EXIT Interview QuestionsLast updated on Mar 17, 2023
When you decide to leave a job, your employer might ask you to complete an exit interview as part of the process. Employers commonly conduct exit interviews in order to gather feedback from their employees and to find out why they are leaving their positions. Exit interviews are conducted for the purpose of determining what can be done going forward to prevent other employees from leaving the company.
According to Burke Employee Survey, with 91% of Fortune 500 companies conducting exit interviews and 87% of mid-size companies doing so as well, it appears employers value employee input. Thus, rather than being apprehensive about the interview, it is preferred that you view it as an opportunity to evaluate your previous experience critically. They can be great places for employees to ask questions, offer suggestions for improvement, and tell them what they like and don't like about their current role in the company. In spite of that, leaving your job doesn't provide much incentive to speak honestly with your employer, since you are looking for a good reference for a new one.
If you intend to leave your current company in the near future, you should prepare potential answers to exit interview questions. This guide will help you navigate the tricky side of an exit interview.
In this article, we will tell you what is an exit interview and provide you with 30+ Exit interview questions and answers. Several interview tips will be provided to ensure that you don't burn bridges.
EXIT Interview Questions with Sample Answers: Freshers & Experienced
1. What is an Exit Interview?
Exit interviews are conducted during the resignation process and are a survey of employees leaving the organization. This is an attempt by a company to ascertain what motivates an employee to leave the company in the first place. The purpose of exit interviews is to uncover any problems with management or corporate culture to improve employee retention. They provide employers with excellent opportunities to gain employee feedback on different areas, such as:
- Job Duties
- Management styles
- Work culture
- Company Policies
- Company Mission
- Training methods
- Team-building activities
Here, employees can share their ideas for improvement and express their opinions. An employer should know if an employee is leaving due to concerns they have with the company in order to make improvements.
2. Why did you decide to seek a new position?
A potential employer may ask this question to determine whether you are leaving for better opportunities, dissatisfied with your current position, handling a personal issue, etc. You should be careful to strike a balance between being honest and polite when answering this question. If applicable, outline what you hope to gain from your next job. They are trying to determine if the company can improve or if your departure is due to something outside of their control.
Since I have worked for your company for so long, I believe I have gained the experience I was seeking. Working here has been great, and I've gained a lot of knowledge. Now that I feel I have gained the required experience to the maximum limits here, it is a wise decision to progress in my career and gain more knowledge from a different working environment, in a different position. Working with you has taken me longer than I expected to achieve my main goal of reaching the managerial level. While my skills have been honed to the maximum at this job due to the various opportunities and training facilities I got here, I believe it is time to move on to the next phase of my career to broaden my experience.
3. Is there any circumstance under which you would consider returning to the company?
In an era of talent shortages, companies are eager to hire top performers who already understand the company's culture. If your employer asks this question, they may be considering whether to offer more benefits or training to make the job more appealing to you. Consider what factors may influence your decision and ask yourself if you would like to stay.
Over the years, this company has helped me develop valuable skills and acquire immense knowledge. It has been a pleasure working here, but I feel that a new position is more in line with my career goals and aspirations. I may, however, consider returning under some circumstances. Having flexible and modern policies like remote work opportunities and well-defined procedures would certainly pique my interest. However, I would also need a pay raise that matches the market standards and greater career development opportunities that would make me excited to work here.
4. Are there any aspects of your new job that you find more appealing than your present one?
Answering this question can give your employer insight into the reasons you chose another employer. The reasons you looked for a new job should be specific.
At my new organization, I foresee having opportunities to receive additional training from my employer, which will help me perform well in my new position and I would also get opportunities to work with new people which would further enhance my people skills. While I enjoyed working on what I was doing here, I am excited to be joining an organization that provides me with more challenging opportunities to grow professionally and be a part of great work culture.
5. Was your contribution adequately recognized by management? If not, what can be done to enhance recognition?
When asked this exit interview question, the answer may provide insight as to which employee recognition methods are more effective than others. It is a good time for employees to mention specific instances where they felt appreciated and ones where they felt overlooked or unappreciated.
I believe my contributions were recognized by management, as I received positive feedback and was included in important decision-making processes. However, I think it's important for companies to have regular performance reviews and clear criteria for recognition, as this ensures that everyone's efforts are valued and rewarded appropriately.
6. Is there anything you find difficult to understand about the company's policies? What can the firm do to make them more clear?
For employers, this is an opportunity to learn more details that can lead to a greater level of transparency going forward. A well-informed employee is able to provide insight not only into which policies are unclear but also into what is causing the confusion.
