With the rising amount of people who continue to leave their jobs, employers are realizing the importance of exit interviews. Exit questions are very crucial since it is the only chance to know the honest opinions of the candidate. Their honest opinions of the job role and what can be improved about the company which will help reduce the turnover rates for improvement. That is why we at founderactivity have bought up the best exit interview questions that you need to ask.

Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.

– Tom Stoppard

As hiring the best talent out of a pool of candidates is costly, the offboarding process is the same since the company is losing talent. The exit interview questions will allow you to hear from the candidate who are more likely share their experiences more candidly. They may also give you more insight as to what the current workers may be reluctant to share.

Speaking in general, the valuable exit interview questions can be taken place with candidates who have resigned voluntarily. If it were someone whom you have had to fire, they be the most candid of them all but also remember that their judgement may be clouded by emotions and negative thoughts. These comments may not properly reflect with the practices of your business.

What is an exit interview?

41 Exit Interview Questions you need to ASK

An exit interview or survey is a series of question you ask candidate who are in the process of resigning your company. These questions provide information for your company about your exiting candidates such as why the candidate is leaving, how satisfied they were with their income, benefits, culture and what they least liked about working in your company.

The information you gather from exit interview will differ from each other but they are all equally valuable feedback. While some exit interviews are completely directed on the candidate’s manager, others area asked general questions about the role and their reasons for leaving.

How to conduct an exit interview?

Make the most from the information you receive from your exit interviews. To stay ahead, you are able to structure and be prepared for the interview. Here are some important steps to keep in mind:

  • Decide on the format of the exit interview process
  • Decide who will do the exit interview
  • Prepare your exit interview questions in advance

How long should an exit interview be?

The interview should be around 5 to 10 questions and take up about 30 minutes to an hour of your former employee’s time. These exit interviews are normally conducted in person or they can also be conducted via online through a survey to have honest feedback.

Who conducts an exit interview?

The exit interview is managed and conducted by the HR (Human Resources) Department. The member will the person responsible for the general off boarding or job transition process.

What is the point of an exit interview?

41 Exit Interview Questions you need to ASK

The main purpose of an exit interview is receive feedback that is honest from an exiting employee of your company. You have the opportunity to learn about what the reasons are for an employee who is leaving your company. This leaves you room as the employer to improve those areas in the workplace to prevent future employee attrition.

List of exit interview questions

When conducting an exit interview, it is important to keep the questionnaire set with a limited number of questions so that the candidate can complete it with ease in less an than a hour. The question and answers can allow you to recognize what may be causing employees to leave. Or cultivate ideas from former employees on how the company and workspace can be improved.

The list you find below are examples of exit interview questions you can add to your questionnaire.

1. What prompted you to begin searching for another opportunity?

The answer to this question may very from candidate to candidate who takes part in the exit interview. But it will allow to track on what common themes would be the reason. For instance, if a bunch of employees were to leave the workplace due to the reason as they were discouraged from the lack career growth opportunities; this is an aspect where your attention as the employer is needed. You are able to improve providing strategies for promotion in order to retain the existing employees and allowing to have a chance at career advancement opportunities. Your strategies for promotion can include raising salaries and a bonus plan.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “During the many years I spent working here, I had a terrific experience and learnt a lot. But I thought it was high time to make a change. I made the decision to start my job hunt and broaden my horizons since I needed fresh experiences and challenges.”

2. What did you like best and least about your job?

To set the right expectations for the position, this exit interview question will help you identify what the candidates like the best and least about the job role. For example, the employee who is exiting the company mentions in the exit interview that they were unhappy with frequent travelling on the job, ensure that the next person who fills the position is comfortable with frequent travelling on the job.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “The restricted chances for advancement and promotion within the organization are the aspect of my employment that I dislike the least at the moment. It’s a fantastic organization, and I’ve learned a lot while working here, but because it’s a tiny business, it might be challenging to discover opportunities to advance unless someone retires or departs. For instance, there are just four of us in my group. That’s one of the reasons I’m looking for a job right now; I want to work for a bigger company that can provide more long-term prospects for professional advancement.”

