10 questions you should ask at an exit interview

Desk work

Exit interviews might seem like a chore, but ask the right questions and you can uncover valuable insights into how you and your company can improve.

Don’t waste the chance of an exit interview. Here are 10 great questions that will help you get all the info you need:

1) What is your main reason for leaving?
You may know the answer to this one already, but give the leaver the chance to expand on their reasons and open up about their decision.

2) Talk me through your time here, what were the big ups and downs?
Leaving isn’t all about the last couple of months, even though they may have brought things to a head. You need to know what was good and bad about the whole period they were in post to really get to the heart of their thinking.

3) If you could do anything different, what would it be?
It sounds a personal question, but the chances are it will bring out some of the problems or pinch-points during their time at the company.

4) What do you think of the work culture and how you were personally treated?
The chances are if your leaver knows there are problems with work culture, the rest of the team do too. Take this opportunity to really chat it through, ask them how they would change things and then use that knowledge to make sure you keep the staff you have.

5) Are there any changes that would have made you stay?
If the answer is more money, well chances are then we’re done. However, if it was the fact that they never got home until 8pm, or that they never had the right tools to do the job properly, then it’s worth knowing for the future.

6) Tell me about your new job, and what excites you about it?
The answer to this might surprise you. You can learn a lot from the choice they have made, and how their work for you led them to that decision.

7) What could I have done better as your manager?
It may be tough medicine, but it’s worth hearing. If it can help you be a better boss going forward, then take the opportunity to ask.

8) Did you receive enough training and support in your role?
Getting extra money for your training budget is always tough. If a leaver raises the lack of training as an issue, that’s great ammunition for extra funding next year.

9) What advice would you give to your replacement for their first month?
Manager’s do not always know details of how their reports actually work on a day-to-day basis, and you have not have the luxury of a hand-over period. Build any good tips into the first month’s plan for the new starter.

10) Are there any problems or outstanding concerns that we need to address before you leave?
Yes, I realise this could get messy, but better you know now, or at least give the employee the chance to tell you of any concerns. At least then you are covered and have done your job if problems arise later.

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