Exit Interview Tips

89 Tips for Conducting Exit Interviews | Plus 14 Bonus Ideas!

Did you know, if done right, an exit interview can be a goldmine of valuable insights? If you conduct an exit interview wisely, you can turn your departing and disgruntled employees into brand advocates.

An important, yet often overlooked role of the Human Resources Department is to ensure that employees leave feeling valued and not bitter. A properly conducted exit interview can be a treasure trove of insights and feedback. These insights will help paint a clear image of why employees leave and what actions need to be taken to prevent it. If you are looking for strategic ways to approach an exit interview, here  are a few exit interview tips.

Beyond Goodbye: Tips To Make Your Exit Interviews Shine – Celebrate Offboarding Too

Factor in All Relevant HR Issues

  1. Focus on more than just compensation and career growth while conducting the exit interview. Other factors must not be ignored.
  2. Inquire about how the employee learned about the job opening and what prompted them to accept the role.
  3. Ask the employee how accurately the job role was described to them prior to their joining.
  4. Ask the departing employee questions like,”What did you think of your onboarding when you first joined?” in the effort to gain insights into recruitment practices.
  5. Examine and assess the ‘employee-coworker equation.’
  6. To gain an objective understanding, ask the employee to rate their co-worker’s attitude at the workplace on a scale of 0 to 10. (And just hope they don’t mark zero!)
  7. Try exploring the interpersonal dynamics of the team by finding out how well each one of the members gets along with the rest
  8. Ask the departing employee to list down three people who have impacted their career positively while in the organization.
  9. Confidentiality is key. An exit interview tends to be very personal due to the distressing and sensitive nature of the issues being discussed. Reassure employees their feedback will be kept anonymous.
  10. Try to evaluate the ‘Learning and Development’ aspect of their job by asking them about the quality of training they received during their time at the organization.
  11. Inquire about the career advancement/growth opportunities presented to them by the organization during their tenure.
  12. To assess role clarity, start by asking questions about the quality of instructions and objectives they received.
  13. Ask the employee about their experience working on a team and how conducive the environment was.
  14. Try to understand the perception of the employee. At no cost should you antagonize them.
  15. A necessary exit interview tip is to always make an effort to understand employees’ points of view on job design, culture, peers and working conditions.
  16. Find out whether the compensation package and other incentives provided were satisfactory for the employee or not.
  17. Always ask the departing employee-“Do you think our company offers competitive compensation for your position?”
  1. One of the many important exit interview tips is to ask the employee if they would be willing to continue in their role if changes are made to compensation, assignment, or their position.
  2. If the reason is none of the above, ask them about their primary reason for leaving the company – an open ended question may evoke the answer you are looking for!
  3. A question that absolutely must make it to your list is-”Was a specific person or event responsible for their resignation?”
  4. The effectiveness of the appraisal system and the employee’s perception could be assessed during an exit interview.
  5. Ask the employee politely – “What are your reasons for looking elsewhere for a job? How long have you been looking?”
  6. Using exit interview questions, one could also compare the new role to the old one to assess what makes the new job more attractive.
  7. You could also ask the employee if they discussed their concerns and reservations with anybody before leaving.
  8. The employee could be asked to elaborate on the aspects of their current position that they enjoyed the most.
  9. They could also be asked to mention the aspects that they did not like, along with the rationale for those.
  10. They could be asked to list the number of areas within the department that they preferred and the ones that they did not prefer, along with their reasons.
  11. “Did You Have All The Tools You Needed To Succeed At Your Job?” – Always ask the employee this question!
  12. Adding on to the previous question, ask them to identify the missing tools and resources.
  13. Check if the employee faced any harassment or discrimination while working in the organization.
  14. Assessing their perceived role competence and security, they could be asked if they felt equipped to do their job well.
  15. Exit interview questions could also probe the amount of role variety their job had and how satisfied were they with this diversity.
  16. The employee’s own perceptions about the role could be discussed, such as the experience, knowledge, and personal qualities they considered essential for this position.
  17. Asking more reflective questions, the employee could be inquired regarding the skills and experience that they believed they had gained by working in the department.
  18. To assess job satisfaction, exit interview questions can be asked to check if the job lived up to their expectations and how fulfilled they felt in the role.
  19. To gain a quantitative measure, ask them to rate their employee experience in the company.
  20. Employees could be asked if they felt that their personal goals and interests aligned with their role requirements.
  21. Many exit interview tips revolve around this, but it is crucial to inquire if the employee would consider working with your organization again in the future.
  22. Ask them if they would recommend the department to others as a good place of employment?
  23. Design your interview process to be reflective of the leadership
  1. Knowing the manager’s leadership style helps you reinforce positive leaders and identify the toxic ones.
  2. The employee could be asked to offer some advice to the CEO or department leader that they would consider essential.
