Questions Employers Might Ask You in an Exit Interview

Businessman talking to co-worker in office
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When you leave your job, the company may conduct an exit interview, which is a meeting between a company's human resources department and an employee who has gracefully resigned or been terminated.

The Purpose of Exit Interviews

Companies conduct exit interviews to get feedback about the job the employee held, the work environment, and the organization, and for details on why the employee is leaving if the employee resigned. Exit interviews are a good way for companies to better retain their employees and reduce turnover, thus keeping hiring costs and the resources needed to find great employees low.

Companies use many different methods and analytical tools to assess the information and feedback received from an exit interview. Some employers use surveys and Likert scales while others engage in a dialogue in person or over the phone in order to determine which office practices were more effective than others. Many organizations even permit exiting employees to submit their feedback online.

Interview questions don't have right or wrong answers. The exit interview is your opportunity to give feedback about your job, the company, and the supervision you received. However, it's important to be polite and respectful, even if you aren't leaving your job on the best of terms.

What Companies Ask at Exit Interviews

Typical exit interview questions include why you are leaving, why you decided to accept a new position, your likes and dislikes in the office, whether you would change anything about the company, whether you would recommend the company to others, and what suggestions you might have for improvement.

Examples of exit interview questions you may hear include:

  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • What were the most important factors in your deciding to take a new job? Salary? Benefits? Time off? Something else?
  • Were you satisfied with your salary?
  • How about the company's benefits package?
  • Is there anything your new company offers that this company doesn't provide?
  • What did you like best about your job?
  • What did you like least about your job?
  • Was there anything especially challenging that you had to contend with?
  • What would you change about your job?
  • How did you feel about the supervision you received?
  • Did you receive enough training to do the job effectively?
  • Did you receive enough support to do your job effectively?
  • How do you feel about the feedback you received from your manager?
  • What did you like best about working for the company?
  • What did you like least about working for the company?
  • Do you have any recommendations for the company for the future?
  • Would you work for the company in the future?
  • Would you recommend this company to prospective employees?
  • Do you have any questions or comments?

Even though you no longer will be working at this company, now is your chance to impact the way your former job, manager, and company function. By knowing what questions to expect, you can prepare your answers in advance and ensure you do your best to give constructive feedback and commendations where appropriate.