human resources

The 10 Best Exit Interview Questions

Zoe Papadakis

By Zoe Papadakis Feb 10, 2021 · 3 mins read

The 10 Best Exit Interview Questions
Share this

When an employee resigns it is rare that they will give the full reason for their departure. As a result, many businesses will shrug it off as just another resignation. What you may not realize is that it is actually very important to take the time to speak with the employee about their decision to leave the company. The question is, where do you begin?

There’s so much to keep in mind. For example: You need to know what exit interview questions to ask, whether to ask them directly, via email or telephonically and when to ask them. You also need to understand the importance of an exit interview.

It is crucial to learn why employees are leaving your company because it will show where you can improve your business and office culture and how you can reduce employee turnover. If the employee has secured a job with another company, you can also gain useful information on your rivals if you strategically incorporate the topic into your exit interview questions.

“We use exit interviews to see how competitive we are against other employers: time off, ability to advance, different benefits, and pay packages,” an HR executive at a global food and beverage company told Harvard Business Review. “And we want to see who is poaching our people.”

What about timing? Knowing when to discuss an employee’s resignation is just as important as preparing your exit interview questions. Many experts believe a good time is either between the time a staff member has announced their intention to leave and their actual departure. You do not want to do it too early as the employee may shy away from being completely honest with you, and you do not want to leave it too late because they may just be in a hurry to get out of the office and will give less in depth answers.

Before we get into what questions to ask in an exit interview, there is one last thing to consider: Method.

How you interact with your employee leaving the company is important. You have various methods at your disposal but in a survey, Harvard Business Review found that face-to-face interviews are still the most effective. Telephonic interviews also have benefits. An employee may be more honest when not having to answer exit interview questions in person however, experts argue that the costs may not be worth it.

This brings us to the final topic: what questions to ask in an exit interview. Based on information obtained by top employment websites Indeed and Glassdoor, these questions are among the best exit interview questions:

  1. Why did you begin looking for a new job?

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

  3. How would you describe the culture of our company? Can you elaborate or provide specific examples?

  4. Did you share your concerns with anyone at the company prior to leaving?

  5. Do you think your job has changed since you were hired?

  6. Did you feel your achievements were recognized throughout your employment?

  7. Were you satisfied with the way you were managed?

  8. What could have been done for you to remain employed here?

  9. Were you satisfied with the way you were managed?

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