  3. Ask the employee if they felt that the management gave them ample space and opportunity to voice out their concerns.
  4. An important exit interview tip is to ask the employee-”What could we have done differently as a company to retain you?”
  5. “Was the feedback you received about your performance timely, helpful, and specific?”
  6. Check if the employee felt that the performance expectations were reasonable and clearly explained.
  7. Ask them to shed light on the nature and kind of support they got from their supervisor.
  8. The supervisor’s openness to feedback and improvement could also be assessed to gauge the style of leadership in place.
  9. The employee could be asked to describe the three best things about working with their supervisor.
  10. Assess the relationship the employee had with their managers and how they felt about their supervision.
  11. In addition, the employee can inquire whether the management gives adequate recognition and appreciation.
  12. Ask the employee-“Do you have any comments, concerns or suggestions for your supervisor?”
  13. Gather ideas from the employee on how to improve your organization.
  14. In addition to the employee’s immediate experience, consider strategies, operations, marketing, systems, structures, etc. You never know what brilliant ideas that employee might contribute!
  15. To improve the workplace, employees can be asked what improvements they can suggest in specific departments, such as communication.
  16. Their suggestions for the organization to manage crises better in the future could also be ascertained through exit interview questions.
  17. Ask if there are any concerns that the employee has about the organization at large that they would like to share.
  18. Tapping on a personal note, ask them – “What Could We Have Done to Keep You Onboard?”
  19. Try to find out if there were any benefits or programs that they felt were missing from the organization.
  20. The work culture of the organization could be evaluated by inviting suggestions and opinions from the employee.
  21. Hypothetical questions such as “If you could change one thing about your role or the company, what would it be?” could also be helpful in identifying areas for improvement.
  22. An exit interview should mention inquiring about the qualities employees believe you should look for in their replacement.
  23. The employee can also talk about any extra responsibility that they would have welcomed.
  24. Exit interview questions can also seek specific information, such as methods and suggestions for improving employee morale.
  25. Mapping the progress of the company, the employee could be asked to mention their insights on the growth that the organization has witnessed since they joined.
  26. You may ask them –“If you could change three things, what would they be?”
  27. Any changes that the employee would make to make the job more satisfying? The areas of change may include –
  • Workload,
  • Recognition and feedback,
  • Career opportunities,
  • Workgroup and team relations, and
  • work environment, or management
  1. Suggestions for the resources or tools that are required to make the job transition easier for their replacement can also be sought from them.
  2. Employees can also be inquired regarding occupational, health, and safety issues that they feel should be rectified within their areas.
  3. Exit interview questions may also focus on understanding how the employee would have wanted better inter-department connectivity to be facilitated.
  4. Additionally, you can ask an employee to provide a risk assessment for the company and list any risks they see.
  5. Create a good last impression.
  1. Treat your parting employees with respect and gratitude – and the same will come around!
  2. Inquire about the things the employee appreciated most about working at the company. This would ensure a positive conclusion to the interview.
  3. HR could provide employees with assistance regarding the transition in order to make them feel heard and respected.
  4. Sought the Point of View of the Peers
  1. The peers could be inquired to know their opinions about the dedication and work ethic of the employee who is exiting the organization.
  2. Is the employee a dedicated employee? Are they helpful? Peers must reflect their opinions on these areas.
  3. The co-workers could also be inquired if they saw any issues that the employee faced with their manager and how those concerns were navigated.
  4. The peers must be asked whether the departing employee was part of any grapevine in the organization.
  5. Whether the employee was able to establish an appropriate association with stakeholders can also be probed through peer interviews.
  6. The effectiveness of the employee’s work relationships can be explored by seeking their co-workers’ perspectives.
  7. By triangulating information from multiple sources, you would get richer data that can be verified and corroborated.
  8. The perspective of the resigning employee’s manager may also be important to add crucial information to the picture
  1. Ask the manager about the frequency of handling complaints or grievances from the employee and how those were navigated through.
  2. The manager could be asked the possible reason for the employee’s resignation based on their judgment.
  3. Any thoughts shared by the employee about their compensation package to the manager can be inquired about.
  4. The manager can be asked – “Was your employee able to achieve the target on time?”
  5. The nature of the employee can also be discussed with the manager, and the humility or the professionalism of the employee can be determined.
  6. Information could also be sought about any forms of troublesome behavior that might have been exhibited by the employee in the past.
  7. The manager’s assessment of the utility of the employee and their value in the organization could be explored.
  8. The performance of the employee in arenas like communication with clients and team members can be judged through exit interview questions posed to the manager.
  9. The manager-employee relationship can be explored from the perspective of the supervisor.
  10.  The HR members and employees themselves could share how approachable the employee was and what the initial assessments of the employee were

