What is an exit interview?

If there’s anything your organization shouldn’t underestimate, it’s the importance and benefit of offering exit interviews to departing employees. An exit interview is simply a conversation conducted with an employee prior to them leaving the company.

Benefits of exit interviews

Most importantly, exit interviews offer the opportunity to gather insight on what is prompting employees to leave, as well as new perspectives on what the company could improve on moving forward. These discussions will vary from person to person, as many people are moving on solely for newer opportunities or higher salaries. However, if an employee is leaving because of a negative experience, an exit interview not only allows them to express their thoughts and feelings, but provides the ability to correct any issues within the organization to which you previously unaware.

Exit interviews can also be a time to tie up loose ends with a departing employee, which eliminates any questions or confusion following their last day. For example, finishing up paperwork, establishing their final paycheck, and thanking them for all their hard work at the company, while also wishing them luck on their future endeavors.

Questions to ask

A few questions to consider when conducting an exit interview include:

  • “What prompted you to seek other employment?”
  • “How would you describe management at our company?”
  • “What was your favorite part about working here?”
  • “What do you think our company could improve on?”
  • “Are there any concerns about working at this company you’d like to share?”
  • “Do you feel you had what you needed, such as equipment, resources, training, and technology, to perform your job effectively?” 

If you’re an employer or work in Human Resources, be sure to have these questions prepared ahead of time and to always respond to the employee with respect and well wishes as they move forward.