Exit Interview: The Process, Examples and Questions

exit interview, exit interview questions, exit interview purpose, exit interview example, exit intervew process

Exit Interview: The Process, Examples and Questions

Exit interviews are crucial conversations between employers and departing employees, allowing former employees to provide constructive feedback on their strengths and areas for improvement. While you may have already completed your job interview, it’s essential to understand why you’re leaving clearly. Companies love exit interviews, as they provide valuable insights into the company’s future and can help you understand why you’re leaving. It’s essential to leave on good terms, knowing the basic do’s and don’ts of an exit interview, and be prepared to explain your reasons for leaving.

In this article, we will discuss the exit interview process, what questions to expect, and how to answer those questions.

What Happens at an Exit Interview?

An exit interview is a formal meeting with an employee leaving a company to gain insight into their reasons for leaving, their overall experience, and their perception of the company culture. This information can be used to identify potential areas for improvement within the company. The interview is typically conducted by a human resources representative, senior manager, CEO, or a neutral third-party organization.

During the interview, the employee may be asked questions about their experience with the company, their relationship with their manager, and any issues they encountered. The interview can take place in various formats, such as face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, surveys, or online questionnaires.

The exit interview is not a place to air unfiltered complaints but to end the relationship well and provide helpful feedback to the company representative. Before the interview, the employee should prepare by reviewing past performance reviews, awards, accomplishments, thank-you notes, or other documents to recall their reasons for taking the job and what went well.

The data collected during an exit interview is usually kept confidential and anonymous. Companies that effectively use exit data to identify and fix problems anonymously share the feedback with executives. In conclusion, an exit interview is a valuable tool for companies to gain insight into employees’ experiences and perceptions, which can be used to improve the work environment and retain future employees.

Exit Interview Purpose

Exit interviews serve several key purposes in an organization:

  • Assess Employee Experience: Exit interviews provide a deeper look at your workplace culture, day-to-day processes, management solutions, and employee morale. They help assess the overall employee experience within your organization and identify opportunities to improve retention and engagement.
  • Identify Areas for Improvement: Exit interviews can help identify which areas of your company need improvement to enhance the employee experience and retain more talent. They provide valuable feedback that can help you improve each stage of the employee lifecycle, thereby improving the overall experience that you offer.
  • Risk Management: Having a clear set of standards when conducting exit interviews can be essential in risk management. When employee issues are addressed justly and effectively within the workplace, there is no need for external investigations, litigation, or bad publicity to follow.
  • Positive Final Impression: Exit interviews can help create a positive final impression of your company so that employees feel happy when they leave, helping to boost your employer’s reputation.
  • Insight into Recruiting, Onboarding, and Training Needs: Exit interviews can reveal insights into recruiting, onboarding, and training needs. This can help you identify areas that can help improve staff retention and management development.
  • Understand Employee Departure Reasons: Exit interviews give you a chance to understand better why an employee chose to leave your company, allowing you to correct it and prevent any further loss of staff.
  • Employee Feedback: Departing employees are generally more forthcoming than those still in their jobs. Exit interviews allow the employee to provide constructive feedback and leave positively.
  • Mitigate Turnover Rates: When conducted correctly, these interviews can tell you what, if anything, could improve your company culture. This can help you drastically reduce employee turnover.

Exit Interview Process

The exit interview process is important, and questions asked during these times should be handled carefully.

What you should say at an exit interview

As you leave your job, you can say many things, but a few should stand out. As companies try to improve the workplace, some information is more useful than others. Here are four tips on what to talk about in an exit interview:

  • Why you’re quitting your job: Why do you want to leave? What made you decide to write your letter of resignation? Spend the time to give a thorough reason for leaving your present job. You may want to be your boss, change careers, or find a job that lets you work from home. But don’t be afraid to talk about bad things, like being burned out or having trouble balancing work and life.
  • Like how the job is going: Look at the big picture. Think about how happy you were with your bosses. Did people lead or waste time on social media instead of finishing their work? Think about the perks you got from your job and whether they were enough to help you. Think about how this job helped your chances of getting other jobs in the future. Has it helped you reach your work goals or held you back?
  • What do you like about the business?: Think about what time you would arrive at work every day. Think about the work culture and the goal of your job. Was everyone friendly, or did you feel hesitant about going to work? Think about the purpose, values, and goals of the company. How did the ideals of your job fit with those? Don’t forget to talk about the good times and big wins your team has had.
  • What suggestions do you have for the future?: After you’ve thought about everything, give your ex-boss specific suggestions. This is probably the part of your leaving interview your old boss will pay the most attention to. Remember to be honest as you share your thoughts.
  • Do you have a better idea of how to schedule things? Could someone in a different area handle some of your work? Say it out loud. Your words will probably affect workers now and in the future.

What you shouldn’t say at an exit interview

You should still know what not to say in an exit interview to avoid saying something too harsh. When you’re upset, you might say things you shouldn’t. You might not know how to talk about your thoughts healthily. On the other hand, learning what not to say helps you organize your thoughts and give better comments.

  • Immature comments: Did someone keep stealing your parking spot or talking too loudly in meetings? Small talk isn’t helpful. It might feel good to complain for a moment, but this won’t help your old boss. You can help your old company improve during your exit interview, so make sure your feedback is useful, mature, and constructive.
  • Tell everyone how great your new job is: You should be honest about why you’re moving. Say if you’ve found a job that pays better or gives you more meaning. You don’t have to brag about how great your new job is for half of the interview.
  • Comments that are rude and unprofessional: Don’t forget how skilled you are. If you want to say bad things about your former coworkers or a boss, don’t do it in your exit interview. Remember to use appropriate words and think about how other people might feel. We value your honest feedback, but please don’t say things that are hurtful to other people.


Exit interviews are crucial for understanding employee departure and retention factors and improving the employee experience. They provide valuable feedback and help HR professionals identify patterns. Effective exit talks can lead to networking, mentoring, and future job opportunities. Be honest and supportive when leaving, aiming for growth for both parties. Remember to provide helpful feedback and enjoy your new stage.


How do I prepare for an exit interview?

To prepare for an exit interview, understand the purpose, identify the interviewer, prepare responses, practice, dress professionally, be honest but professional, consider your goals, and create an after-interview plan. Review past performance reviews, write down negative feelings, practice, dress professionally, and consider your goals. Make an after-interview meeting with a trusted colleague to discuss the interview and navigate the transition.

Why do exit interviews fail?

Exit interviews are crucial for understanding employees’ reasons for leaving and identifying areas that may have pushed them away. However, they can fail due to untruthfulness, lack of actionable insights, awkwardness, discomfort, lack of follow-up, a lagging reaction to ongoing issues, and fear of negative feedback. Organizations should conduct interviews by second or third-line managers to improve exit interviews, make them mandatory, and combine them into semistructured interviews.

Is exit interview confidentiality?

Exit interviews are crucial for gathering valuable feedback from departing employees, but maintaining confidentiality is essential. This can be achieved by choosing a secure platform, obtaining consent, protecting privacy, following policies, and sharing responsibly. HR professionals should define the purpose, record and store data securely, analyze and report ethically, and respect employee boundaries.


Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select the fields to be shown. Others will be hidden. Drag and drop to rearrange the order.
  • Image
  • SKU
  • Rating
  • Price
  • Stock
  • Availability
  • Add to cart
  • Description
  • Content
  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Additional information
Click outside to hide the comparison bar

Over 50% Off

Get a Course & Invest In Yourself Now

Subscribe & Get Your Bonus!
Your infomation will never be shared with any third party