Exit interviews are important in the offboarding procedure; in this article, we’ll provide details about exit interviews and present 5 practical exit interview questions that you should ask every time.

What is an exit interview?

The primary purpose of an exit interview is to find out the reasons behind an employee’s resignation.

An exit interview is a meeting between a person leaving a company and a human resources team member.

The interview is an opportunity to learn more about the reasons behind a resignation, which can provide essential feedback that you can use to improve the workplace for other colleagues and future hires.

Why do employees resign?

Nobody leaves a perfect job. Usually, the main reasons behind a resignation are linked with decreased work satisfaction. Improving employee loyalty is something you should keep in mind all the time.

You should know why somebody leaves your company. Identifying why employees leave is important to your business’s success in the future.

The main reasons employees consider when changing jobs:

  • Higher earnings
  • More flexibility
  • Lack of recognition
  • A desire for job growth
  • Better work-life balance
  • Dislike of manager
  • Lack of recognition
  • Dislike of coworkers

Focusing your exit interview around the principal reasons for resignation will help you identify in which area your company needs improvement.

Before the exit interview
The exit interview should take place a few days before the employee leaves the company. The discussion can occur in person or online through Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype.

The objective is not to stop the employee from quitting.
The sole purpose of the exit interview is to receive feedback about your organization and find out how you can improve your overall workplace experience.

It is best to structure the interview in 2 phases:

  • The survey
  • The interview itself

The exit interview questions – survey stage

One of the best ways of conducting an exit interview is to ask the leaving employee to complete a survey.
Using closed-ended questions is essential because it will allow you to examine the gathered information better and give you a more linear approach from an analytical standpoint.

The employee should fill out the survey a few days before the exit interview. This way, you’ll have some information on hand to work with during the interview.

The survey questions should help you understand the employee’s reasons for leaving and his attitude towards:

  • His role and daily tasks
  • Organizational culture
  • Salary and benefits
  • Management
  • Development opportunities
  • The team
  • Overall work environment

You can find some basic survey templates online. Such as this one from the Society for Human Resource Management, or you can create one keeping in mind what is most important for your company.

The exit interview questions – meeting stage

Although the interview questions should be tailored to best suit your company’s needs, here are 5 practical exit interview questions that should be asked every time:

What is the reason for quitting this job?

This is probably the most common question and is essential to find out why the employee chose to leave your company. Keep in mind that it is vital to understand the employee’s point of view.
Is there a pattern? The more information you gather, the more you can learn about what your company can do to increase employee retention.

What did you like best and least about your job?

From an employee’s point of view, both positive and negative aspects of a job are essential details. This question will provide feedback about what the employee considers your company does right and what needs improvement.

Organizations must understand what aspects of their work profile or job in general workers dislike. The information can be compared to the gathered data to generate conclusions on work culture.

Did you feel well compensated for your job?

Pay and benefits are huge factors to employee satisfaction. This question helps you better understand whether you’re competing well in the employer market.

You can also go in-depth in the conversation and talk about the employee’s attitudes towards the benefits offered by your company and which ones he used the most.

What competencies and qualifications do you think we need to look for in your replacement?

No individual can help you with an ideal candidate profile for the job better than the former employee.

You should carefully consider his opinion and compare the information shared with yours when creating the job description for future hires.

What are your suggestions for the company?

Feedback is crucial. Let the employee get into details. It’s essential to consider all types of feedback. From suggestions about your management style, benefits package, or even how the atmosphere is in the workplace. Every tiny detail matters in the further improvement of your business.

It is vital to have a detailed and stable procedure for exit interviews. It’s one of the best ways of gathering feedback that will help you retain your human resources in the long run.

Here are several questions that you should also consider during the interview:

  • Why did you start looking for another job?
  • Do you think your job has changed since you were hired?
  • Did you feel your achievements were recognized during your employment?
  • How was your relationship with management?
  • What was the team atmosphere like?
  • What advice would you like to give to your team?
  • How can we enhance our training and development?
  • Do you think the company treats employees fairly?
  • Would you recommend this company to a friend?

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