exit interview questions

The Best Exit Interview Questions To Ask – Our Complete Guide

Are you preparing to participate in an exit interview? It’s essential to get the most out of this process. After all, gathering feedback from departing employees can be invaluable in helping you improve your recruitment, onboarding, training and development, and compensation and benefits policies.

From the employer’s perspective, it’s a chance to ask the right exit interview questions and gain insights into what’s working and what needs to be tweaked or strengthened.

What Is an Exit Interview?

Leaving a job can be difficult, but an exit interview can provide valuable insight into an employee’s experience and help employers identify areas for improvement.

An exit interview is a meeting between an employer and a departing employee to gain information about their experiences and reasons for leaving. They typically consist of a survey or a series of questions and are usually conducted by a neutral third party, such as a Human Resources representative.

Exit interviews are a great way to ask employees key exit questions, as they are more likely to be candid than those still employed. These questions can range from general inquiries about the employee’s experience to more specific questions about job satisfaction.

Asking questions like these can help employers identify areas of improvement in their recruitment, onboarding, training, and development, or compensation and benefits policies. Additionally, they can provide insight into user experience with systems and applications, IT support for remote work, and employee satisfaction with provided hardware or communication tools.

Considering these interviews are an essential part of the employee exit checklist, employers should ensure they communicate the purpose of the interview and limit discussion to work-related topics. Additionally, employers should use open-ended questions and avoid suggestive questions. Furthermore, employers should be prepared for negative responses and avoid being defensive or judgmental.

Taking action based on employee feedback is the best way to improve employee retention and satisfaction.

How Long Should an Exit Interview Be?

Saying goodbye can be bittersweet, so the length should be tailored to ensure a lasting farewell. The length of an effective interview should be determined based on the departing employee’s needs and the process’s goals.

Generally, the interview should be conducted within a few days of an employee’s last day and between 30-60 minutes. This allows enough time to ask pertinent questions and for the exiting employee to provide meaningful feedback.

When conducting such an interview, it’s essential to use a well-crafted exit interview template and ensure the interview process is completed in a timely manner. An exit survey can also collect additional data from the leaving employee.

Additionally, it’s essential to remember that employee turnover is costly, so it’s beneficial to ask questions to help identify underlying issues that may have caused the employee to leave.

An exit interview aims to gain insight into the employee’s experience with the company. Therefore, creating an environment where the exiting employee feels comfortable and open to sharing their thoughts and experiences is important. Allowing the person to feel heard will help ensure they have a positive experience with the process and will ultimately help the company to improve its policies and practices.

Who Conducts an Exit Interview?

Parting ways with a colleague can be difficult, so ensuring the exit interview process is conducted respectfully and professionally is crucial.

A neutral third party, such as a human resources representative, should interview to ensure honest feedback is obtained. This helps to understand the reasons behind the employee’s decision to leave and can provide insight into their experience and engagement during their time with the team.

The meeting can also offer insight into employee turnover and help to identify trends in employee engagement, satisfaction, and motivation. Asking relevant questions can provide actionable feedback that can be used to improve recruitment, onboarding, training, and development practices. This can help to ensure the employee experience is positive and reduce turnover in the long run.

It’s essential to clearly communicate the purpose of the interview and limit the discussion to work-related topics. This can help ensure the departing employee feels appreciated and respected and takes their feedback seriously.

The information obtained from the interview should be documented and shared with decision-makers, and action should be taken to address any issues identified.

Why Are Exit Interviews Important?

Parting ways with an employee is never easy, but conducting an exit interview is a crucial way to gain insight into their experience and help prevent turnover in the future.

They can provide valuable feedback that can be used to identify, anticipate, and address issues in the employee life cycle. They also help employers:

  1. Identify trends in employee turnover
  2. Improve company culture and employer branding
  3. Increase employee morale

It’s essential for employers to be prepared for negative responses and to remain neutral and non-judgmental during the interview.

Good exit interview questions are key to collecting relevant information and should be tailored to the specific roles and departments within the company.

This helps ensure that the company can gain insight and identify areas for improvement.

What Are the Goals of an Effective Exit Interview?

An effective interview should provide employers with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their workforce, helping them create a more productive and satisfying environment for all employees – from the newest hires to the most veteran.

Exit interviews gather constructive feedback about their reasons for leaving, work-life balance, and the overall employee experience. To ensure the interview is successful, employers should ask open-ended questions that allow the leaving employee to express their thoughts and feelings freely.

Questions should focus on job satisfaction, management, workplace environment, and work-life balance. This information can identify any issues that must be addressed to improve the employee experience and ensure that current employees are satisfied.

