40 Most Frequently Asked Exit Interview Questions In 2021

Employees who leave your company can provide a plethora of information about your company’s culture and operations, as well as an assessment of management and suggestions for enhancing employee retention. For this reason, we have listed out the most frequently asked exit interview questions that will help you prepare.

When employees are leaving an organization, they are often more comfortable providing candid feedback since they know their replies will have no impact on their employment status.

Exit interviews are a critical part of the offboarding process because of this.

However, because some departing employees may be hesitant to share the true reason for their resignation, simply asking, “Why are you leaving?” is frequently insufficient. Instead, consider posing a series of questions to elicit some of the reasons behind a departing employee.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the most typical exit interview questions and how to prepare intelligent responses.

What is an Exit Interview?

An exit interview is a conversation between a company and an employee who has decided to leave.

Imagine them as the polar opposite of a job interview: instead of asking why they want to work for your firm, you’re asking why they’ve chosen to quit.

The goal is to learn more about why that individual resigned in the hopes of improving the company’s operations and preventing other employees from doing the same.

Why do Companies Conduct Exit Interviews?

Companies conduct exit interviews to learn about an employee’s thoughts about their employment, supervisor, company, and other topics.

An exit interview is a conversation between you and your employer, most commonly a representative from human resources.

This is a good time to talk about job happiness or give comments on policy and direction.

What are Exit Interview Survey Questions?

Exit interview survey questions are a series of questions used in the exit interview process of an exiting employee, either as a survey or as spoken questions.

It’s usually a good idea to use the exit interview questionnaire as an online survey because it allows you to run analytics on the data for exponentially more insights.

Another advantage is that employees can respond to these questions even after they have left the company. We’ve all experienced how hectic the final day can be.

Why are Exit Interviews Important?

Exit interviews, according to many HR professionals, are among the most significant conversations you’ll ever have at work.

It will be one of the most open and honest talks you have with your employees; it will be your only chance to learn what your team is actually thinking.

Furthermore, in the most fundamental sense, it’s critical to understand why someone is leaving your firm.

People rarely leave employment for insignificant reasons. If they’ve gone down this road, it’s likely that they were unsatisfied in some way with some component of their job.

If you want to keep your best employees and attract even more, you need to understand why they could leave and what might motivate them to stay. An exit interview conducted properly provides you with the ideal opportunity to find out.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

We’ll speak about how to conduct an exit interview as an employer now that we know what they’re for. Following are some important recommended practices to remember when conducting an exit interview.

#1. Every departing employee gets an interview

Every employee who leaves your organization is entitled to an exit interview. Some practitioners would advise you to do them solely with your star performers (the ones you really want to keep) and not to worry about ‘trouble-makers.’

These interviews are only valuable for particular sectors of the firm, which sends a very detrimental message.

It sends a message to the rest of the firm that only some people’s opinions are worth considering.

Exit interviews exist to provide you with a clear picture of everything that is going on at your organization, not just the opinions of a few people.

#2. Be on time

The optimal time to conduct an exit interview is on the departing employee’s final day or in the days following their departure. They will not be as free with their thoughts before this.

A few days of ‘mental distance’ from the occupation is particularly beneficial. It provides the exit with a vantage point from which they can make a more critical assessment of their experiences rather than an emotional one.

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#3. Maintain transparency.

Always communicate the topics you want to explore ahead of time. Make a list of the questions you’d like to ask or areas you’d like to cover and send it to the leaver in advance by email.

This not only puts people at ease but also increases the likelihood that they will respond with meaningful, well-developed responses.

Instead of having to come up with something on the spot, they have a few days to chew over their experiences and provide thoughtful input.

#4. Keep it casual

Exit interviews should be as informal as feasible. Make sure they’re not hosted at the workplace, but rather somewhere more casual, like a local cafe.

This helps to establish the notion that this is a friendly, two-way chat between former coworkers rather than a disciplinary matter.

If you do the interview at work, it will unavoidably feel like they are at work.

