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Exit Interview: Questions, Process & Tips

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

In this lesson we will learn about the exit interview. We will learn about the process and gain some insight into some possible questions that may be asked. We will also explore some tips to make the interview go smoothly for the employee. The lesson will then be concluded with a summary and a quiz.

A Look at Exit Interviews

While it would be wonderful if the very first job we ever accepted worked out perfectly and we stayed there until we retired, this is usually not the case and many of us will try our hand at a variety of jobs throughout our lifetime. Many of us are pretty familiar with the entire hiring process; you apply, interview, and agree on terms, such as salary. However, if you are new to the workforce, the exit process may be a new concept. You see, much like the hiring process, many companies want to speak to you before you leave and ask you questions, which is called an exit interview. They strive to find out why you chose to leave and what could have been different to make your job better. Throughout this lesson, we will learn about the exit process including the interview process, the questions you may be asked, and some tips to make the process run more smoothly.

The Exit Interview Process

You may be wondering how the exit interview process works. Well, the first thing that has to happen is that an employee has to decide to leave their job. Once the employee gives notice that they are leaving, supervisors and management are made aware and human resources requests and schedules an exit interview. Now, the exit interview is completely the decision of the employee, which means they do not have to participate. Should this be the case, many companies offer a questionnaire as an alternative to a face-to-face interview. Again, the questionnaire is also not mandatory, but gives the employee another option if they do not feel comfortable with a face-to-face discussion but would still like to provide feedback. If a face-to-face exit interview is accepted by the employee, an interview will be conducted in which a variety of questions are asked.

Exit Interview Questions

While there are a variety of questions a company can ask during an exit interview, the following are some common ones.

1. What were your reasons for looking for a new job? - This is a great question to open up the conversation about the employee leaving. It offers insight about what may have happened to cause the employee to begin a new job search.

2. What made you decide to accept your new job? - This shows what another job or company offers that the current job does not.

3. Were you provided with enough tools and resources to do your job? - This is a question that can be helpful for future employees. It lets a company know where they need to make changes.

4. What could have been done differently to have you remain as an employee? - This also allows companies to make changes for future employees and to gain an insight into negative aspects of the job.

5. What changes would you make to the job or the company? - Again, this helps a company make improvements for future employees.

6. Would you recommend this company to other people as a good place to work? - This question helps a company understand how an employee really feels about the job or the company. It, too, helps a company know where improvements need to take place.

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