​Effective Exit Interview Questions


​Effective Exit Interview Questions

Posted on 01 February 2023

Effective Exit Interview Questions

Effective exit interviews can provide employers with an immense amount of value and insight. These exit interview questions will give you the information you need to make business improvements and retain your staff in the long term.

Guidance for exit interview questions

  • Keep the tone relaxed

  • Use open questions

  • Try not to dwell on specific scenarios

  • For each problem raised, ask for a solution

1. “Why are you leaving?”

Sometimes you’ll find that this question is enough of an invitation for employees to open up. However, other employees may be reserved or generic in their response to this and will need further prompting through more specific questions.

2. “How long have you been wanting to leave?”

If an employee was considering leaving for a long time, you’ll want to figure out why management didn’t pick up on this, and what stopped them from leaving sooner. Or perhaps it was a quick, clean-cut decision that was triggered by a specific change within the business.

3. “Would you recommend working for this company to your family and friends? Why/Why not?”

The most important thing is to ask them to expand on their reasoning. It will either highlight the company strengths or weaknesses – both are valuable pieces of feedback.

4. “How would you describe the culture of our company?”

Responses can vary significantly depending on the employee’s level of seniority, their lived experience and their department, among other factors. For example, where managers may feel there’s a supportive environment among team interactions, individual team members themselves may feel that there’s a lack of supportive team spirit when away from management.

5. “What would you change about your job?”

Instead of asking employees what they disliked about their role, this is a less confrontational and more constructive way of phrasing the question. Their suggestions will help you to identify if there are any feasible ways to improve this person’s role. It may be that the workload was too heavy, or perhaps there wasn’t room for them to progress and learn new skills.

6. “What would you change about the company?”

Answers to this question could relate to your company’s training, processes, culture, or even leadership team. Although one person’s feedback might not justify making any major company changes, it’s useful to look for trends in multiple answers over time. Perhaps certain points are frequently raised and therefore need addressing.

7. “How did you feel about your workload?”

This question might establish that the workload is too heavy for this role, and that there’s a need to refine processes or even hire more team members. Employers should also consider the employee’s time management skills when listening to their feedback. Where one employee may feel overwhelmed, another employee with better time management skills could cope just fine with the workload.

8. “What opportunities were you given to develop in your role?”

If employees feel there weren’t enough opportunities for development, it’s important to find out what development would look like for them. It could relate to gaining a promotion or simply being trained to learn new skills.

9. “Did you feel you were given adequate training for the job? Why/Why not?”

This question is particularly important for employees who are leaving their job within the first 6 months. Employers need to ensure they’re giving their employees every opportunity to flourish through structured training and equipping them with the right tools. This question could reveal holes in the onboarding process.

10. “Did you feel your work was recognised? Why/Why not?”

A common reason employees leave their job is due to a lack of recognition or feeling underappreciated. If this is the case, it can usually be easily resolved through management training.

11. “How was your relationship with your manager?”

‘Manager Behaviour’ is another common reason for employee resignations. It’s natural for employees to feel uncomfortable answering this question. The interviewer should be sure to reiterate that their feedback won’t affect their reference. They should also highlight that the feedback will be kept anonymous or delivered in conjunction with other employees’ feedback.

12. “What could have been done differently to have made you stay?”

It’s useful to ask this question at the end of the interview to help the employee summarise their overarching points. You shouldn’t ask this question with a view of trying to retain the staff member. Any attempts at retaining the employee should have happened at the time when they gave their resignation.

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