.
Generally exit interview questions HRs should ask employees
The questions listed below are more generic exit interview questions. Regardless of the reasons for a candidate's departure from the organisation, these inquiries may be asked during an exit interview. Based on the kind of the departure, we will offer more detailed questions later on.
- Why did you make the decision to leave [company]?
2. What prompted you to begin seeking for work elsewhere?
3. Was there a specific event that made you decide to leave your position? Then what?
4. What does your new job provide that your previous one does not?
5. Could there have been anything done to keep you working for the company? Then what?
6. Did you consult with anyone before deciding to resign?
7. Would you come back to the company? Whether or not
8. Would you suggest others consider working for the company? Why not, then?
9. Have you ever experienced any form of bullying or harassment? If so, did you contact HR?
10. Throughout your job, did you experience engaging or encouraging leadership?
11. Did you have the right equipment, materials, and/or training to carry out your role's requirements? What was lacking if not?
12. Do you have any suggestions for improving the organization's appeal?
13. Do you have any other comments to make?
14. Is it acceptable if a representative of our human resources division gets in touch with you to inquire about anything further?
Suggested Read: 9 Promotion Letter Sample Templates for HR Department
Exit interview questions to ask an employee when they retire
A bittersweet time is retirement. They are leaving the job they have known and loved, but it may also mean they will have more free time and opportunities for new experiences. You may learn more about a retiring employee's career path and future goals by asking them the following questions during an exit interview.
15. How do you feel about your professional development and achievements at the company?
16. What do you intend to do after you retire?
17. Do you believe you have enough money to support yourself in retirement?
18. Throughout your career, did the company give you enough training and support?
19. What might have been done to improve your experience or make it more successful?
20. Do you have any recommendations for the company's present or upcoming employees?
21. Do you have any suggestions for improving the company's perks or retirement plan?
22. Do you intend to continue working with the company in any capacity, such as through consulting or volunteering?
Exit interview questions to ask after terminating an employee
Even though termination is never a simple topic to discuss, exit interviews are crucial in this situation. There are situations when a separation can be amicable. It might not be at other times. The following questions can be used to learn more about how a fired employee feels about the company and, ideally, address any rules or practises that may have contributed to their termination.
23. Can you describe the circumstances that led to your termination?
24. Were there any red flags or warning signs before being fired?
25. Did you receive the assistance and instruction you need for your role prior to your employment being terminated?
26. Did you feel that your work was valued by the management?
Exit interview questions to ask employee when they resigns voluntarily
There are many different causes for voluntary resignations, from personal to professional. The following questions can be used in an exit interview with a departing employee to learn more about their time there and, ideally, to change any rules or practises that may have contributed to their choice to leave.
27. Why did you make the decision to leave your position?
28. Was there a way that the company may have stopped your resignation?
29. Did you believe that you were given the right instruction and assistance for your position?
30. Did poor communication with management or your coworkers influence your choice to quit?
31. Do you have any recommendations for enhancing the corporate culture or the workplace?
32. Would you suggest the company as a great place to work?
33. Would you like to add anything more regarding your time while working for the company or your resignation?
Exit interview questions to ask when an intern leaves the company
The success of the intern programme and the degree to which interns were assimilated into the company may both be learned through exit interviews with interns. The following questions can be asked of a departing intern during an exit interview to learn more about their time with the company and, perhaps, to enhance any rules or procedures for future intern recruits.
34. What would you say about your time spent as an intern at the company?
35. Did you believe that you were given the right instruction and assistance for your position?
36. Did poor communication with management or coworkers contribute to your decision to leave the internship programme?
37. Do you have any recommendations about how to make the intern programme or the workplace for interns better?
38. Would you suggest the company to prospective interns looking to get experience?
39. Do you have any further comments to make on your time spent as an intern at the company and/or your decision to leave the programme?
40. Would you think that overall your experience working for the organisation as an intern was beneficial to your career and personal development?
41. Would you ever think about submitting an application for a full-time employment with the company? If not, why not?
How to summarize the findings of exit interviews
You'll have a tonne of helpful information in your possession after conducting an employee departure interview. One issue remains for you to consider after the departing employee has been subjected to all of those exit interview questions: What will I do with this information?
Too frequently, businesses file it away without acting on the new information. In reality, 37% of HR managers claim to utilise departure interview data seldom. #Stop allowing it to happen to you.
Here are some steps to summarize the findings of exit interviews:
1. Collect and organize data
Compile all of the data collected from the exit interviews and organize it in a way that makes it easy to review and analyze.
2. Identify common themes
Look for common themes that emerge from the data, such as recurring issues with company culture, management, or specific job responsibilities.
