Exit interviews can sometimes seem like an uncomfortable requirement for employees heading out the door. Getting useful information out of exit interviews can be difficult as people about to leave may not care or may not want to burn bridges by giving honest feedback.
But when done right, exit interviews can yield valuable information that can help companies adjust their practices going forward. The first key to conducting a good exit interview is to ensure the departing employee that the conversation will remain confidential. This will allow the employee to be candid about problems they had with certain people or practices without worrying that this will ruin their chances as receiving a positive reference.
The other key to getting useful information from an exit interview is to ask to the right questions. Here are some examples of great questions to ask:
1. Can you summarize your experience as an employee?
Starting the interview by asking the employee to summarize his or her experience can provide answers to some questions before they are even asked. It can also provide a good starting point to probe deeper into certain issues that jump out.
2. What made you start looking for another job in the first place?
The typical exit interview begins by asking the departing employee why they are leaving. This question is likely to yield typical answers like salary or work-life balance. Asking the employee why they decided to start looking for a job in the first place can force the employee to dig deeper and may reveal issues with certain people or practices that led to the decision. This kind of feedback can be very valuable and allow companies to take meaningful action like making adjustments to practices or providing new training for management.
3. What would make you consider working for this company again in the future?
An employee’s response to this question can reveal any changes or improvements he or she thinks would benefit the company.
This constructive, direct feedback can be valuable to compile and consider for the company going forward.
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