We Have Some More Exit Interview Tips!

  1. Do in-person interviews to gain a deeper comprehension of the circumstances. Because of the hybrid work culture of today, if you are doing an online interview, urge the candidate to keep their camera on.
  2. Instead of having the entire team interview each individual, perform the interview one-on-one to build better trust. The employee will be able to communicate more openly and honestly as a result.
  3. HR personnel with fair judgment should conduct exit interviews, allowing employees to open up and trust them more. A third-party exit interview consultant can be used to avoid biases and ensure a safe process.
  4. A standard set of exit interview questions should be used so that it is easier to compare and identify trends.
  5. Ensure complete confidentiality of the leaving employee. This would allow them to share sensitive information without fear of repercussions, and provide space for more honest answers.
  6. Making your employee feel comfortable and at ease is vital in ensuring honest feedback.
  7. Ask a mix of close and open-ended questions to provide a space that allows for the expression of general concerns and isn’t restrictive. Close-ended questions can ensure that more specific and pointed questions can also be addressed.
  8. Conveying the purpose of the exit interview to the employees might help them in feeling more relaxed during the process.
  9. In order to ensure that the interview remains positive, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions of the employee to the organization is a must, regardless of the circumstance of the employee’s departure.

We hope this exhaustive list of exit interview tips comes in handy when you wish to part with your employees and ensure effective closure of this relationship. With the what, whys, and hows of exit interviews, Headsup Corporation got you!

Read More About Exit Interview:

Are Exit Interviews Beneficial? These 5 Reasons Say Yes!

Things To Keep In Mind While Taking Exit Interviews

How Can Recruiters Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

  1. What is an exit interview?

An exit interview is a crucial interaction between a departing employee and an HR representative, aimed at gathering feedback and understanding the organization’s pain points for growth and success.

  1. How to do an exit interview?

Conducting an exit interview with an employee requires preparation, scheduling, confidentiality, a judgment-free environment, openness to feedback, and a mutually convenient time. Ensuring confidentiality and creating a judgment-free space is crucial for a productive and respectful interview process.

  1. When should an exit interview be conducted?

Exit interviews are typically conducted on the last day of an employee’s employment. Exit interviews should be announced in advance to employees, including the date, time, and agenda. In addition to ensuring confidentiality, this would lead to more honest and reflective responses.

  1. What should I ask a leaving employee?

Focus on understanding their reasons for leaving,  including what aspects of a new opportunity might be missing from your company.  Additionally, explore their overall experience, including positive and negative aspects of the role and company culture.  By soliciting honest feedback  in a confidential setting, you can gain valuable clues  to improve your workplace and retain future talent.

  1. Are exit interviews confidential?

Yes, answers to the exit interview questions should be kept confidential. Only a summary of key areas of improvement and quarterly reports should be shared with the organization.

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Headsup Corporation