#5. keep it personal

It is never necessary to have more than one interviewer. You don’t want them to feel like the company is ganging upon them, so let them choose who conducts the interview as much as possible.

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If the two get along well, you’ll get a lot more honest (and hence more valuable) feedback.

However, it is well worth attempting to ensure that the interviewer is at least one level above the departing employee, rather than their immediate line boss. This is due to a number of factors.

First, it encourages the departing employee to be more candid with their remarks.

Secondly, it automatically moves that feedback one level higher in the company’s hierarchy, increasing the likelihood that it will be acted upon.

#6. Pay more attention to what you’re hearing than what you’re saying.

Do not feel obligated to respond to feedback as an interviewer; that is not the purpose of this exercise.

You’re not there to defend the company or justify your own judgments; rather, you’re there to learn everything you can about it.

This could be a very trying time for you, especially if you’re the company’s founder. However, take solace in the fact that even the most negative criticism may be used to improve your organization.

#7. Don’t lead the conversation, guide it

As the interviewer, you may be tempted to steer the conversation toward the things you most want to discuss.

This is especially true for founders, who are frequently ecstatic about the company they have created and have strong opinions about how it should be governed.

Taking command of the conversation, on the other hand, is a mistake.

By all means, steer it toward the topics you believe are relevant, but the purpose is to hear what the departing employee has to say, so let them take the conversation anywhere they choose.

#8. Share the result

Always make sure that exit interview notes are shared with the whole corporate leadership team, not just the departing employee’s immediate team.

This ensures that corporate managers have a thorough picture of how each division of the organization is operating.

#9. Act on them

Everything has been simple up until this point. Now is the time to put what you’ve learned into practice.

If you conducted the exit interview properly, you may have heard a few stories about team members who aren’t pulling their weight or bosses who aren’t supporting their employees.

It may be difficult to hear, but if you’re serious about improving the way your company operates, you must commit to making the necessary changes.

Tips to Prepare For an Exit Interview

Here are the following tips that will help you prepare answers for your exit interview.

  • Maintain objectivity: Concentrate on the task at hand. Instead of talking about individual individuals, talk about the organization as a whole.
  • Rehearse your answers: Seek assistance from a friend or coworker.
  • Take notes: Keeping a record of your departure interview can help you recall what you and the interviewer stated or agreed on, as well as provide you with an accurate backup if needed.
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cues and body language: Before the interview, take a few deep breaths and relax consciously. This will assist you in being composed and attentive during the interview. Maintain an open body language throughout your departure interview to assist you feel more comfortable.

40 Most Frequently Asked Exit Interview Questions and Sample Answers

The most common exit interview questions, as well as possible answers, are listed below. Whether you’re leaving for a new job, a better opportunity, or unhappiness with your current one, it’s best to respond wisely, objectively, and professionally.

#1. Why are you leaving your position, or what led you to the decision to leave?

This is a question your employer might ask to see if you’re leaving because you’ve been offered a better job or for personal reasons. When addressing this question, strike a balance between honesty and civility.

Mention the abilities or experience you hope to gain from your next position, if applicable.

Sample answer: “I have really enjoyed working here, and I have learned a lot over the course of my employment. However, I feel like I have accomplished all I can in this role and need something different. While I have learned much at this job and honed my skills and experience, I feel it is time to go in a different direction. I have gained invaluable experience for the future, and I feel the time is right to expand my experience and strengthen my abilities.”

#2. How do you feel about management, and do you have any feedback or suggestions for how we can improve?

This question allows you to help your employer see your position from your point of view. When giving feedback, be impartial and fair. Be specific and positive in your feedback while keeping the focus on the company’s improvement.

Sample answer: “Overall, I am satisfied with the way management has guided me in my job, but there is room for improvement. Management sometimes overlooked the ways they could utilize my role, so I occasionally felt somewhat stagnant. However, if they empower new employees to feel independent from the beginning, we can get more innovative and new ideas from them to add value to the company’s success. This seems like a more effective solution than waiting for directives.”

