15 Critical Exit Interview Questions to Ask Departing Employees

Jun 12, 2020 | Company Culture | 0 comments

When you want truly honest information about your company, exit interview questions can elicit this. It’s a much more effective option than asking your current employees, who may fear reprimand if they speak up.

The staff who are leaving your organization have nothing to lose by telling you exactly how it is. They no longer need you for their regular paycheck and are likely to be honest if you ask some well-directed questions.

Why Conduct Exit Interviews?

Exit interviews can offer incredible insight into the employee experience. You may be working hard to ensure that employees are treated as they should and offered everything they need. However, how do you know it’s effective unless you ask?

Knowing why employees leave can be a step toward better employee retention. You can use this information to reduce turnover, thus saving your company thousands of dollars each year. This is made up of less spent on recruitment processes, training, and onboarding.

With the right interview questions, you can delve deeper into why people are leaving your organization. Then you can use this information to change process and practices which have been holding your company back.

15 Exit Interview Questions

To make the most out of your employee exit interviews, try using some of these questions:

What caused you to start looking for a new position?

Whether it was one incident or ongoing restlessness, this information is vital to you as HR personnel. To avoid more employees leaving, you must dig into why others have resigned.

How would you describe the company culture here?

Many HR departments work tirelessly on cultivating the company culture. Finding out how departing employees would describe the culture can help you tremendously. Then you can listen and adjust your efforts as needed.

Is there anything we could have done to keep you here?

By asking this question, you can find out valuable information about what’s lacking in your company. There may be many things you could have done and by knowing the answer to this question, you can do them for other employees in future.

If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?

Perhaps the job is too much work for one person. Or maybe the job description was not at all what the person ended up doing. You’ll never know until you ask!

Did your manager provide you with everything you needed to perform your role?

It can be near impossible to perform in a role without the right tools for that position. For example, a data analyst whose department won’t approve the expense of analytical software for them. If something like this is the case, the next person will likely find it hard to succeed in the role too.

How can we improve our training processes?

The more data and information you can get on how you should improve your processes, the better. If the exiting employees had issues with their onboarding or training, it’s likely that current employees do too.

Would you consider ever working here again? Why or why not?

This gives you a good idea as to whether they left because your company did something wrong. Or maybe the other job was just too enticing.

How can we improve?

Honest feedback on this is vital for the future of your company. Perhaps the outgoing employee left for a specific reason that isn’t covered by any of the other questions.

What could your manager have improved upon?

A bad manager can affect numerous people in your company. Bad management can create negative work environments. If the issue was management, it is likely that the manager is still managing others, so you need to know what went wrong.

Did you feel that you were a valuable asset to the company?

This question can help you to determine whether the employee felt like they had goals at work. You can also seek to understand whether they felt that they were contributing to the company vision or goals.

Were you offered constructive feedback from team members and your manager?

When employees aren’t offered feedback, they can often feel like they are stuck in a rut at work. Rather than continuing to develop and grow their skills, without feedback, they may feel that their performance is stagnant.

Describe your worst day on the job

The answer to this question should show you some of the gaps your organization has in employee engagement. With the answer, you can figure out whether you can prevent others from experiencing days like this or at least reducing them.

Would you recommend this company to someone else looking for a job?

This is a very telling question. If the person didn’t like your company, there is no way that they would recommend that a friend work there.

What qualities do you think your replacement needs to succeed?

Be aware that the qualities the job requires may have changed over time. The role could have become more people-focused, requiring soft skills such as communication and empathy.

Is there anything else you would like to address?

Making the final question so open-ended is intentional. Sometimes there will be something they wanted to tell you that wasn’t asked in any of the other questions. This question can ensure that they didn’t leave anything unsaid that they wanted to mention.

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