What is an Exit Interview & How to Handle Exit Interview Questions & Answer Them?

What are exit interviews? Learn and review examples of questions and answers for exit interviews and check out the best tips for handling exit interview
Exit Interview
Exit Interview

A wrap-up discussion between management officials and someone leaving a company, either willingly or as a result of termination, is known as an exit interview.

Exit interviews are frequently conducted in professional, academic, and governmental settings. The purpose of the interview is to gather relevant information that will help to improve hiring and retention and future procedures.

In a corporate setting, human resources (HR) personnel frequently conduct exit interviews. In contrast, management may conduct interviews, or they may be contracted out to a human resources service provider depending on the size of the business and other considerations.

The interview could take place in-person, on the phone, online via chat or email, or even as part of an online poll. In general, interviewers prefer interactive approaches over surveys because they provide them with the chance to engage with the employee and come up with follow-up inquiries that can elicit more detailed information. 

Types of Exit Interviews

  1. Face-to-face exit interviews
  2. Exit interviews over the phone
  3. Exit Interviews Using Paper and Pencils
  4. Online Exit Interviews 

Advantages of Successful Exit Interviews

Exit interviews, when conducted well, can be a terrific tool for businesses to gather candid input that will eventually help them improve their workers' working conditions going forward.

Effective employee exit interviews also provide the following advantages:

1. Friendly Parting: Making sure employees leave on a favourable note is crucial given that 15% of workers return to work for a former company after quitting (a process known as boomeranging). That can be ensured with the aid of an effective exit interview.

2. Discreet Departure: An employee exit interview can assist you in preparing for a smooth exit by resolving any outstanding issues, such as equipment returns, non-compete agreements, intellectual property agreements, and more.

3. A Pleasant Q&A: A departure interview might be the ideal venue for any queries employees may have to get clarification and closure.

4. Individual Conversations: Some retiring employees might still want to air their criticisms and disappointments. They may choose to raise their complaints in public if you don't provide them with the opportunity to do so in an exit interview. This may not only harm your firm's reputation but also prevent your company from receiving critical criticism before it's too late.

Why Do Businesses Perform Exit Interviews?

Companies generally conduct exit interviews to ascertain the causes of employee turnover—the frequency with which individuals leave an organisation. An employer would benefit from knowing whether an employee is quitting due to problems with the business so they can fix the problems. They can monitor changes over time in employee satisfaction patterns.

A high employee retention rate is vital for firms since it takes time, effort, and money to attract, train, and pay staff. A corporation might earn a better return on investment the longer an employee works there. Making their business a place where employees desire to work and stay in the future is in the best interest of employers for this reason.

When Ought Exit Interviews to be Performed?

On the final day of employment, an exit interview should be done and scheduled one week in advance.

A survey or set of questions to be asked during the interview might be included when making the appointment. This allows the worker to collect their thoughts, formulate their points, and become more at ease speaking up. Additionally, it gives the interviewer a sneak peek of the employee's comments, allowing for a better-structured and more fruitful session.

Unfortunately, interviews often reveal information that, had it been known sooner, could have been addressed and resolved long before the employee decided to quit. Throughout the entire process, having regular, open contact between the employee and HR.

How to Run a Successful Exit Interview? 

You must set realistic goals, have an open frame of reference, and be ready to succeed in an exit interview. Since every employee departs for a different set of reasons and in a different set of circumstances, each interview will be unique. Still, you should aim to follow the same guidelines and guidelines in all of them.

For the greatest outcomes, use a few of these exit interview suggestions:

  1. When arranging the meeting, be sure to explain its aim.
  2. Ask a different person to interview the employee's immediate manager.
  3. Ensure secrecy while promoting openness.
  4. Prepare a list of pertinent and useful questions.
  5. Send your support and enthusiasm for their new chance.
  6. Implement feedback to enhance the experiences of other employees.

Exit Interviews: What Does HR Do With Them?

One of HR's primary areas of concern is employee retention, with the cost of losing an employee to a company being the most compelling justification. It amounts to approximately 33% of an employee's yearly compensation (possibly much higher).

Human Resources can reduce employee turnover and its costs by conducting exit interviews. They can achieve this by leveraging the interview feedback to learn from the experiences of a departing employee.

