Exit Interview

Definition

The term exit interview refers to a meeting with a departing employee during which they are asked a series of questions concerning their experiences with the company.  Businesses will routinely conduct exit interviews to determine if there is a systematic reason that individuals are choosing to leave the company.

Explanation

When an employee announces they are leaving a company, they may be asked to participate in an exit interview shortly before they depart.  The purpose of the interview is to gain insights into why employees are leaving the company.  If an undesirable pattern emerges, the company may decide to take corrective action to increase employee engagement.

Exit interviews allow departing employees the opportunity to provide their employers with constructive feedback.  These meetings should not be the forum for airing harsh criticisms of former colleagues.  In addition to the departing employee, meeting attendees may include a member of the company's human resources department and the employee's manager.

Example Questions

Companies will normally have a standard list of questions they ask during the exit interview.  Since the meeting will be run as a question and answer session, they are usually scheduled for thirty minutes to an hour.  Generally, the questions asked during the meeting fall into the following categories:

Reason for Leaving

  • What compelled you to leave your job?
  • What factors played a role in making your decision?

Compensation / Benefits

  • How do you feel about our benefits programs?
  • How satisfied were you with your total compensation package?

Roles and Responsibilities

  • What aspects of your job did you enjoy?
  • What challenges did you face?
  • If you could re-engineer your job, what changes would you make?

Growth and Learning

  • How effective was the training you received?
  • What types of support did you receive when you ran into problems?
  • How effective was the performance feedback process?

Employee Engagement

  • What would you change about the company?
  • How do you feel about the company's culture?
  • If someone you knew was interested in working for the company, or looking for a job, what would you tell them?

Related Terms

stress interview, panel interview, screening interview, job interview, case interview, illegal interview questions, informational interview