I believe that the organization can update its policy and procedure manual to reflect current best practices being followed in the modern world. It would be better if we also have transparency on what is happening at the leadership level regularly and provide ways to get more clear view and understanding of the company's roadmap. Furthermore, if you would be willing to update your career development and performance appraisal-related policies, I would be happy to consider returning to work with you.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how the company can improve?
Taking this general question may prompt employees to suggest something they hadn't thought of while they were employed there. Employees can be asked about their work experiences with specific supervisors or managers to gain a better understanding of how they felt about the management hierarchy. Employers may also ask employees what they think about the pay package, assigned projects, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at their organization.
I believe that it is possible to improve the work environment by making it more inclusive and welcoming for all employees. As a member of a team where senior leaders were uninterested in hearing my suggestions, I felt uncomfortable voicing my ideas that contradicted the current status quo. Providing training for managers and encouraging employees to share their unique viewpoints would be beneficial.
8. How would you describe our work environment to someone considering working here?
In cases when the company's culture is toxic, answering this question can be difficult without being critical. It would be better to respond by saying that you realize the company is paying more attention to the culture and that this takes time for the change to take effect. By doing so, you acknowledge that the work environment isn't great, but you appreciate the company's efforts to change it. When asked for an example of improving culture, you may provide something inoffensive, such as providing employees with more opportunities to express their concerns.
With management seeing the value of employee input, I believe the company's culture is changing for the better. Changes made in that direction can only help boost morale. In the long term, empowering staff and providing them with more opportunities to suggest changes will benefit the whole company.
9. What were your expectations for the job? Were they met?
If your interviewer asks about your current responsibilities, avoid exaggerating. Whenever an interviewer asks what you expected from the company as an employee, you should identify the characteristics that made you the most satisfied with your job. A good employer will want to know what you expected from them as well as how well they met your expectations.
It was a pleasure working with this company because it helped me to grow as an individual. In my short stint here, I have gathered immense knowledge and experience that helped me enhance my skillset with the amazing opportunities that I got here. However, when it comes to my long-term goals, I believe you could have done better regarding rewards and recognition aspects and better promotion policies. In this way, I felt my work was not rewarded well and I could not see opportunities to develop on the career ladder. Hopefully, the management will support other employees' career development.
10. If you were asked to describe the overall management style of the organization, what would you say?
This question gives you the opportunity to share your perspective on management with your employer. Sharing feedback should be done in a professional, fair, and respectful manner. Make your feedback specific and positive while maintaining a focus on improving the company.
My overall experience with management has been excellent, but I see room for improvement. Motivation and promotion of employees need to be addressed, particularly. As I was sometimes exhausted in my duties, more support from management would have been helpful to me. Although I admire the management for the efforts they have made to manage this company. It's not an easy task, but I know they are doing their best. The company may be better served if it provides future employees with more opportunities for activities, breaks, rewards, and recognition.
11. In your opinion, what makes working here the best?
If your employer asks this question, they may want to compare your notes with those of previous employees who held the same position. Maintain a professional tone while discussing what you liked. You should focus on the positive aspects of this question since the follow-up is generally what you dislike. The answer you provide may assist them in writing the job posting. As well as keeping things lively, it lets your employer know that some things have gone well.
My favourite part of my job was the office environment and the people with whom I worked. The workload was evenly distributed between the team members most of the time, and my manager was able to ensure a tight deadline was always met without being too overbearing. A semi-flexible work schedule gave me a little control over my day, and payroll was never an issue as it was on time. Also, the training I received through the years was very valuable to me. It taught me a lot about the strategic aspects of technologies that will serve me well in any position I hold.
12. What is the least pleasant aspect of working here?
The answer to this question can be given without being negative at all. You might be tempted to rattle off a list of grievances, but try to keep it constructive. Was it something you disliked personally or something others disliked as well? You may also joke about your dislike in a tactful and tasteful manner.
The TEA was not to my liking! I enjoyed everything about the company, but I wish more flexible working options were available. Some projects also took longer than we expected for various reasons. Even so, the client was pleased with our thoroughness and accuracy, so I was proud of my team's performance.
13. Since you were hired, have you felt that your job description has changed? How, if at all?
There are constant changes to a job's requirements, but most of the time, these adjustments are so small and incremental that managers are not aware of them. In answering this question, if employees point out discrepancies in the job description, the employer will be required to update the job description before re-filling the position. In this way, employers can be sure they are seeking candidates with the right skill set. Also, employers can use the departing employee's responsibility to determine if the additional duties they performed were adequately compensated.
As a software developer, my job description has evolved over time to include additional responsibilities and new technologies. For example, when I was first hired, my primary focus was on writing code, but now I am also involved in code reviews, testing, and mentoring junior developers. Additionally, the technologies I am working with have changed as well, requiring me to learn and adapt to new programming languages and frameworks. Overall, while the core of my job remains the same, the specific tasks and tools have evolved over time.
