Best Practices – Exit interview Definition: What to Say Questions-Answers

What is an Exit Interview? Purpose of Exit interviews & Best Practices with Questions and Answers

What is an Exit Interview? Definition of Exit Interview –

In human resource terms, an employee exit interview is a wrap-up meeting between management representatives and the person who is leaving an organization. The termination can be voluntarily or through termination by the employer. It is a kind of survey which is conducted to provide feedback on why employees are leaving, pinpoint areas where you can improve in your organization, to attain useful knowledge, contacts, tips, etc. from the exiting employee, etc. These interviews are conducted face-to-face, in the form of a written survey (hard-copy or electronic), or held over the phone.

Purpose of exit interview –

  1. It helps in figuring out if the employee is considering working for a new employer and the reason why they are making this switch in order to amend your own HR strategy to target, attract and retain top talent.
  2. The purpose of exit interview is also to inquire the level of performance of the organization because the information extracted from the employees helps in assessing what should be improved, changed, or remain intact at both organization-wide and departmental levels.
  3. Departing employees are more straight forward and honest with their review than those still in the jobs as it allows them to n opportunity to share their thoughts without fear of retaliation or a backlash.
  4. Insight into recruiting, on boarding and training needs may be revealed.
  5. Once you identify and rectify the issues it will lead to an increase in the employee engagement and satisfaction. Happier employees mean fewer turnovers, which in turn means saving valuable time and money for your company.
  6. It also gives you the chance to uncover your real company’s culture as it is difficult to get a true sense of how employees feel about the work environment while they are employed by you.

Exit Interviews Best Practices

There are several methods of conducting exit interviews such as:

  1. Telephonic or voice-in-person – This is done over phone and is one-to-one interview. It is usually conducted by someone from HR department or an outside third party consultant. The questions are asked in a structured manner and it allows the participants to get more involved in the process. As compared to other methods, it works by capturing complex ideas through follow-up questioning, sensing ideas through tone indications, probe for answers and clarifications, and ask for examples.
  2. Paper – Another most effective Exit interviews best practices is conducted through employee feedback/termination application. This is a form that is given to the employee on their last day or mailed to the employee’s home. It also allows the person to remain anonymous and employees can also share information on paper that they may be hesitant to say in person. However, return rates for exit interview forms average just 30-35%.
  3. Web based exit interview – These interviews are conducted through web interface as separating employee need to respond through web. The biggest advantage of this method is that the information is automatically compiled and tracked. And the separating employee feels comfortable sharing information by computer which leads to more honest responses. It also becomes convenient for the separating employee to access the interview via internet from anywhere at any time.
  4. In-Person exit interviews – In this mode of interview HR representative meets individually with the separating employee. The HR representative can probe the employee for more information as to why they are leaving the organization. They can provide information regarding benefits and retrieve company property during the interview. However, the separating employee may feel reluctant to share sensitive or negative information during an in-person interview. And this process is also too time-consuming.

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Exit Interview Questions and Answers –

So, here are few exit interview questions you can expect to be asked. Also these points are for employee to say in an exit interview:

  1. Why are you leaving your current job, or,
  2. What are the major reasons that made you to take the decision to leave?

There can be a wide variety of reasons for leaving a job, such as, to explore better opportunities, personal reasons, career change, etc. If you are leaving your job to explore better opportunities you can say something like this in response –

“I’ve worked with this company for these many years and now I feel I have gained everything that I could from this job. So I feel this is the right time for me to step towards a new job opportunity where I can explore newer pastures and explore my skills to gain different types of knowledge and experiences, handle more projects, and meet more people by taking more challenges & responsibilities.”

  1. How do you rate our management and skills? Is there anything we can do to improve them?

If you are satisfied with the management process of the company, but see some areas for improvement, you can say something like:

“Overall, I am glad and satisfied with the management style of the company. But there’s a scope of improvement in the way we deal with our new employees. We can allow them to be more independent and relaxed from the beginning. So, we can get more innovative and new ideas from them that may add more value to the project’s success.”

  1. How did you inform your supervisor about your decision to leave the job? How did he react?

“I share a good professional relationship with my supervisor. Before informing him with a formal e-mail, I verbally informed him about my decision to move on. Naturally, the boss was surprised to hear this but when I explained him my reasons, he was quite respectful and understood my decision.”

  1. Are there any additional benefits, responsibilities or perks offered by your new employer that encouraged you to leave us?

You must be brutally honest while answering this. “Yes, the new job offers me more challenges, responsibilities, opportunities to grow with a better compensation.”