3. Do you feel your manager gave you what you needed to succeed?

One of the major responsibilities of a manager is that the employee should have the career development opportunities that need in order to perform well in their next role. This feedback would have been preferred to be obtained from training, one on one meetings or even during performance reviews. This question also happens to be one of the best exit questions since it has the ability to uncover any feeling of abandonment in any area of their job and be addressed to the manager.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “In general, I had all I required for success. However, I believe that future workers may profit from more formal onboarding and training. Although I am aware of the limited resources available, I believe that more training would aid future occupants in performing this duty to the greatest of their abilities.”

4. Do you think management adequately recognized your efforts? If not, how do you think it can be improved?

Best form of drive for workplace happiness is being recognized and praised for a job well done. The answer you receive to this question by the candidate will give you insight on which employee recognition method you use is the most effective. You can ask your employees to name a specific time or moment where they felt appreciated. You can also recognize on the non effective employee recognition methods by asking the employees if they have felt overlooked or taken for granted in order to improve.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I am generally happy with the direction management has given me in my work, although there is always space for growth. I occasionally felt a little stuck since management didn’t always see how they could use my function. However, if they give new hires the freedom to be independent right away, we may expect more creative and original ideas from them that will contribute to the success of the business. As opposed to waiting for instructions, this appears to be a more practical solution.”

5. Do you feel your job description changed since you were hired? If so, in what ways?

The demands of a job role can evolve with time but these changes may be so minimal that the managers who assign them, do not notice. If an exiting employee shows a discrepancy, ensure to update the job description before the hiring process for the position. This will help you to look for the right candidate with required skill set for the job role.

6. What suggestions do you have for the company? How could we improve?

Any suggestions such as management style, compensation, benefits or what snacks to stock in the kitchen, every detail is important when it comes to feedback. As an employer you may not be able to cater to all the suggestions based off comments by one candidate but repetitive comments should be looked into. Being aware of what the employees find important will help to determine on how to improve the workplace, its morale and also retain other employees who could potentially leave for similar reasons.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “The office might be made to feel more welcoming and inclusive. I believed that the top executives were uninterested in receiving input from all other team members, and I was never confident enough to voice my opinions if they differed from the norm. It would be advantageous to encourage more workers to express their distinct viewpoints and look at manager training choices.”

7. Is there anything that would have changed your mind about leaving?

The reason as to why the employee decided to resign will be of great importance. The above exit interview question will be directed at the candidate. It is important to look into the reasons for an employee to leave and be aware of what can be improved in the work place. For example, the candidate may answer they would have not taken the decision to resign if the company provided flexible work schedules. Therefore, an improvement the company can work on is exploring remote work option for their employees, flexible hours of working and more.

SAMPLE ANSWER – I’m not sure whether the business could have done anything specifically to keep me from quitting. I’m prepared to advance in my career. I have to leave in order to find the fresh challenges and chances I’m seeking for.”

8. Do you have any suggestions for improving employee morale?

Including exit interview questions related to team spirit allows the candidate to share an idea that could be a great suggestion. Co-workers are always more likely to discuss among themselves about morale than with their reporting manager. Hence, the exiting candidate will have the opportunity to give insight into the current mindset of team.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I think the culture is moving in the right direction. Morale is beginning to rise now that management is beginning to recognize the value of employee input. I believe that the culture might benefit from greater chances for employee empowerment. Giving individuals a platform and convenient ways to share their thoughts through management could make a significant difference.”

9. Did you feel you had the tools, resources and working conditions to be successful in your role? If not, what areas can be improved and how?

Exit interview questions will help shed light on the improvements that a workplace environment needs. The answer of the candidate can range from anywhere to an unappealing workspace to comfortable workspace to work in.

10. Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider returning to the company?

Employees who leave a job role on good terms but decide later to come back are known as boomerang employees. With the current talent shortage, employers are eager to have their doors open for top boomerang employees since they already understand their corporate culture.

