Tips on how to Conduct an Quit Interview: 7 Top Questions [Form Template]

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To determine what can cause employees to keep — and to make a better, happier worker experience moving forward — it’s critical you conduct productive exit interviews.

On this page, you’ll learn everything you need to know about exit interviews, as well as the best questions you should ask. We’ll furthermore go over an depart interview form design template that you can copy and paste into a document and reuse designed for future interviews.

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What is the purpose of a good exit interview?

The purpose of exit selection interviews is to get important insight from employees who are leaving your organization. When conducted correctly, these interviews tell you what, if anything, could improve regarding your company culture. You will then be able to enhance moving forward and significantly reduce employee proceeds.

Why are leave interviews important?

According to a study executed by The Society pertaining to Human Resource Management (SHRM), on average it costs an organization between six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and train an alternative for them. So if the employee who’s making makes 60K, that may work out to anywhere between 30K and 45K in recruiting plus training costs.

Undoubtedly, a high proceeds rate can hurt your company financially. Additionally , a high turnover price can lead to less productive teams, and reduce employee morale general.

Luckily, you can reduce turnover price by using the feedback you obtain from exit interviews. Many employees who are leaving can help you determine areas for improvement and provide valuable suggestions. Additionally , it can be helpful to identify consistent patterns of discontent to determine larger organizational problems.

For instance, parenthetically you hire a brand new marketing director, plus a year later, you see a severe embrace turnover rates. Away from 15 employees, only seven from the prior year remain. Definitely, this change affects your team’s productivity and morale, plus leave you nervous regarding the future of your division.

So how would you figure out what’s going wrong, or just how your marketing director can improve their performance to ensure higher work satisfaction for their group?

The answer is certainly conducting an exit interview for every person that has leaving. You’ll discover what your marketing movie director is doing wrong plus help them enhance in their leadership function.

You’ll furthermore improve morale since you’ll show employees that you care about their experience. You’re not simply letting people depart — you want to understand why they’re leaving behind and stop anyone else from doing the same thing.

To ensure you’re inquiring the right questions throughout exit interviews, have a look at the questions you should ask below and what to look for in an answer.

1 . Just how long have you been considering causing our company?

This is a simple issue that will tell you whether or not this was a rash decision or a decision that will happened over time. If this seems sudden, then it was likely the result of a certain event, plus you’ll be able to better tailor your questions to get at the motive at the rear of the employee’s choice.

What to Look For

Look for a time range. A year versus a month is a big difference. Determine whether any major business changes happened at the time they considered making — an purchase, a change in management, and so forth.

second . How did the task match expectations?

The job may have completely met the employee’s expectations, or maybe this wasn’t exactly what they were looking for when they had been thinking about the next step in their career. Regardless, this question will help you figure out where you could be better in your job posts and in your company picture.

What to Look For

Listen for “I thought I would be doing more of X” or “I was looking more of an X form of company. ” This may help you better refine your job postings and the way you represent your organization online. If a worker was looking to work at a startup and you’re an enterprise firm, you’ll wish to screen future candidates for these expectations.

3. What reason primarily describes your reason for leaving?

Was it a change in lifestyle, a career change, or a better opportunity elsewhere? While the last option might seem like the most common and useful answer, an alteration in lifestyle — such as becoming a stay-at-home parent — could tell you where else you could improve.

For instance, you could offer paid parental leave so that your employees no more have to choose between their jobs and their children. Or if they’re switching careers, you could offer more interdepartmental mobility to current employees, so that they don’t feel stuck in one role.

What to Look For

Dig into the specific reason for their leaving without letting the employee dive into anecdotes or frustrations. Focus on what attracted them to the brand new opportunity, new career, or new life style, and use those answers to figure out everything you could offer your current employees.

4. When you have accepted a new position, what is most attractive about your new role?

This is a fantastic follow-up to the last question if the employee has already accepted an offer elsewhere. It also helps you dig further into what convinced them to leave the company and see where, if anywhere, you may flunk.

