How to conduct Exit Interviews

Many of us only know about entry interviews to a job position, but only a few attend an exit interview. An exit interview is an interview conducted by the HR or the manager to an employee leaving an organisation. As a matter of fact, this is the best way to get honest feedback on the operations of the company. That is, what the organisation/department is doing well and what the organisation needs to improve. Unfortunately, it’s too late to resolve anything with the exiting employee, but this could be a great eye-opener for your existing team. It will also help reduce the rate of bad hires in the organisation:

Some of the tips to conduct a successful exit interview include:

Conduct the interview in person with the exiting employee

Unlike the entry interview which needs a panel, the exit interview should be more personal and reassuring. This reduces the manager-employee barrier and makes it easier to get the much-needed information.

Assure confidentiality and create safe space

The employee should be assured of confidentiallity with every bit of information they will give. This will ensure that you get only frank information and not biased for fear of being judged. It is advisable to start the interview with general questions to create that safe space and slowly delve into deeper information.

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Be open for critism and improvement

As a leader it is quite tempting,to get into defence mode incase a negative remark about the company is made.However,this is not the best time to do that.This is the time to admit mistakes and accept critism.

Some of the sample questions to ask include:

  1. What do you value about the company?
  2. What don’t you like about the company?
  3. What are your honest views about the management and leadership?
  4. What did you like most about your job position?
  5. What was your biggest challenge about your position?
  6. Did you have clear goals outlined in your job and how easy or difficult was it to achieve them?
  7. Did you receive adequate feedback for the tasks you performed on the job?

At the end of the interview, make a point of thanking the employee for taking the time to answer the questions and for the period they have worked with the organisation. It is good to note that the exit interview is not just for employees who have willingly resigned but is also ideal for those who have terminated. As the manager, you could take the time to understand the reasons behind the lack of productivity in the employee. Remember, the main objective of the interview is to get frank information that will propel the company to the next level.

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