If former employees have never reapplied to a job position, asking this exit interview question will help the employer to improve better retention strategies in the company.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “This organization has given us numerous chances to develop new abilities and gain expertise. My primary concern is advancing my career. But if the perfect chance and job offer materialized, I’d surely think about going back at some point.”

11. How would you describe the perfect candidate to replace you?

As a candidate that is departing the company, the main focus will naturally be on personal skills and technical abilities. They will reveal the vital skills that the job role requires. These skills can range from customer service mindset, strong handling skills of social media, proficiency in software designs or converse smartly with stakeholders. No one else other the exiting candidate will know the required skills for the job role, utilize their description of the most suitable candidate for the position.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “In my job role, solving problems at the last minute was a big part of the job. I wasn’t first ready to accomplish anything, but I eventually adjusted and improved. To succeed right away, I believe my successor ought to possess some problem-solving abilities when they take over.”

12. How would you describe our company culture?

The answer you look for to this question may not be very specific. But overall, out of your outgoing employees, there may be some outliers and some who are not.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Since management has begun to value employee feedback, I believe the corporate culture is starting to improve. If adjustments are made as a result, morale will only rise. If employees are empowered and given greater opportunities to suggest changes to management, the entire firm may benefit.”

13. What was your best day on the job like?

The initiation of this question is to engage with the exiting candidate more candidly. It will give you more insight what the potential candidate may like about the job position and what will make him feel successful. The information you get from your candidate will answer your question.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I enjoyed working there and getting to know my coworkers. The workload was consistently appropriately distributed, and my manager made care to get the work finished without being overwhelming. I had some control over the day thanks to my somewhat flexible work schedule, and payroll was never a problem.”

14. What was your worst day on the job like?

This question is the complete opposite of the previous question which helps you as the employer to see what your company is lacking with regards to employee engagement. By using the answers you receive from the candidate, determine if there is a method to reduce the amount of “worst days”.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “There was a double standard for top management and the rest of the staff, and comments from management would be made if you left your desk for the entirety of lunch. Because of this, there was an unhealthy workplace climate where nobody felt free to express themselves. The task is not distributed efficiently because of the way the teams are set up. Instead of distributing duties based on seniority, it could be preferable to do so according on skill strengths.”

15. Were you given clear goals and objectives?

If the candidate answered this question with a “yes“, promote the process and find more ways where these goals can be effective.

Whereas, if the candidate answered this question with a “no“, you may need to make changes to the process so that employees do not see that their efforts of working go to waste.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “I believe that frequent and in-depth training would be beneficial for future staff, although I am aware that resources are limited. To the best of their abilities, both new and seasoned personnel could benefit from additional training.”

16. What would you change about your job?

Depending on how the candidate answers this question, it will help you see whether some aspects of the job role needs any changes before hiring another candidate for the position. If it were the job that caused the exiting candidate to resign, you will putting the next candidate in a volatile position. To avoid high employee turnover in the future, ensure that the job role is better for the next candidate.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “Although I enjoy seeing visitors to our office and working in reception, there is one aspect of our scheduling software that I would change. The primary cause of this is the inability to plan many meetings in a single hour. I can understand how this application could be very beneficial for some organizations, but since my employer occasionally schedules multiple meetings at the same time, I believe it would be beneficial if we utilized a tool that provides that capability.

I’m aware that your business has its own scheduling software, therefore this is a feature of the receptionist posting that I particularly valued.”

17. How can we improve our training and development?

Employees may leave for various reasons but the most common reason is that they did not feel they were growing, improving and developing as much as they aspired to achieve. That being the reason for most of your exiting candidates, they are able to let to you know how you can improve the workspace for the next candidate.

To keep the employees engaged with the work they have, the training and development is not about learning new skills or improving up the ranks. By implementing better methods to retain employees, you are able reduce attrition.

