The mindset we are in during a job interview is totally different from an exit interview. During an interview one is tuned to ensure that the interviewer is left impressed because the need (read: the job) of the hour. Whereas during an exit interview, that certainly is not the case; in fact the sheer mention of an exit interview is dreaded for most misconstrue it as a waste of time. But you may be highly mistaken for several companies are trying to turn it into a more productive, knowledge generating exercise. And you, the exiting employee have a major role to play in this.
Would you refer your family and friends to work for us?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: An employee would refer someone to his / her previous organization only if he / she truly believe that it’s a good place to work. An affirmative answer to the above question will give the company a true understanding about the way our employees rate us as an organization.
Your expected reply: The decision is entirely yours. Even though you’ve answered in the negative, it’s still fine as it help HR understand where we are providing good opportunities and where we need to improve.
What are things we do well and should continue to do so?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: It’s as important to know our strengths as it is to know our weaknesses. The main reason behind this question is to get feedback so as to build upon our strengths capitalize on the policies that go down well with employees and ensure they are employees and ensure they are reinforced adequately.
Your expected reply: You cannot be honest in providing feedback if your mind is biased because of an isolated experience you have had in the organization. Try to keep biases ad prejudices at bay. Your feedback has to focus on both, what the company does well and how it can improve on things it does not.
Were your career aspirations met in the company?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: Most employees join us with an aspiration to build a career. We would like to know how much of it we are able to fulfill.
Your expected reply: The answer to the following questions should comprise your reply. Were you satisfied with your career here? Did you face any temporary setback? Was there a mismatch of company and individual expectations?
What was your supervisor’s response when you broke the news (of quitting) to him /her?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: The idea here is for the organization to gauge whether the supervisor reacted with empathy and the understanding to your decision to move onto newer opportunities.
Your expected reply: The idea again is not to give your judgment about your supervisor as this question is asked to understand the exact or verbatim response of your supervisor to your decision to leave the organization.
What were the parameters you considered while accepting the new assignment?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: This will help the organization change its process / policy actions proactively and the employee will be able to reflect on his / her decision. The employee will be able to better understand whether the decision he /she has made in haste or was it well planned.
Your expected reply: The employee should share the factors and have a dialogue on whether these factors are missing in the present company and if so, how different they are in the new company.
Will you rejoin the company in the future?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: The organization can remain in touch with such employee source of learning and the employee can also have a good understanding to develop his/her capabilities for future roles with the current organizations.
Your expected reply: Share your career aspirations and plans to develop your career
What was the occasion or event that prompted you to look for an alternative?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: It is said employees leave managers, not the organizations. This question will provide inputs to HR s to whether the reason for laving is a managerial or leadership issue. The replies could provide a trend or pattern; for e.g.: higher resignations in a particular department. This could be primarily due to the leadership in these pockets. HR, in such cases, needs to be proactive and bring these findings on the table and work towards improving the man management skills of identified supervisors and where absolutely necessary even work out an exit plan for them in the interest of the organization.
Your expected reply: It is unlikely that the exiting employee would be candid enough to admit that he/she is quitting because of the immediate boss’s actions. HR, would, therefore need to be receptive to what is unsaid and read between the lines.
Could the company have done anything to encourage you to stay?
Significance of the question being asked during your exit interview: The answer to this will help HR to identify steps that can be taken to minimize attrition. This also indicates whether HR could have played a role in retention.
Your expected reply: You could be honest in your views and express your desire to have received a promotion or higher responsibility earlier.