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What Questions to Ask in an Exit Interview


Not all companies do exit interviews, however, exit interviews are important to learn about possible mistakes that have been made and how you can improve your business for future employees. Some of you may not be quite sure what kind exit interview questions to ask, so here are a few things to keep in mind.

When to Conduct an Exit Interview

Exit interviews are typically done within a few days of the employees departure from the company, however, they can be conducted up to 3 months after the departure, giving the employee time to find other employment so that they don’t have to hold back in fear of getting a bad reference.

Revealing Questions

One of the most revealing questions you can ask during an exit interview is, “what made you decide to leave?”. This opens the floor up to conversation regarding any problems the employee has had with the company. Were they treated fairly? Did someone or something upset them to make them want to leave? There may be things going on in other departments of your company that you are not aware of.

Consider asking the ex employee if they have any advice as to how their department or management can make changes to run smoother or more efficiently. Are there any policies that they don’t agree with? Would they consider re-employment with the company down the road if these changes were implemented?

Employee Input Is Important

Doing exit interviews is a great opportunity to analyze the opinions of your employees. Your employees are the ones that do the hard work for you and your goal should be to keep them happy.

When conducting an exit interview, keep in mind that there are some employees who may be very upset and even hostile towards you in regards to their exit from the company. You should try to maintain a calm atmosphere and not let yourself get upset if the employee becomes agitated or hostile. There is most likely a valid reason for the hostility and your job is to find out what caused this anger within your company. You can gain vast amounts of knowledge from doing an exit interview regarding your management team, your human resources department and the inner workings of each individual department.



“Interviewing Questions, Types, Tips & Tricks.” Sample Interview Questions; Interviewing Types, Tips & Tricks. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2010.

“exit interviews – tips for interviewers, employees, sample exit interviews questions and answers guide.” Businessballs free online learning for careers, work, management, business training and education: find materials, articles, ideas, people and providers for teaching, career training, self-help, ethical business education and leadership; for personal, . N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2010.

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