Exit Interviews: How to Do Them the Right Way

August 30, 2018
Megan Sheridan
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Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes



Exit interviews can be hard. A lot goes into an exit interview and a lot can go terribly wrong if you are not ready for it. So today we are going to discuss the employer side of an exit interview and some things to keep in mind as well as good and bad questions to ask. So let’s get right to it.


Some Things to Keep in Mind

Rather than the boring old “What did you not like about working here?” question that everyone seems to automatically go to, let’s stick to more in-depth and conversational questions that will spur a more deep and insightful answer from the employee.

We also want to stay away from the dramatic filled questions regarding whether or not an employee liked another employee and so forth. While those questions may be good to get some insight into the behavior and culture of employees, the fact is we can’t all like everyone we work with, so just leave it at that. Stick to questions that will only benefit you and the business. 

Good feedback from the employee is important so that you can try to make the changes necessary for the next person who may be in that position. Feedback is also beneficial for the other employees as you can make decisions to make the work environment a lot better for everyone. 

Also make sure the interview is concise and structured the same way for every person. By maintaining consistency with everyone that you interview, it becomes easier to pick out exactly what you are looking for, rather than trying to pick the employee’s brain.

Finally, establishing with the employee that the interview will remain confidential is an important step. This will help you establish trust with the interviewee and help them feel comfortable telling you information that they would not otherwise divulge. It is your job to make sure this interview is confidential and that it will remain anonymous. This changes the dynamic of the conversation and focuses less on the person and more on the issue or problem at hand.


The Questions

Now that we have established some ground rules for the interview, let's dive right into some do and don’t questions regarding exit interviews. These are the questions I picked that I believe would not only benefit the employee but the business too. We'll also touch on questions you should try and stay away from.


The "Do" Questions:

  • How do you feel you were treated by your supervisor and coworkers?
  • Do you feel you were given adequate training and assistance in learning your job?
  • Did you see opportunities for transfer or promotion within this business?
  • How would you describe the morale of your fellow employees?
  • Was there anything especially challenging that you had to contend with?
  • How did this position align with your expectations?
  • What is one thing the organization overall could do to improve?
  • What could the organization do better regarding your position?

 The "Don’t" Questions:

  • Is there anyone in the office you do not like or get along with?
  • Is there any drama going on in the office that I was not aware of?
  • Any personal issues going on in your life or at work affecting your decision to leave?

In Conclusion

Exit interviews aren't the most fun thing in the world but with the right preparation and the right questions, they can be very beneficial to you and your company as a whole. Making sure you have good questions and have thought carefully about how it is going to go can really make for a successful exit interview even though you may be losing an employee. Employees are always growing and finding new opportunities for themselves, so you shouldn't look at this interview in a negative light. People are always growing and developing just as companies are too.

Looking at an exit interview as something positive and a learning experience can really help guide company into a more positive light and attain that growth they have been looking for. Leaving a good impression on a former employee can not only help you in the long run, if they ever decide to come back, but it will help maintain that relationship and give you an opportunity for healthy feedback that you can learn from to develop your team's future. 


Closing Thoughts 

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Topics: Culture

Megan Sheridan

Written by Megan Sheridan

Megan is our Marketing Coordinator. She works with other team members to ensure that all of our materials are up to date and helps manage the creation and distribution of our educational content. She also has an eye for the culture of the company and recognizing those individuals who make Validity so great- highlighting the importance of each person at Validity through various ways of creative thinking and material.