Getting a job, leaving a job, finding a new one … interviews seem to never stop pursuing us. Exit interview is often the last talk you will have with your employer, before heading for your new career challenge. Why do employers conduct this interview?
The reason is simple. Once leaving the company (perhaps forever, perhaps not), you can speak openly about anything that has happened to you in the office and on the workplace. And you can also speak openly about your reasons to leave (if it was your initiative).
Talking about the working environment, your bosses, colleagues, and clients, the working process and the team building activities, as well as benefits and rewards you got as an employee with them helps your former employer to understand how to make the company a better place for the employees, and how to ensure they won’t lose quality employees, just like you, more often than they can afford.
Let’s have a look at the questions you can expect to hear (if you are an employer, feel free to use the list in your interviews with employees who decide to leave the company, to get a valuable feedback from them). Remember that you can always refuse to answer a question, if you consider it inappropriate, or for any other reason.
Questions for an exit interview
- Can you name a primary reason why you decided to leave the company? (When did you decide to leave, what was the initial motive, did you talk about it with anyone, etc.)
- Can you name specific working duties that you did not like in your daily job? (Do you consider them inappropriate for the position, did they create too much of a workload on you, etc.)
- Do you think that our company is a place where one can grow professionally? (Did you feel challenged in your job, did you learn something new while working for us, do you feel that you moved somewhere in your profession while working for us, etc.)
- Looking back, what was the most motivating factor for you in this company? (What motivated you to stay with us before you decided to leave, what did drive you in your job on a daily basis, what duties and benefits did you enjoy the most, etc.)
- Did you have the feeling that there was appropriate training and guidelines so you can perform your job on highest possible level? (Would you change anything about the training or orientation, any suggestion on how to introduce new employees to their working duties, etc.)
- What would you improve in our company, related to your position? (Would you prefer to have an assistant, closer interaction with other departments, better understanding of the goals of the company, etc.)
- Were you satisfied with your salary? If not, what salary would you consider appropriate? (Is there a figure that would convince you to stay with us, have you ever felt like asking for a raise, and if you felt so, why didn’t you ask, etc.)
- What do you think about our system of benefits and rewards? (Would you suggest we add something for this particular position, such a company car, laptop, mobile phone, holiday vouchers, etc. Do you think that the system of benefits was fair, and reflected your performance in work?)
- Would you recommend our company to your friends if they were looking for a job? (Do you know about someone who can replace you on this position, can you recommend someone, can you leave a positive review for us on our career website, etc.)
- Is there any chance you will stay in this company, if we change something? (How would we have to change your position and the list of working duties for you to stay, how much money would we have to pay you so you stayed with us, etc.)
- Speaking about company culture, what do you like the most? (Did you feel that we stuck to our corporate values, did you feel good with your colleagues, do you believe we should change something to help our employees feel better, etc.)
- Do you think that the team building activities in our company were organized in an appropriate manner? (Did you enjoy them, did they actually help to strengthen the relationships in a team, would you suggest some other activities, etc.)
- How would you describe the relationship with your closest colleagues? (Did you get along each other? Did you enjoy their company? Do you think that you helped your colleagues to grow professionally and vice versa, did you have any conflicts with your closest colleagues, do you plan to stay in touch with them after leaving the company, etc.)
- What do you think about the management of the company and their work? (Do you consider them qualified for their positions, do you believe they managed the company well, would you suggest a replacement on any position, did you feel respected by the management, etc.)
- If you can recommend someone as a replacement for you, who would it be? (Please include name and phone number, tell us more about the person and why you think they can be a good match for the job you had, etc.)
- Who do you personally consider the most valuable worker from your department? (Why do you consider them the most valuable person, in which way were they better than the others, can you define the value they brought to the team, etc.)
- Would you consider working for us in the future, on some different position? (Where do you plan to head in your career, if we opened XYZ position in the future, would you be interested to apply, can we contact you in the future if we happen to open position ABC, etc.)
- If you shall pick just one employee from this company, for either a good or a bad reason, who will you pick? (Who will stay in your memory after you leave this place, who do you consider the most important person fort the success of this company, the most interesting person, etc.)
- Any other suggestion or comments?
Special Tip: Download a list of questions in a simple, one page long .PDF document, and use it to either prepare for your interview, at directly as your interview template (if you are an employer):
Exit interview is more than a formality. It helps the employer to understand the employees, and why they decided to leave the company. If you are an employer, you should do this interview with every person that decides to leave you–if they accept the interview, of course.
And if you are an employee, please approach the last interview responsibly, and professionally. You may have a good reason to leave, and perhaps also a good reason to be angry with someone in the company. But you never know what tomorrow will bring. Try to build bridges, not fences…
Other articles that may interest you:
- Interviewing techniques for employers – Four basic techniques to interview job candidates. Pick the one that suits your situation and recruitment needs, and did it the right way.
- How to conduct an interview – A simple three step guide on conducting an interview, suitable mostly for small business. Learn from professionals and ensure that you will choose the right person at the end of interviews.
- Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication? Interesting insight into the world of interviewing.