Exit Interview Template for Conducting Productive Exit Interviews

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Exit Interview Template for Conducting Productive Exit Interviews

An exit interview template ensures your exit interview process is consistent and provides valuable information from employees as they leave the company. You can use the feedback to discover areas for improving your organization’s employee experience. This article explores what an effective exit interview template looks like and provides you with two downloadable templates.

What is an exit interview?
Why do you need an employee exit interview template?
Types of exit interview templates
Downloadable exit interview templates

What is an exit interview?

An exit interview is a time to wrap things up with an employee who has resigned or been terminated. It involves asking pointed questions that will disclose the employee’s true feelings about the organization and why they are departing. Around 75% of companies hold some form of exit interviews.

These insiders tend to offer a more candid perspective than what current employees might share in other surveys, making exit interview feedback a unique opportunity to identify problem areas. You can use the information to guide future practices and make improvements. Taking actions such as coaching managers or altering the recruiting process can be steps toward increasing employee satisfaction and mitigating turnover rates. 

An HR representative should conduct exit interviews. The goal is to access the employee’s most honest and upfront insights, both positive and negative. This is less likely to happen if they are speaking to their manager. Instead, they need a neutral third-party who is committed to confidentiality. 

Exit interviews also provide an avenue for individuals to have closure. They leave their job feeling heard and with the sense of relief that comes from expressing previously unvoiced feelings and concerns. Departing on a positive note inspires former employees to respect and speak highly of the organization, enhancing your status as an employer. 

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Why do you need an employee exit interview template?

Following an exit interview template enables you to make the most of the process. The employee’s constructive comments and observations are documented in an orderly fashion, and you can capture and compare information more strategically. 

Here are four reasons why templates are beneficial:

All pertinent topics are covered

Your organization can first establish which knowledge a departing employee can provide is the most worthwhile. Then you can craft your template to encompass these areas with relevant questions. For instance, if you had problems with internal communication before, you might want to include a couple of questions on this topic in your exit interview.

Consistency is maintained

Following the same employee exit interview template every time sets the standard for your policy and ensures all employees are asked identical questions. This denotes impartiality and makes it easier to see patterns in the data you gather.

Conversations remain productive 

A template is a guide to follow that keeps both parties on task. Some interviewees will be very talkative and expressive with their feelings, which can sidetrack the dialog from pertinent topics. A template focuses the conversation instead of allowing emotional discussions or unrelated tangents to take over.

Employees are prepared

An exit interview template provides the interviewee with a list of questions in advance. The employee will know what to expect and have the opportunity to think about their responses. 

Preparation produces more insightful feedback than if the employee has to respond off the top of their head.

Exit Interview Template - Question Topics

Types of exit interview templates

You can use templates for exit interviews in two different ways. One technique involves asking the questions verbally; the other is a written form that the employee completes.

You can also combine these two methods – let employees fill out a form and then discuss their responses in an interview.

Any exit interview template should include questions that cover these five categories:

  • Reasons for leaving 
  • Job circumstances
  • Company culture 
  • Work environment 
  • Technology 

You should tailor the exit interview template to your organization’s unique needs, but here are explanations of both methods with sample questions to consider:

1. Exit interview questions template 

An exit interview questions template is used by HR during a face-to-face interview with the employee who is leaving. It usually consists of open-ended questions that can prompt a discussion. Take a look at these sample questions and download a full exit interview template with 29 questions:

What prompted you to look for a different job, and what made you decide to leave? 

There may be separate reasons for why they started a job search and why they are leaving. Another company with promising opportunities could have recruited them, or maybe they desired a shorter commute, better compensation and benefits, or a new professional challenge. However, there might be underlying reasons like discrimination or a toxic work environment.

As you gather data from more people over time, you may detect common themes of legitimate concerns. These insights can identify areas where the organization needs to develop as an employer.  

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Did the job live up to your expectations? If not, please explain why.

This question is especially important if you have a high turnover rate for new hires (those leaving within their first year). Responses can suggest how well your job advertisements, interview process, and job orientation provide a realistic job preview.