What to Look For

Listen for standard answers such as “pay, ” “benefits, ” “industry, ” and “location. ” Only note those that you can improve. For instance, you can’t really move offices or change your industry.

5. What did you like most about your job?

Give yourself to be able to breathe — as well as your employee, too — by focusing on the positives. That way, you don’t accidentally overhaul the things that work. If the employee answers that they loved the folks they worked with, for instance, continue attracting top talent to your firm.

Things to Look For

Listen specifically for the people aspect and the project management aspect of this answer. If the employee loved the projects they were focusing on or the people in their team, you’re doing the core things well. If they only mention surface-level things, such as the snacks or the free parking, you’ll want to revise your recruiting strategy.

6. What did you dislike about your job? What would you change about your job?

This really is your opportunity to undoubtedly dig into what prompted the person to leave as it pertains to their role. Employees will more than likely “skirt around” the real reason here — or they may launch into an anecdote. Either way, listen vigilantly, and remember that this is only one employee’s experience. Only when you see repeated patterns should you take action, which is why it’s important to ask the same questions every time.

What to Look For

Search for answers that allude to the people in the team, because as the old saying goes, people don’t quit organizations — they quit managers. If they don’t directly mention an individual, listen for emotional words that show how the employee felt working in that team, which would show how the team operates under its manager.

7. How would you describe the culture of our company?

With this question, you can identify the gaps between your employees’ experience and the culture you make an effort to promote. Hopefully, you’ve already defined an organizational culture that upholds your values. (Pro tip: If you’re in need of inspiration, you can take a look at our Culture Code and steal some ideas from there. )

What to Look For

Don’t look for direct antonyms to what you’ve defined as your culture, because employees won’t be as up-front. They might use seemingly positive terms, such as “fast-paced” or “structured, ” but these may hint at a high level of stress and a sensation of immobility. Listen carefully for these seemingly positive adjectives.

Don’t allow it stop here. To make certain you’re employing best practices to get optimal feedback from your employees, take a good look at our exit interview form template. It provides even more exit interview questions that will help you understand why the employee is leaving.

Exit Interview Form Template

Once a worker has given their resignation letter, you will want to send them a questionnaire with some (or all) of the following questions. Give them time for you to submit their answers through the form before meeting with them to talk about their answers, face-to-face.

Below are some of the questions you’ll want your exit interview form to include. Simply copy and paste them into your preferred word processor.

Exit Interview Form

1 . How long are you currently considering leaving our company?

repayments How did the task match expectations?

3. What reason below primarily describes your reason for leaving?

a. New industry (significant career change)

b. Compensation

c. More opportunities for learning and growth

d. Personal Reasons

e. Manager / leadership quality

f. Day-to-day work environment / culture

4. If you have accepted a fresh position, please select all the items that are more desirable about your new role:

a. Better pay

b. Better culture

c. Better location / commute

d. Different industry

e. Manager

f. Better work-life balance

g. More career advancement opportunities

5. What did you want most about your task?

6. What did you dislike about your job? What would you change about your job?

7. How would you describe the culture of our company?

8. How can you describe the general atmosphere in the office?

9. The quality of supervision is very important to most people at work. How was your relationship with your manager?

10. What could your supervisor do to improve their management style and skill?

11. We try to be an employee-oriented company where employees experience positive morale and motivation. What is your connection with employee morale and motivation in the business?

12. Please provide any context to further describe your reasons for leaving. Was there an event that led to this decision?

13. What were your good reasons for joining our company originally? How have your feelings changed?

14. Can you believe your manager supported your professional development?

15. What are 1-2 things our company could do to promote a better workplace?

16. Please provide context and any additional feedback you’d like to provide on your manager.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

Now that it’s time to conduct the interview, you’ll want to simply take the following steps to make sure the conversation is productive, amicable, and neutral.

1 ) Send the exit interview form to the soon-to-be ex-employee.

First, send the person who is leaving a form or document with your standard questions. This would happen exactly the same week that they place in their resignation letter — ideally within one to two days. They should already know a form is coming their way, because you would have expressed that verbally.

