What to ask in an Exit Interview

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 by Heather DuhigNo comments

What to ask in an Exit Interview


What to ask in an Exit Interview


Exit interviews can be tricky for both the employee and employer. However, this can be a great opportunity for employers to receive some valuable information with regards to the decision-making process behind leaving.

How to construct your questions

Remember that an exit interview can be very insightful, and you want to receive the most honest and constructive answers possible. This can be aided by how you phrase your questions. Use wording such as asking for ‘advice’ rather than ‘feedback’ to make the employee feel their opinion is valued rather than simply asking a generic question.

Example Questions

  • What are your reasons for looking elsewhere for a job? How long have you been looking?
  • What went well in your role here? What could've been better?
  • If you could change one thing about your role or the company, what would it be?
  • Would you recommend working here to a friend?
  • If you could give your CEO or department leader some advice, what would you say?
  • What does your new position offer that influenced your decision to leave?
  • Did you feel that you were equipped to do your job well? (If no, why not?)
  • How would you describe the culture of our company?
  • What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?


What to avoid

Remember that even though an employee is leaving, it must always remain professional. This means your exit interview should follow the same rules you would apply normally.

Ensure you do not ask the employee to engage in any gossip or rumours. This not only makes you appear less professional but will likely result in discussing potentially fabricated information you can’t use moving forward.

Don’t get personal, both with your questions and your responses. Make sure you don’t ask any intrusive questions regarding their choice to leave. Making the interview seem like an interrogation might not give you the information you require to improve employee satisfaction in the future. Furthermore, if the employee starts to raise issues with yourself or your team do not become self-defensive. Remember that this could be information you could use for personal growth or improve you managing.

And lastly, try to not ask questions relating to individuals. Not only might this make the employee feel uncomfortable, but it might turn the interview into a blaming game. This won’t help you make any positive changes in the future if the responses are simply personal opinions rather that information you may need to take further action on.




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