HR carefully examines the information provided and uses it to enhance the experiences of current and future employees. Before performing a quarterly or annual analysis to look for trends, they redact all personally identifying information (e.g., if a certain company policy negatively impacted a group of employees or a lack of trust in a certain manager).

Some revelations compel HR to conduct internal inquiries or alert law enforcement to a possible crime.

Also Read: How to Become a Human Resources Specialist

Why is Understanding “What is an Exit Interview?” Relevant?

Understanding the definition of an exit interview will help prepare for the procedure. If you quit your job, your employer might invite you to participate in an exit interview. These might be excellent chances for you to express your opinions about the position and setting you are leaving.

Participating in these interviews can be especially beneficial if you have serious criticism for the company. This may allow the business to evolve for the better and support incoming workers more effectively.

FAQs and Examples of Responses During Exit Interviews

Here are a few typical questions from departure interviews, along with some responses:

1. Why are you quitting this job?

If you leave for whatever reason—accepting a better opportunity, being dissatisfied with the position, resolving a personal matter, or any other—your employer may inquire about it. Try to strike a balance between sincerity and courtesy when responding to this inquiry. Mention any relevant experience or abilities you hope to gain from your next position.

Answer: I've had a great time working here and picked up a lot of knowledge over my time here. But I feel like I've done everything I can in this position and need a more demanding job. Even though this role has given me a lot of knowledge and experience, I think the moment is right to expand my experience and develop my skills.

2. What are your thoughts on management, and do you have any input or ideas for how we can get better?

You have the chance to help your employer understand management from your point of view by answering this question. When providing feedback, be impartial and professional. Keep the improvement of the business as your main priority while being specific and constructive in your feedback.

Answer: I feel there is space for growth, but overall I am happy with the direction management has given me in my work. I could have used additional managerial assistance because I occasionally felt worn out by my tasks. In my opinion, more chances for breaks and activities could better equip future workers to contribute to the business's success.

3. Have you ever had genuine pride in your work?

This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your satisfying interaction with the business. Try to mention a work-related goal you hit in your resignation letter, regardless of your reason for leaving. You might also speak well of your coworkers, management, or workplace culture.

Answer: Yes. Although we took a bit longer than anticipated to complete the previous project, the client was pleased with our attention to detail and thoroughness. I was elated to be a part of the group.

4. Do you believe you received adequate and thorough training?

Businesses want their staff to feel competent in their roles. By sharing your open experience, you can make a significant contribution to this field. Inform your employer if you didn't feel prepared or if your training was insufficient. Share doable suggestions for advancement to better equip incoming workers.

Answer: Making sure new hires are informed of their obligations and giving them the tools they need to execute their tasks is the finest thing you can do for them. I did not always feel I had the tools to accomplish my job. Thus I believe that more extensive and frequent training would benefit new employees. 

5. Do you feel that the company supported your professional aspirations?

Be sure to include how your company helped you along the way to your career in your response to this question. Support may take the form of instruction or training. Comment on when you experienced support and how or why you did not.

Answer: I was eager to start working at this company because of the potential to grow my position or get more skills and experience. Although the company has provided me with the chance to learn the abilities I've wanted to acquire for my career, I feel I've learned enough from working with this organisation. The moment is ripe for me to advance my career at another organisation.

6. Would you suggest this firm to others looking for work?

Be honest in your response to this question regarding whether or not you would suggest your employer to a different person. Consider making recommendations that could enhance the appeal of the position.

Answer: It would depend on that person's open roles and potential career objectives. If the position suited their needs, I would suggest this company to friends or family. A generous benefits package would increase the job's desirability.

7. What aspects did you consider when choosing a new employer? 

Your response to this query may give your company insight into why you decided to switch jobs or employers. Describe your precise motivations for looking for new employment. For instance, your new position might offer perks that your present company does not.

Answer: For me to advance in my new position. I anticipate obtaining my sales certification in six months using the resources I will have at my disposal.


An exit interview may be a turning point in the company's development. Negative statements and inquiries should be avoided as a result if you want to influence the interviewee.

To establish trust and comfort, the interviewer must also pay close attention and be receptive during the entire session. While analysing the data, the interviewee's points should be carefully considered.

The interviewer should have a solid reputation among the workforce, which is the most crucial factor. He or she ought to be regarded as trustworthy and reasonable enough for effective feedback to be started.

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