#3. Was there a time when you felt proud of your work?

This is an excellent opportunity to mention a favorable experience you had with the firm. Recognize the positive aspects of your career, regardless of why you resigned. Remember that everyone, even your boss, enjoys hearing when they get it right.

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Sample answer: “Yes. While it took us a little longer to complete that last project than expected, the client appreciated our thoroughness and attention to detail. Being part of the team made me proud.”

#4. Do you feel you received proper and complete training?

Companies want their employees to be confident in their abilities. This is an area where sharing your frank experience can truly help. Inform your employer if you did not feel prepared or if your training was insufficient. Share useful suggestions for improvement so that future staff will be better equipped.

Sample answer: “The best thing you can do for new employees is to make sure they understand their roles and supply them with the tools they need to perform their job. I didn’t always feel as though I had the resources to do my job well, so I think new employees can benefit from more thorough and frequent training. To fully prepare new employees to meet the company’s expectations, management might consider additional training or refreshers so new and current employees can meet their tasks to the best of their ability.”

#5. Do or did you think the company supported your career goals?

When answering this question, describe how your employer met your expectations and helped you advance in your career. Training or education could be provided as a form of assistance. Give details on how and why you felt supported, as well as when you didn’t.

Sample answer: “When I came to work here, I was excited for the prospect of advancing my career and increasing my knowledge and experience. Even though I have had the opportunity to learn things I have hoped for in my career, I believe I have accumulated sufficient knowledge working with this company. Currently, it is the right time for me to broaden my skills at another company.”

#6. Would you recommend this company to others seeking employment?

When answering this question, be honest about why you would or would not suggest your job to a friend or colleague. Consider making suggestions that would improve the position’s appeal.

Sample answer: “The answer to that would depend on what jobs are available and what the individual’s career goals are.”. It would be a pleasure to recommend this company to friends or family if the position matched their needs. A comprehensive benefits package would make the job more attractive.”

#7. What were your criteria for choosing a new employer?

Your response will assist your organization in understanding why you picked a different employer or position. Describe why you were looking for a new job in detail. For example, your new job may offer perks that your present one does not. Give examples and be truthful in your evaluations.

Sample answer: “As part of my new position, my employer will provide me with additional training so that I can advance my career. I expect to earn my sales certification within six months using the resources I will have at my disposal.”

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#8. Would you consider staying on?

This is a question your employer might ask to see if there are any aspects of the work that could make it more appealing, such as benefits or more training. Consider whether you actually want to stay and what variables may influence your decision.

Sample Answer: “I have worked here for a long time, and this company has provided me with valuable skills and learning opportunities. I have enjoyed working here, but I feel that my expertise and career goals would be highly prioritized at my new position. However, if I received the right offer, I would strongly consider returning.”

#9. What Does Your New Position Offer That Influenced Your Decision To Leave?

The response to this question will reveal the specifics of your company’s shortcomings. It could be a matter of corporate culture. It could be a question of pay or perks. It’s possible that it’s due to a lack of adaptability. It could be a variety of factors.

The crucial thing to remember is that the information provided by the departing employee can be utilized to make up for any gaps in your company’s performance.

#10. What Could We Have Done Better?

This question may appear to be identical to question nine, but the answer delves into a distinct aspect of the problem. Let’s say an employee responded to question nine by saying, “additional professional growth possibilities.” That response implies that the quantity of opportunities is critical.

However, if you ask him question 10, he might say, “Actively promote professional development and motivate colleagues to reach out.”

So perhaps the most important factor is not the number of possibilities you provide, but the advertising of those opportunities. When you ask both questions at the same time, you can have a better understanding of the details.

#11. What Could We Have Done To Keep You Here?

This is one of the most frequent exit interview questions. This question frequently elicits further reasons why the employee was unsatisfied with her job and began seeking a new one.