14. How satisfied were you with the tools, resources, and working conditions you had in your position? If not, how can it be improved?
In this exit interview question, employers will be able to uncover shortcomings in the workplace environment they may have overlooked. Any number of reasons might be the cause, from the unpleasant hybrid workplace plan to the uncomfortable office temperatures to the outdated technology and outdated office equipment.
I was generally satisfied with the tools, resources, and working conditions I had in my position. The company provided me with the necessary hardware and software to do my job effectively. The team was also supportive and the communication was good. However, if I had to point out an area for improvement it would be with the development process. I think that implementing a more agile methodology could help streamline the development process, increase collaboration, and improve overall productivity.
15. Did you receive the training you needed to succeed in your position? Is there a better way to make it?
During the exit interview, the employer will ask about any aspects of the training that were particularly useful. There may be some room for honesty here, but it is important to choose your words carefully. If your biggest problem was a lack of training, you should point out that as it may be an easy fix.
It would be beneficial for future employees to receive more comprehensive and frequent training opportunities to keep track of the ever-growing technologies, however, I understand that resources are limited. Providing additional training or some reimbursement funds for employees to work on learning and development would help both existing employees and new employees to perform their tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible.
16. Which areas of the organization could be improved?
An employer is asking you this question to get a sense of what you think of the company in general. The answer to this question is not something you are able to give away on the spot, but you cannot simply say the company is perfect as it is. Consider looping both the positives and negatives into your response when you answer the question. Employers may feel as if you were not interested in working for them if you focus only on shortcomings.
I believe that one area that could be improved is the communication and collaboration between different teams, particularly between the development and operations teams. Streamlining the process of software development and deployment can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of the end product. Additionally, it's important for organizations to regularly evaluate and update their technology infrastructure to keep up with the latest industry standards and maintain a competitive edge.
17. Have you received constructive feedback that helped you improve?
Interviewers ask this question not to trick you but rather to determine how you react to feedback. It can also provide insights into the reasons for the employee's departure, such as issues related to job satisfaction, company culture, management, or compensation. In either case, they are evaluating whether you are calm and composed when receiving criticism, positive or negative. Pick a compelling, honest story about a time when your manager or a peer gave you constructive feedback at work.
Yes, I have received constructive feedback that helped me improve as a software developer. One example is when I was working on a project and my manager pointed out that my code was not well organized and was difficult to read. With their feedback, I realized the importance of code structure, commenting, and readability. I took the time to learn best practices for writing clean code, and how to properly document my code. I also sought feedback on my work from other team members and incorporated their suggestions to improve. As a result, my code was easier to maintain and understand, which improved the overall quality of my work.
18. Is there anything you can suggest to improve employee morale?
The inclusion of questions concerning team spirit in an exit interview provides an opportunity for someone to share an idea that could be beneficial to the organization. It is much more likely that coworkers talk about morale among themselves than with their managers, so the departing employee may have insight into the whole team's state of mind.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to boost employee morale at work is to consistently monitor and measure employee morale, as well as use employee feedback to make positive changes to the workplace. Also, it's imperative to gather feedback from employees individually and in teams and actually come up with a working plan to address their grievances.
19. What characteristics would you look for in the ideal candidate to replace you?
Exiting employees tend to focus on their personal qualities and technical abilities, revealing vital skills that the employer may not have considered beforehand. Since no one knows a job better than the employee leaving it, employers use this description to refine their job postings and interview questions. Employees can have a significant impact on the organization by answering this question.
During my time at the company, I worked as a software tester and was primarily responsible for troubleshooting and improving the software. As part of this, I would have to thoroughly understand how each functionality in the software is relevant to the business requirements. The job description does not seem to reflect that adequately in my opinion. If I were to replace my current position, I would make sure that my replacement is aware of this and has experience troubleshooting from their previous positions.
20. If you had to describe the management style of your supervisor, what would you say?
The interviewer is attempting to figure out how you fit into the organization's hierarchy with this exit interview question. Even though it's important to keep the tone positive, it is acceptable to paint a complete, honest picture.
Professionally, my supervisor had a great deal of influence over me. As a leader, they made sure to check in with the team often without being overbearing. Aside from their big personality, they had a sense of humor that could keep things light or ironic depending on the situation. Most importantly, I believe that they possessed a great ability to see the big picture without losing sight of the particulars.