Employers should also use the interview to solicit feedback that can help them improve their recruitment, onboarding, and training processes. This feedback can provide valuable insight into what new employees need to be successful and satisfied with their roles.

Additionally, employers should try to understand any issues the departing employee may have had with the workplace environment and make changes to ensure current employees can work in a positive and productive environment.

Employers should also ask for suggestions on improving the employee experience. This can include topics such as communication tools, hardware, software, and work-from-home and flextime policies. Employees should be allowed to provide honest and constructive feedback to help employers create a more positive work culture and brand.

Asking for suggestions and taking action on feedback will show current and future employees that their opinions are valued. Doing so will help employers create a more productive and satisfying work environment for all employees.

How Honest Can You Be in an Exit Interview?

Departing employees can honestly assess their experiences, helping employers gain valuable insight into their work environment and employee life cycle. The exit meeting aims to understand why the employee is leaving the company and identify areas where the employer can improve the employee experience. Conducting the interview respectfully and non-judgmentally can encourage former employees to be honest in their feedback.

Here are four essential tips to keep in mind when preparing:

  1. Make sure the job description and expectations are precise and up-to-date.
  2. Prepare relevant questions that will provide insight into specific focus areas.
  3. Human resource personnel should interview neutrally and professionally.
  4. Provide a safe and comfortable environment for former employee to voice their honest feedback.

The exit interview is critical to the employee offboarding process, and effective questions can provide valuable insights. By following the tips above, employers can ensure that the interview is conducted respectfully and professionally and that the departing employee feels comfortable providing honest feedback. This will help employers better understand their employee life cycle and create a better work environment for current and future employees.

Best Exit Interview Questions

As you say your goodbyes, ask the right questions to give you the most insight into the departing employee’s experience. Ensure you don’t let valuable feedback slip away – it’s like a goldmine of wisdom!

Exit interviews offer an opportunity for employers to gain insight into the employee engagement strategies that may have been successful, as well as those that may have led to the employee leaving. When asking questions, employers should focus on the purpose of the interview and ensure employees know that they are free to speak honestly and openly.

Good questions should focus on job satisfaction, management, culture, resources, feedback, and employee experience. Ask questions like “What did you like most about working here?” and “What could have been done to make your job easier?”

Employers should also ask questions about specific experiences with tools, hardware, IT support, and communication. Sample exit interview questions like “How would you rate the support you received from IT?” and “Were you provided with the right tools and resources to do your job effectively?” can better understand the employee’s experience and help identify any areas of improvement.

Ultimately, asking the right questions can provide valuable insight and help employers develop better employee engagement strategies to prevent employee turnover.

Here are some examples of Exit questions to ask:

  • What made you search for another opportunity?
  • Do you feel your job description changed after you were hired?
  • What were the best and worst parts of your job?
  • What was the best part of your job here?
  • What can the organization improve on?
  • Would you recommend this company to a friend? Why or why not?
  • How would you describe the best candidate to replace you?

What Should You Avoid Asking in an Exit Interview?

With departing employees more likely to be candid, it’s essential to be aware of what to avoid asking during an exit conversation to ensure the best feedback is collected and the employee feels appreciated.

Asking questions unrelated to the employee’s experience, such as plans or development opportunities, can make the employee feel uncomfortable and not benefit the organization.

Additionally, asking questions about the hiring manager or other employees can make the employee feel that there is an accusation of wrongdoing, which is irrelevant to the conversation.

When tailoring your questions, it is essential to stick to the employee’s experience, satisfaction, and reasons for leaving.

Asking if the employee has another job lined up or if they are leaving for better development opportunities does not provide helpful information to the organization and can make the employee feel uncomfortable.

Additionally, asking questions that make the employee feel as if they are being judged, such as why they didn’t take advantage of development opportunities, can be off-putting to the employee and does not help the organization.

Questions that help the organization understand the employee’s experience and satisfaction are much more beneficial.

For example, asking employees what they enjoyed about their position and what the organization could have done better can help them tailor their recruitment, onboarding, training, and development processes.

Additionally, asking the employee if they faced any challenges or problems while working in the role can help the organization identify ways to improve.

Asking the right questions can help the organization keep employees and improve its recruitment and onboarding processes.


To wrap it up, exit interviews are an invaluable tool for employers to gain insights into their organizational culture and identify areas for improvement. They can provide honest and meaningful insight into the employee experience with the right questions.

So, don’t let these valuable opportunities slip away – take the time to ask the right questions and reap the rewards. With the right approach, you can cut to the chase and get to the heart of the matter.

After all, the key to a successful exit interview is to listen to what your departing employees say and use their experiences to build a better workplace and future.