10 Not so obvious exit interview questions
Learn how to create an exit interview that produces actionable results.
What are exit interviews and why should you care?
Exit interviews are wrap-up surveys or meetings. Companies perform exit interviews when an employee leaves the organization. A common misbelieve is that exit interviews should be performed with employees who left the organization voluntarily only. In fact, you should perform exit interviews with every employee leaving your organization. This includes:
- Voluntary leaves
- Employees who were terminated involuntarily
- Employees on temporary contracts
Done right exit interviews are one of the most effective tools to analyze and improve employee retention and employee satisfaction. Exit interviews can also help you to assess internal processes, waste, and culture.
Great exit interviews can boost your organization in many verticals.
Our recommended process for exit interviews
We’ve found that most HR departments don’t have the resources to perform in-person exit interviews with all employees. On top, in-person exit interviews often don’t produce meaningful and comparable data. As a consequence, HR departments are left to act on hunches or read between the lines. This is not what we want in 2020.
We recommend performing exit surveys with every employee. Only if the survey results of an individual leaver show interesting aspects, we recommend scheduling an in-person meeting. This approach frees up resources while giving you standardized, comparable, and unbiased data.
Receive our sample exit survey questions
Partwell offers best-in-class exit interview surveys. We’ve created a free resource with more than 40 sample questions that you can ask in your exit interview. You can request that sample here.
Exit interview structure
Most exit interviews are boring and will leave your leavers disengaged. Asking boring questions will yield unsatisfactory survey completion rates and unhappy interviewees. Employees want their voices to be heard. But you have to give them the chance.
Actionable exit interviews usually consist of a mix of obvious and non-obvious questions.
Obvious exit interview questions
Obvious questions ask expected aspects of the employment. Here’s a list of examples of obvious exit interview questions:
- What are your reasons for leaving?
- Have you already found a new employer?
- How does your new compensation compare to the one you received from us?
- Would you consider working for us again in the future?
- Was your job challenging enough?
- Were you satisfied with your pay and benefits?
- Were you given clear goals and objectives?
- Would you recommend us as an employer to a friend?
- How satisfied were you with your manager?
- How well did you get along with your team members?
Non-obvious exit interview questions
Aside from the obvious, exit interviews can be a fantastic place to ask more involved questions. Going deeper will let you assess internal processes, culture, and attrition on a more granular level. We’ve also found that non-obvious exit interview questions improve completion rates. Examples of non-obvious exit interview questions are:
- How long were you expecting to work for us when you began your employment with us?
- Do you expect more people from your team or department to leave soon for similar reasons to yours?
- In your time with us, did you encounter any ridiculous examples of policy, rules, or instructions?
- Do you feel your team or department improved during your time with us?
- Do you have any uncertainty about pending or remaining compensation or benefits after your departure?
- Would you recommend us as an employer to a member of an ethnic minority group?
- When you performed below expectations, did you receive fair treatment and feedback?
- Do you believe that you could have contributed more meaningfully to our organization had we given you the opportunity?
- During your offboarding period, were you able to transfer all or most of your relevant knowledge?
- Are there any projects that have to be stopped or delayed significantly because of your departure?
Partwell is a service that helps companies build delightful offboarding programs by leveraging exit interviews and alumni rehiring. Contact us for more info.