Employee Exit Interviews: 14 Questions You Should Ask

Exit interviews can be uncomfortable. Some departing employees use the opportunity to vent years worth of pent up frustration. And while negative feedback is hard to listen to, if employees are willing to express how they feel about working for your organization, there might be nuggets of wisdom concealed in their frustration. If you’re willing to conduct exit interviews, it’s worth the time to consider a former employee’s feedback about their experience.

But an exit interview is only as good as the questions and strategies you use to conduct it. With some foresight, proper planning, and a template of questions, you steer what would be a venting session into useful feedback for your organization.

Effective Exit Interview Questions

The best exit interview questions will prompt honest feedback, keep the discussion on track, avoid gossip, and probe for in-depth responses. It’s important to keep an open mind but to avoid office politics. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or follow up on vague answers. And remember: every employee will treat the exit interview process differently. Some will approach it with a no-holds-bar attitude, while others will be more hesitant to speak openly. Below are some basic exit interview questions to give you a template for formulating your own process.

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Exit Interview Questions to Ask

Job Experience

  • What did you appreciate most about working here?

  • How would you describe the company culture?

  • Did you feel you were managed effectively?

  • Did you feel like you had the necessary tools and resources to succeed at this company?

  • Did you think your role in the company was clear?

  • Did you think your responsibilities and goals were clearly defined?

  • Is there anything we could have done to make you stay?

Reasons for Leaving

  • Why did you start looking for another job?

  • What would you change about the organization?

  • What would you change about your former department?

Looking Forward

  • What advice would you give to your former team? To managers?

  • What are the biggest problems you see in this organization?

  • What would make this a better place to work?

  • Would you work here again? Would you recommend open positions at our organization to others?

How to Conduct Exit Interviews

The process of how you conduct an exit interview is equally as important as the questions you ask. Every organization is different, but there are a few best practices you can utilize to ensure the interview stays professional.

Exit interviews are designed to provide insightful feedback about your organization’s culture and processes, as well as how employees view their time at work. With effective questions and an outlined process, your exit interviews will provide insightful feedback.