10 Must-Ask Exit Interview Questions (With Answers)

By Mubashir

Employee turnover is a natural part of the business cycle. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to understand why people are leaving. Exit interviews provide a golden opportunity to gather invaluable insights that can help you improve your company culture, identify areas for growth, and ultimately, retain top talent.

Here are 10 crucial exit interview questions you should be asking (along with some helpful pointers on interpreting the answers):

1. What Prompted You to Seek New Opportunities?

This is the million-dollar question, the one that cuts straight to the chase. It allows departing employees to share their primary reason for leaving, whether it’s a lack of growth opportunities, dissatisfaction with their role, or a simply a better offer elsewhere.

Example Answer: “While I appreciate the experience I’ve gained here, I felt my skills weren’t being fully utilized. I’m looking for a position that offers more challenges and the chance to expand my skillset.”

2. Did You Feel Supported by Your Manager?

A supportive manager is the cornerstone of a positive work experience. This question helps you gauge how effectively your leaders are guiding and empowering their teams.

Example Answer: “My manager was always available to answer questions and provide feedback, which was instrumental in my development. I felt valued and appreciated for my contributions.”

3. What Were the Best and Worst Aspects of Your Job?

This two-pronged question gives you a well-rounded picture of the employee’s overall experience. Pay attention to recurring themes in both their positive and negative responses.

Example Answer: “The best part was the collaborative team environment and the sense of accomplishment we shared when we achieved our goals. The worst aspect was the lack of clarity around career progression opportunities.”

4. How Has Your Job Changed Since You Were Hired?

The ever-evolving nature of work means roles can shift and responsibilities can change. This question helps you understand if these changes were communicated effectively and if they aligned with the employee’s expectations.

Example Answer: “My role initially involved a lot of client interaction, but over time, it shifted towards more administrative tasks. While I adapted, I missed the client-facing aspect of the job.”

5. Did You Feel Valued and Recognized for Your Contributions?

Feeling valued and appreciated is a fundamental human need. This question reveals if your company culture fosters an environment where employees feel their hard work is acknowledged.

Example Answer: “I received regular feedback and praise from my manager, which made me feel like my contributions were making a difference.”

6. What Suggestions Do You Have for Improving the Company?

This open-ended question allows departing employees to share their honest opinions about areas where the company could improve. Listen actively and take these suggestions seriously, as they can be a treasure trove of valuable insights.

Example Answer: “Streamlining communication channels and providing more transparency around decision-making processes would be beneficial for overall team morale.”

7. What Factors Could Have Influenced Your Decision to Stay or Leave?

This hypothetical question delves deeper into the tipping point that led the employee to depart. It can reveal specific elements that might have swayed their decision in your favor.

Example Answer: “If there had been clearer career development opportunities and a more competitive salary package, I might have reconsidered leaving.”

8. Would You Recommend This Company to a Friend? Why or Why Not?

This question serves as a litmus test for your company’s overall reputation and employee satisfaction. A resounding “yes” indicates a positive employer brand, while a “no” should raise red flags.

Example Answer: “Absolutely! The company culture is supportive and collaborative, and there are many opportunities for professional growth.”

9. Do You Have Any Concerns or Issues You’d Like to Share?

This is your chance to address any lingering concerns the employee might have. It demonstrates that you value their feedback and are committed to creating a better work environment.

Example Answer: “The workload can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially during peak seasons. Implementing better resource allocation strategies could alleviate some of the stress.”

10. Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Add?

This final open-ended question allows the employee to share any additional thoughts or feelings they may have. It’s a chance to gain a deeper understanding of their perspective and potentially uncover hidden issues.

Example Answer: “I wish the company all the best for the future. I genuinely enjoyed my time here and learned a lot.”

By incorporating these questions into your exit interview process, you can gain invaluable insights that can help you build a stronger, more resilient company culture and keep your top talent engaged and thriving.

Remember, every departure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Use these exit interviews wisely, and watch your company evolve into an even more attractive place to work.

If you’re not sure whether to resign or not, consider these:

Before making the decision to resign from your job, it’s essential to consider the legal aspects:

Understanding your emotions after quitting your job is important. Explore why you might be feeling sad: