Importance of Exit Interviews and What to Ask

exit interview
exit interview

Whether your employee handed in their notice or you decided their time with the company has run its course, it’s of crucial importance to the success of your company to identify why people leave. You can’t just rely on your gut feeling, but you should get insight and real data. Exit interviews are a great way to pinpoint trends in why people leave the organization and identify opportunities to boost retention and engagement. Keep on reading to find out why exit interviews are important including questions to ask your employee when they’re leaving your company.

What is an exit interview?

An exit interview is a survey that is conducted if an individual decides to leave your organization and it helps you interpret why people are leaving your company and provide you with actionable ways to avoid future attrition. It can incorporate more vigorous strategies for hiring or advances to your management styles.

How to conduct a successful exit interview?

By using different exit surveys, you’ll collect different kinds of feedback. While some companies ask for direct feedback from the individual’s manager, others simply require information on the role and reasons for leaving. If you use exit interviews, you’ll be able to divide data by performance levels, time in the position of responsibility, and role. As opposed to an employee engagement survey in which you focus on constructs built around employee attitudes, an exit survey should be more practical and easy to interpret and design. In case an exit survey isn’t clear to understand, you should remodel the complete survey. By including a quality exit survey template, you’ll be able to create your own survey either by making up specific questions or by using an employee exit survey template. Also, if you use such software you’ll have access to plenty of templates, gorgeous themes, and everything else you need for an effective exit survey. 

Why are exit interviews and surveys important?

Exit interviews are just as important as the initial hiring process which can be expensive and long. If in the end, you’re hiring someone who will stay at your organization only momentarily, then not only are you wasting time and money but also a part of the company’s knowledge and the process goes on every time someone leaves. That’s why it’s important to provide your departing employees the chance to give their honest feedback, so you can collect valuable information on how to boost the employee experience in the future. You should never skip exit interviews because of different reasons. Firstly, with exit interviews departing employees are generally more forthcoming when giving both positive and negative feedback than those still working. Next, feedback can aid a company in identifying its strengths, and weaknesses, and can provide space for growth. Another reason is that it will leave a positive lasting impression on the departing employee, which further favors the employer’s brand.

Exit interview best practices

One of the most basic tips when conducting exit interviews is to make the exit interview a priority by making it a part of the standard off-boarding process. Another suggestion is to conduct the exit interview just before the departing employee leaves the company since they’re less likely to respond to the interview after they’ve already left the organization. Also, make sure departing employees that their answers are confidential and won’t be directly given to their supervisors and won’t have influence on any reference they may want in the future. 

Sample exit interview questions

Here are some employee exit interview questions you can use in case of a resignation.  

  • How long have you been thinking about leaving our company?
  • Which factor influenced you to leave your position?
  • How does our company compare to the benefits of your new employer?
  • What were the things you liked or disliked about your position, and what would you change?
  • How often did your manager/supervisor give you recognition for your work?
  • Do you feel like your professional growth was supported?
  • Were you satisfied with your work/life balance?
  • Do you have any further suggestions about how to improve our company?

Although creating and implementing effective exit interviews may seem challenging at first, but the insights you’ll acquire from comprehending the connection between employee feedback, behavior, and organizational trends will help you in boosting the success of your business. 


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