18. Did you receive constructive feedback to help you improve your performance?

Your employees do not want to feel stationary. As an employer, understanding their personal goals and objectives and helping them to grow their skills should be a main area of focus.

SAMPLE ANSWER – “The assistance I received from this organization thrilled me. I was given the opportunity to express my viewpoint after receiving a customer complaint, and before any decision was made my record was taken into account. I found both the specific training sessions and the monthly reviews with my line manager to be of great value.”

19. How fair did you feel your total compensation package was compared to other companies?

This particular question will help you understand whether you have strong competition in the wide employer market. The candidate may prefer to work for you but the compensation package pays a factor. The compensation package can include pay, benefits and equity.

20. How good or bad was your benefits package?

The salary an employee receives plays a great impact to employee dissatisfaction. Other factors like low engagement and alignment of personal with company values can also matter more. Measure to what extent will pay and the package can play a role with a decision of resigning.

21. Which benefits did you take advantage of?

As an employer, you also have to understand why an employee may use some benefits over the others. Making some changes can help benefit by retaining employees. Benefits become stronger for current employees and new employees.

22. Did you share any of the concerns we discussed today with the company before deciding to leave?

This particular exit interview question will reveal whether the employees feel safe talking about their concerns or opinions in the workplace.

Regarding this exit question, if the candidate’s answer is “yes“, it could mean that managers may not be taking feedback into consideration. Or is not asking feedback from the employees often enough. Designing an employee satisfaction survey will allow you to measure what the current employees are feeling. You can also implement an anonymous employee suggestion box for candidates to respect their privacy. This will allow you immediately recognize an issue and improve the situation before the another candidate decides to resign.

On the other hand, if the candidate’s answer is “no“, it is a sign that your workplace need improvement and build culture. Where employees will be able to speak up freely and confidently to share their concern without the fear retaliation.

23. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

After the above mentioned exit interview questions that have come to light, there will be more positives and negatives that will not been raised unless asked. Your last question gives them the last opportunity to speak their minds freely.

More Exit Interview Questions

24. What factors contributed to your decision to hand over your resignation?

25. What could have been done to prevent you from leaving?

26. How did you learn about the job vacancy for the new position you have accepted?

27. Why did you accept that job offer versus another job?

28. How was your overall experience working for this company?

29. Would you consider returning to this company if a position were available in the future?

30. Were the duties and demands of this job described accurately during the interview process?

31. Were you given training to perform the job? How would you assess the quality of that training? What are some of the areas for improvement?

32. How would you describe our workplace environment to someone considering working here?

33. What improvements do you suggest to make this job better, more challenging or more interesting?

34. Were you and your supervisor able to work together effectively?

35. What kind of feedback did you receive from your supervisor and how frequently?

36. How could your supervisor have helped you more on the job?

37. How would you describe your supervisor’s management style?

38. How would you describe the management style of your division head?

39. How would you describe the management style of the company overall?

40. What do you like most about working here?

41. What do you like the least about working here?

Importance of conducting exit interviews

A hiring process is expensive and may take a long time. The efforts of the hiring process can go to waste if the position is filled by someone who is volatile.

  • Time and money is wasted on recruitment
  • Company knowledge and process cannot be retained

By giving the departing employees the opportunity to provide their honest feedback, you are to gather valuable insight. It is used to improve the workplace for employees; both current and future employees.

Exit Interview Questionnaire Template

We at founderactivity have prepared a sample of what an exit interview questionnaire can look like. As illustrated, you will have to answer with your honest opinions.

Important Tip for exit interview questions

Your interviewer may ask to you talk about a time or experience of a situation you were involved in which resulted with a positive outcome. It can include your leadership skills, team activities, communication skills and etc..

Exit Interview Questions you need to ASK

In conclusion, exit interviews have become a great process for employers to learn why you are losing your talent in your company. Using the available questions, modify them as needed to use it your company’s surveys. As exiting employees leave, it is more important to hire the best candidates to fill in the empty positions.

“I think I want a job cleaning mirrors. It’s really something I could see myself doing.”

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