3. Analyze data
Analyze the data to identify patterns and trends that provide a more comprehensive understanding of the employee experience.
4. Present findings
Present the findings in a clear and concise manner, highlighting the most important and relevant information.
5. Make recommendations
Based on the findings, make recommendations for improvement that address the key issues identified in the data.
6. Communicate findings
Share the findings and recommendations with relevant stakeholders, such as HR, management, and employees.
HR managers must disclose this information to those in leadership who need to know for retention reasons. For example, if 50 of your departing employees have cited poor working conditions and perks, you need to look into it to lower your turnover rate.
How can exit interviews affect retention of employees
Employee retention is greatly influenced by employee engagement. However, departure interviews will only have an effect on employee retention if the lessons learned are acted upon and applied in ways that benefit the rest of your staff.
Approximately 85% of employees are thought to be disengaged at work. 1 Even while that number might be difficult to comprehend, there are still steps you can do to change the course of events.
The following three elements significantly impact employee engagement:
- The relationship between a supervisor and an employee
- An employee's confidence in the company's management
- An employee's sense of teamwork
Keep these in mind as you prepare for the departure interview and ask questions with the goal of discovering how you may enhance relationships, trust, and pride in your company.
How to benefit from employee exit surveys
You may learn a lot from exit interviews. Don't waste the opportunity to learn by failing to use employee departure surveys. Employee surveys may be used at any time, not only when someone is leaving, but they are especially crucial when someone is about to leave. It's important to receive comments from others since, according to 71% of workers, it makes them more productive at work.
One of the last opportunities you have to hear from an employee before they leave your firm is when they are about to leave. Don't pass up the chance to learn from them and utilise that constructive criticism to make your team's workplace better.
Keep in mind that the main objective of departure interviews is to use the knowledge you gain to improve workplace culture for your current and future teams. Take advantage of every employee leaving to improve your business.
How many questions should you ask in an exit interview? ›
An exit interview should be around 5-10 questions and take your former employee 30 minutes to an hour. These exit interviews should be conducted either in-person or via online exit interview survey for more honest and candid feedback.What are 5 typical questions asked during an exit interview? ›
- 1) Why Did You Start Looking For Another Job?
- 2) Why Are You Leaving?
- 3) What Does Your New Position Offer That Influenced Your Decision To Leave?
- 4) What Could We Have Done Better?
- 5) Would You Ever Consider Returning To This Company?
“In general, most employers want to know what you liked about your job and the company and what you would change if you could. But keep it simple.” Be sure to mention how much you learned there and why both you and the company benefited from your time as an employee.How many questions are too many to ask at an end of a interview? ›
There's no perfect number of questions you should ask, but more than one is usually good. Aoife Brady says candidates should always ask at least two or three questions.Can you ask too many questions at the end of an interview? ›
Choosing the right amount of questions to ask depends on how much information was already provided in the interview and the personality of the individual interviewing you. You need to have enough emotional intelligence to recognize whether or not asking more than 2-3 questions will be seen as overkill.What is one thing that an employee should not do during an exit interview? ›
Rude and unprofessional comments
Your exit interview isn't the time to slam your former colleagues or talk about how much you hated one of your managers. Keep your language work appropriate, and remember to keep other people's feelings in mind. Your honest feedback is welcome, but not when it's offensive toward others.
An employee exit interview checklist is the handout document used by HR professionals to ensure that all repetitive employee offboarding steps are accomplished in the right order. These checklists display the list of items that need to be verified and approved before sending off an employee, so to speak.What are the seven must be in an exit interview? ›
- Your reason for leaving. ...
- How well your job was structured and if you had the appropriate tools to succeed. ...
- If you had opportunities to learn and grow. ...
- How you feel about your manager and other leaders. ...
- What you liked most about your job and the company.
Rude and unprofessional comments
Your exit interview isn't the time to slam your former colleagues or talk about how much you hated one of your managers. Keep your language work appropriate, and remember to keep other people's feelings in mind.
- “My manager was a nightmare to work for.” ...
- “The pay is terrible.” / “I'm not being paid enough.” ...
- “Let me tell you what's wrong with this company…” ...
- “Everyone in my department wants to leave.” ...
- “It was impossible to do my job with such poor resources.”
How many questions should you ask an interviewer? ›
Try to come up with at least four or five questions to ask the interviewer. That way, if one or two of them are answered during the earlier discussion, you have backups in place. Avoid asking questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you.How long should an exit interview take? ›
4 tips for conducting an effective exit interview
The ideal length for an exit interview is around an hour. How many questions you get through will depend on the format (survey or discussion) and the type of questions (open or closed). Consider who should conduct the exit interview.