2 . Choose an interviewer and put up the meeting.

After you’ve given the employee time to thoughtfully respond, it’s time for you to choose an interviewer and set up an in-person meeting.

The interviewer should really be an unbiased 3rd party, such as a staff member from your own HR team. Don’t set up the exit interview meeting with their manager or with anyone whom the individual has worked with before. This may impair their ability to be honest during the interview.

3. Ask the same questions in every exit interview.

Make sure you ask the same questions in each exit interview so you can gather actionable data and insights.

Make a handout for yourself that prompts you to write down similar notes for everyone you or your HR staff member interviews. If all of the notes are highly disparate or seemingly disconnected, it will be difficult to glean insights and improve moving forward.

4. Keep the tone of the conversation neutral.

In person, do not ask targeted questions regarding specific people or departments — keep your questions general and do not input your own opinion into the conversation. Don’t prompt the employee to over-share about their frustrations with the job.

This is not constructive to you as a company. Rather, you want to find out areas of improvement in more general terms, so that you can create company-wide change.

If the employee only gives personal anecdotes, that would only help you create a better experience for them. The problem is that they’re already leaving. What you would like to find out is tips on how to improve the employee experience for those who are staying.

5. Distill the answers into insights.

Identify patterns you see from different exit interviews, and use that data to draw conclusions which feedback you should use to enhance the employee experience moving forward. As mentioned, simply take similar notes for each exit interview. To create it easier, you could use a survey pc software that helps you collect the employee’s written answers.

Exit Interview Best Practices

Ultimately, an exit interview doesn’t just help you understand why your talent is leaving — it also can help you ensure you can implement strategies or cultural changes to improve the satisfaction of employees who stay.

However , it’s not always easy to discern just what a highly productive exit interview looks like.

To learn more about exit interview best practices, I spoke with Winston Tuggle, an HR Business Partner at HubSpot. Here are some of the greatest practices he suggests.

1 . Always ask the same questions.

When it comes to exit interview best practices, Tuggle suggests, “For conducting productive exit interviews, I think one key is asking the exact same questions of all people who leave. This structure allows us to codify the exit responses so we can extract actionable data around why people are leaving, and how we can improve the employee experience.

We do this with a standard exit interview form that leavers submit, and then have an unbiased third-party follow up in-person to go deeper on the answers the person filled out in the exit interview. Exit interviews aren’t necessary unless you plan on using them to gather as much data as possible that can be along with employee survey data to understand the employee experience. ”

2 . Understand the “why” behind the person’s resignation.

Tuggle also notes, “[It’s critical you understand] the ‘why’ behind someone leaving… to collect trends over time. As an HR team, it can help us to not overreact to one person’s experience and conversely helps us identify trends that we can proactively address before they lead to more undesired attrition. ”

3. Explain the purpose behind the exit interview.

It is important you explain the reason behind the exit interview to each employee before you begin. In ways, “We hope to use your feedback to continuously improve our culture and business processes, so we’re interested in your honest opinion on how your experience has been. ” That way, they don’t feel they’re taking part in a conversation that won’t be utilized to create change.

4. Ensure interviews stay confidential.

You’ll also want to ensure that your exit interviews are confidential between the HR team and employees. While data or general insights can be used to improve employee experience and should be shared with leadership, your employee needs to know their exact complaints wont reach their old manager or coworkers.

5. Thank the employee due to their time.

Finally, be sure to thank your employee for taking the full time to provide feedback during an exit interview. While one individual likely can’t pinpoint issues regarding an entire team or department, you’ll likely see commonalities over time which will help you determine how you can improve your workplace for the long-run.

Exit Interviews Will Improve Your Company Culture

Exit interviews are the key for improving your business from the inside out. Once you know what makes some employees leave can help you keep the employees you already have. As a result, you’ll improve your company culture, reduce turnover, and boost productivity — leading to a better and better workplace as time passes.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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