How would you describe your relationship with your manager?

This question demonstrates why it is essential for HR to conduct the interview. People must be able to speak freely on this matter, so you can gain true insight into how different supervisors relate to their employees. It can reveal who your best management examples are or that there are leadership issues to confront. 

Were you given clear goals and objectives for the job?

Goals and objectives motivate employees to play a vital role in achieving the organization’s mission. To what degree employees feel connected to this demonstrates how well management is following through with the company’s strategic plan. 

Please explain the best part and worst part of your job.

Each person has preferences that impact why they enjoy or dislike different aspects of a job, so you will hear a variety of opinions. However, you may see trends as you compile responses over time. You should either highlight or modify areas that stand out. For example, if your employees often find their job boring, you can apply job design strategies to make the roles more motivating. You can also use the information from the answers to explain the realities of the position with job applicants.

Did you receive constructive feedback and support to help you improve your performance?

Employees need to know that their managers want to help them grow and hone their skills. Whether or not they feel supported in their development affects their job satisfaction. You can use the responses to improve your performance management process.

Please describe the culture and atmosphere of the company.

This feedback can reveal recurring themes in how employees view the company. You may uncover some weaknesses of the culture that you must address. On the other hand, you can ascertain what the strengths are and capitalize on those when recruiting new employees. 

What is your perception of the company’s general leadership and decision-making style? 

Employees shape their perception of management by how integral they feel in decisions that affect their job or work environment. If leaders set priorities using employee input, the workers are more apt to feel connected to and supportive of management.

Did you feel that the company valued and recognized you?

Organizations that recognize and value employees see healthier engagement and productivity. An exit interview is one of many tools that can help measure how you are doing in this area. 

Would you recommend this company to someone you know who is looking for a job? Please explain why or why not.

Former employees will either help or hinder an employer’s reputation. Job-seekers are inclined to trust the opinions of someone with first-hand experience at a company. Suppose an employee indicates that they would not advise others to work for the organization. In that case, there is good reason to carefully consider their answers to the rest of the exit interview questions. 

What did you like most about your work environment? What did you like least?

How people feel about their workspace can influence their overall happiness and engagement. Something as simple as a seating arrangement can impact employees on a day-to-day basis. You should take practical issues brought up in exit interviews into account. They may even have simple solutions. 

Did you have the equipment and technology you needed to do your job properly? If not, what was lacking?

Whether or not people believe they are fully equipped to do their job impacts how they feel about it and their success. Answers to this question can help you optimize the tools you provide employees.  

Do you have anything else you’d like to share about your experience working here?

The employee will likely appreciate the opportunity to speak candidly about a topic not already covered. What they bring up may be a relevant issue that you’ll want to incorporate into a future revision of your exit interview questions template.

Don’t forget to download your Exit Interview Template with 29 questions here.

2. Exit interview form template 

An exit interview form template is a questionnaire that the employee fills out. Answers are provided on a rating scale and/or multiple choice basis. It can also include some open-ended questions.

The data from this method is more easily measurable and quantifiable than what an exit interview questions template provides. Get your Exit Interview Form Template here.

Rating scale/multiple-choice questions

Rating scale and multiple-choice surveys have closed-ended questions that ask for feedback based on pre-determined criteria. Responses are given by selecting a numerical rating or specified opinion. There may also be a section where respondents have the opportunity to expand on their answers in their own words.

Closed-ended/open-ended hybrid template

You can also use an exit interview form template that uses a combination of closed-ended and open-ended questions. It allows you to use the optimal format for gathering each kind of commentary you’re looking for.

Downloadable exit interview templates

Download a free PDF exit interview template with 29 questions and/or a fillable PDF exit interview form template.

To summarize

Exit interviews can uncover a host of helpful information from an internal source to bring awareness of how employees truly view your organization. Using an exit interview template ensures that you’re collecting the relevant and specific data you need. Then you can act on the findings and cultivate a better workplace.

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