Top 10 exit interview questions to ask for a smooth offboarding

top exit interview questions

An exit interview can be tricky to navigate, but these top 10 questions will help you make the offboarding process easy

If you want to run a smooth offboarding process, you have to ask the right exit interview questions.

One wrong word and you could burn a bridge that you’ve spent years forging.

But if you manage to do it right, your ex-employee will be able to give you the insight to make your current co-workers happier and more likely to stay.

And when you’re running a small business or startup, this process is crucial to your success. We’ve got an article to help guide you through the entire offboarding process, but for now we’re going to look into the top 10 exit interview questions.

Running a great exit interview – FAQs

Who should conduct an exit interview?

Exit interviews should be conducted by someone completely impartial in your organisation. The last thing you want to do is complain about your manager’s communication style directly to their face!

It’s worth considering completely anonymising your exit interview if you’re really looking for the truth about why someone’s leaving your company. Some businesses prefer to send a questionnaire than hold an exit interview face-to-face.

When should you conduct an exit interview?

Exit interviews are one of the final stages in the offboarding process. It’s worth conducting one on your employee’s last day with your company, after you’ve already gotten everything else in order for their offboarding.

If you need any help with that, check out our guide.

Why are exit interviews so important?

Your employee has decided to leave for a reason. Whether it’s about career progression, salary or a dispute in the workplace, you should be able to take the answers gained in this interview and learn from them.

After an exit interview it’s a good idea to look at any clear reasons why someone has chosen to leave and make any changes you can.

Hiring can be expensive and time-consuming, so you want to make your employee’s experience with you as good as possible.

top exit interview questions

The top 10 exit interview questions

1 – When did you begin looking for another job?

This question should give you an idea of the time it took your employee to consider another role. If they’ve only been with you for a few months, this is a big red flag.

It should also help you understand any reasons behind them growing unhappy with your company.

2 – What drew you to accept your new job offer?

Whether it’s to do with salary, progression, location or a unique benefit, this question will give you an idea about what your competitors are offering.

It might be time to look into revamping your benefits scheme or flexible working policy!

Remember that your competitors could poach more of your valuable and trusted co-workers, so this information can be really valuable if you want to attract and retain the top talent.

3 – Would you say that you enjoy your job with us?

If you hear any kind of negative response from this question, you need to look deeper into your employee’s time with you.

Anything from their workload or management, to their work-life balance could affect their mental health and drive them away from your company.

4 – What was your relationship like with your manager?

The people that you trust enough to manage your teams could be sabotaging your success.

One cranky manager could turn your happiest worker into one that dreads clocking in every day. So it’s important to constantly assess whether your managers are inspiring your team or hurting your business’ chances of success.

They could very well be your employee’s main reason for leaving.

5 – How would you describe the progression opportunities you’ve had in your current role?

Career progression and training are vital for the happiness of all your employees, but especially your highly-skilled juniors.

Lots of companies take the time (and set aside the budget) to train their teams in a new skill every year or so. This can help your co-workers feel valued, productive and enforce a sense of camaraderie. These are all big happiness-boosters.

6 – Did you get the support you needed to thrive in your role?

If your employees don’t feel like they’re part of the team, they’re going to want to leave.

We all want to know that people listen when we speak and that we can get help if we need it.

7 – How would you describe our company culture?

As I’ve already said – one bad egg in your team can spoil everyone’s mood.

So getting your employees to describe the company culture that they experienced is a great exercise. Hopefully, their words match up to the ones on your website.

8 – What can we work on to improve?

This open ended question could invite all kinds of answers. Hopefully this will invite honesty and help you get some actionable insight.

9 – Would you be open to working with us again?

Boomerang employees can be quite the common thing.

But if you receive a resounding ‘NO’, you’re probably not going to benefit from them.

If your employees – past and present – aren’t ambassadors for your company, you’re doing something wrong.

10 – Is there anything you would like to add?

You don’t want to leave your old employees with unresolved issues and feelings. But hopefully they will have gotten everything off their chest already!

Good luck!

I hope these top 10 exit interview questions can help you make your offboarding process more productive.

When you run a small business, even just one employee jumping ship can leave you in dangerous waters.

But what if hiring a replacement was quick, cheap and painless? The expert recruiters at DigitalGrads do all the hiring dirty work for you, including advertising, shortlisting and communicating with all of your candidates.

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About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
Posted in Your Hiring Bible