Photo by {artist}/{collectionName} / Getty Images

Photo by {artist}/{collectionName} / Getty Images

If it’s conducted well, an exit interview can be just as important as interviewing potential job candidates. The feedback you gain can help you retain current top performers and attract new ones.


Why Conduct Exit Interviews?

Exit interviews should be conducted with employees who voluntarily leave the business. The interviews can help your business gain unique perspectives in several areas, including:

  • Company culture
  • Employee experience
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Management style
  • Business processes
  • How your business compares to others

Create a Policy for Exit Interviews

Exit interviews should be a standard for separating employees, but by law, they can’t be mandated. Still, every separating employee should be offered the opportunity to have an interview.

Employees should be made aware of the following:

·         The interview will be a conversation focused on learning and knowledge sharing.

·         Although questions will be asked, they are free to answer—or not answer—them.

·         With the employees’ approval, their comments will be shared to help improve the business, but in an anonymous way.

Who Should Conduct the Interviews?

An interviewer should be someone who is:

  • Willing to accept feedback without taking it personally
  • Trained in active listening and strongly empathetic to possible venting
  • An HR professional
  • A neutral manager
  • A trusted mentor

Schedule It

Schedule face-to-face interviews during the last one or two days of employment. Some employers provide online or written interview questions in advance so an employee knows what to expect. Other employers offer the ability to complete a questionnaire after an employee leaves the business.

What Should You Ask?

One of the keys to a successful exit interview is to remain conversational. Although the same questions should be used for each exit interview, it isn’t always appropriate to ask every question. Some suggestions are below.

  • Why are you leaving the business?
  • What does the company do well?
  • Where do we need improvement?
  • What three things did you enjoy most about working here?
  • What three things did you enjoy least?
  • What ideas would you like to have implemented?
  • Are there ideas you wish you could have implemented while you were here?
  • What advice would you give to the person who fills your position?

What Not to Ask

Be certain to avoid questions that:

  • Target specific people or issues
  • Include office gossip or slander
  • Address personal issues

Processing Employee Feedback

Meaningful feedback can help you understand why employees leave and help you improve work culture and employee retention. Implement a reliable way to track and analyze feedback for all interviews. Look for patterns that identify issues with:

  • Business culture
  • Processes
  • Management
  • Organizational structure
  • Technology
  • Work-life balance

Interview for Retention

Interviewing for retention can reduce turnover. At WSi Healthcare Personnel, we’re experts at screening, recruiting and interviewing candidates that match your skill requirements and work culture. We’ve been voted one of the ten most dependable staffing agencies in the region. Contact us today for more information.