Carol has taught college Finance, Accounting, Management and Business courses and has a MBA in Finance.
What is an Exit Interview?
Do you know what an exit interview is, or why a company might use one? Maybe you've even sat through one yourself? This interview is one that takes place right before an employee who has quit or been fired leaves the company.
An exit interview can be used to find out why the employee is leaving. Once HR (human resources) has this information, they can use it to determine if there are actions they should take to help prevent future attrition - perhaps staff feels the opportunities for promotion are limited and they are seeking jobs elsewhere, or perhaps a particular manager has poor skills and staff is looking for new positions so they no longer have to work with this person.
An exit interview can also be a way for a terminating employee to let off steam and hopefully leave the company without being angry. This is especially true if the employee is being fired or laid off. HR might be able to be a sounding board to reduce negative feelings, or to reduce the chance of complaints to government agencies or online message boards after the fact.
Employers might also be able to offer the employee outplacement assistance or a referral to a recruiter - to point them in the direction of finding a new position that is a better fit. An exit interview can also be a place to let employees being laid off know what the chances are of being reactivated, and of any resources the company has to offer them to assist in their transition.
What Are Common Exit Interview Questions?
The exit interview generally includes questions about why the employee is leaving, their level of satisfaction with the company and their job, and any recommendations for change. Here are some typical questions:
- Why are you leaving?
- What were the most important factors in your decision to take a job elsewhere?
- Did you consider looking at other positions with the company before deciding to leave?
- Are there specific things your new company offers that we don't provide?
- How would you rate the work environment?
- Do you think your compensation was appropriate?
- Do you think our salary and benefits structure is competitive?
- What did you like best about your job?
- What did you like least about your job?
- Did you feel you received appropriate training to do your job effectively?
- Did you have any concerns with your boss or co-workers?
- Did you receive appropriate support to do your job effectively?
- How would you rate the performance appraisal and salary review process?
- What did you like best about working for this company?
- What did you like least about working for this company?
- Are there things you think we should change, to avoid losing other employees?
- Do you have any other questions or comments?
What Happens With The Information?
Exit interview information is generally reviewed by HR, to look for trends or recurring issues that should be addressed. For example, if several employees leave and blame low compensation, HR might recommend a salary survey be done. Generally people are told that their exit interview information is confidential, so it should be consolidated with other responses and presented in a way that does not reveal the source.
After you finish the lesson, you should be able to:
- Explain the purpose behind an exit interview
- List some of the most common exit interview questions
- Discuss what the information from an exit interview is used for
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