Because you’ve asked a direct inquiry, you’re likely to get a sequence of direct responses. However, this can be really beneficial.

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When you correlate answers like higher compensation, more perks, and more advancement with the employee’s tenure at your firm, you can learn a lot.

If she was getting regular raises but was still unhappy with her pay, perhaps the rises should be more frequent.

#12. Were You Comfortable Talking To Your Manager?

This question is unique in that it reveals information about two people: the departing employee and the management.

First and foremost, you can use the information gleaned from the employee’s answer to helping the manager who is still employed by your organization enhance his or her performance and development.

Second, you can utilize the information to assist in the recruitment of a new team member. Also, this is one of the most frequently asked exit interview questions.

#13. What Things Could Your Manager Have Done Better?

This question allows you to delve deeper into the precise areas where the employee’s boss could have done a better job. This inquiry allows you to see what’s going on in the trenches by peeling back the layers.

In addition, this is one of the most frequently asked exit interview questions.

#14. How Would You Describe Our Company Culture?

With this question, you’re seeking a general tendency that your departing employees notice rather than a specific example.

You might get some outliers (e.g., answers from employees who are emotional or have a negative opinion of the organization), but you’ll start to recognize your corporate culture over time.

For example, if 50 employees say the corporate culture is open and honest (or words to that effect), and 10 employees say it is something else, you’ll have a pretty good notion of how your company is seen.

#15. Did You Share Your Concerns With Anyone At The Company?

This question reveals another aspect of the departed employee’s workplace culture. If an employee describes the corporate culture as open and honest yet does not speak up about their problems for fear of retaliation, there may be more going on than what is initially stated.

#16. If You Were an Animal, Which One Would You Want to Be?

Don’t be alarmed if you’re asked weird interview questions. Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. If you answer “a bunny,” you will make a soft, passive impression.

If you answer “a lion,” you will be seen as aggressive. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make?

More of Frequently Asked Exit Interview Questions

  1. Did You Feel Like A Valuable Part Of The Company?
  2. Did You Have All The Tools You Needed To Succeed At Your Job?
  3. What Qualities Do You Think We Should Look For In Your Replacement?
  4. What Was The Best Part Of Your Job?
  5. Do You Feel Your Job Description Changed Since You Were Hired? How?
  6. What Was The Worst Part Of Your Job?
  7. What Was Your Best Day On The Job Like?
  8. Do You Have Any Other Issues Or Comments You’d Like To Address?
  9. What Was Your Worst Day On The Job Like?
  10. How Would You Improve Employee Morale?
  11. Were You Given Clear Goals And Objectives?
  12. Did You Receive Feedback To Help You Improve?
  13. What Would You Change About Your Job?
  14. Would You Recommend Our Company To A Friend Looking For A Job?
  15. How Can We Improve Our Training And Development?
  16. Would You Provide Specific Examples?
  17. Did you get along well with your team members?
  18. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  19. Did you get along well with your reporting authority?
  20. Do you think the company policies were adequate? If not, do you want to suggest changes to the company policy?
  21. What could we have done early on to avoid this situation from developing?
  22. How would you have favored the situation to be handled?
  23. Please comment on the communication within the organization.
  24. How could you have been helped better to understand working with other departments to perform more effectively?
  25. Do you think the appraisal system worked for you?
  26. Are you happy to tell us which organization you would be joining (If you have already decided)?
  27. Can we make this transition any smoother?
  28. Have you ever experienced any discrimination or harassment while working in this organization?
  29. What makes your new job more attractive than your present job?
  30. How did you learn about the job opening for the new position you have accepted?
  31. Why did you accept that job offer versus another?
  32. How can our company improve training and development programs?
  33. What do we do well?
  34. What Salary Are You Seeking?

Conclusion

An exit interview provides companies with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain candid and open feedback that can assist current and future employees have a better experience.

These exit interview questions will help you learn more about why employees leave, as well as provide a blueprint for how to enhance retention and keep employees satisfied in the long run.

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