21. Have you spoken to anyone at the company about your concerns before leaving?
There is a common question that points back to the employee culture within the company and whether employees feel comfortable sharing concerns with superiors or fellow co-workers. It is important here to understand whether employers promote a climate of inclusiveness and safety in the workplace so that employees feel comfortable and safe voicing their opinions.
Yes, as a software engineer, I made sure to have open and honest conversations with my manager and HR representative whenever I had any concerns. I believe in finding solutions before taking any drastic actions, like leaving the company, as it can have a significant impact on both the company and my career.
22. Would you mind telling me how your relationship with your manager was?
The answer to this question can be very valuable in evaluating how effectively a manager interacts with his or her direct reports. Not only can the response affect replacement processes but also the professional development of the leaving employee's manager. Don't forget to use professional and respectful language in your choice of words.
In my experience, I had a friendly and productive working relationship with my manager. Their leadership efforts were greatly appreciated, especially given the limited resources and time constraints that they had to work within. Throughout our time together, they have been approachable, ready to help with every situation, always appreciative of the team and individuals, and have provided constructive feedback when it was needed.
23. Are you satisfied with the work we provided you? Did it align with what you expected to learn?
In the modern world, employee satisfaction has become a key component of positive company culture. By asking this question, employers hope to better understand employee needs and motivations. An employer must take advantage of this to improve the performance of the company and increase the employee retention rate.
As I have always sought to acquire skills and experience in my field of study, all the work I did in this organization was highly relevant to my career goals. I appreciate the management's efforts to ensure that all employees adhere to their line of duty and perform their duties accordingly. This way, employees are more likely to focus on the challenges that affect their department and resolve them independently according to the policies they have in place.
24. Do you feel your rights as an employee have been fulfilled?
Employees are entitled to certain rights and responsibilities during their employment with an organization. Its the employer's responsibility to provide an environment that is comfortable and friendly for their employees, while also respecting their basic rights.
Throughout my tenure with this company, I have never encountered anyone who would violate my rights. Thanks to the management for ensuring that the employee's rights have been respected at all times. A conducive working environment is extremely important for employees, where they are not disturbed by their coworkers. All departments have charts outlining employee rights that remind employees about their rights and what to do in the event they are violated.
25. Are you interested in working in a different department at this company before leaving?
After staying in the same position for a long time, an employee may get bored with the work process. By asking this question, the employer attempts to determine if the employee is leaving because he is bored with his current job. The employer can then offer the employee a position in a different department.
At the moment, I feel that I would benefit from changing my working environment. Changing my working environment would enable me to meet new colleagues and gain valuable working experience. I believe that I still have room to learn and gain more experience as a young and energetic professional. Ideally, I would like to work in a different department at the company, but for now, I am sorry to leave. I am grateful for the offer, but I would consider it if the company offered promotions and recognized employees' efforts in the future.
26. When did the Company stand by you in your tough times?
There is no doubt that business leaders need to take tough decisions in order to improve the growth of their company, but it is also crucial that they pay close attention to team morale as well. Managers need to listen, understand, recognize, and appreciate their employees, especially during their hard times.
To begin with, I would like to thank the management for its support in the aftermath of the loss of my close family member a year ago. Certainly, I went through a difficult time, but I gained a lot of comfort from my department and the company as a whole. I hope that you will continue to be supportive of your employees during times like these. Employees will feel supported and know that they are never alone when facing hard times. I am very sure that the management will stand with their employees in sickness as well.
Tips To Prepare For An Exit Interview
27. How to answer Exit Interview Questions?
Here are some exit interview tips to help you answer your exit interview questions more effectively:
- Be prepared: As with any other interview, prepare your answers in advance and practice them before the exit interview. Being prepared for the exit interview will help you remain professional and calm.
- Be professional: It is your final chance to express how you feel about your office, your boss, and the company's policies. This is also a chance for you to offer constructive feedback about the job. Keep your tone level and be professional at all times. It is not the time to express anger or disparage your supervisor or colleagues.
- Be positive: Whatever your reasons for leaving, try to find something positive about your experience. There might have been a new skill you learned or incredible coworkers you had. Give specific examples of who helped you and how they did so.
- Be honest: Employers conducting exit interviews seek honest answers so they can make real improvements to their organization. Whether you have positive or negative feedback, you must communicate it honestly and professionally to your employer so he or she can address it.
- Offer actionable solutions: Try to propose an actionable improvement your employer can take. For instance, if you dislike the training methods, share how they can be improved for future new hires.
Your last day at work might be happy, emotional, bittersweet, or even challenging, depending on the circumstances. However, companies often conduct exit interviews even though they should be asking employees similar questions during their routine day-to-day activities. As part of the exit interview, you will have a chance to tell the employer about your interest in the company and what you enjoyed working there in addition to what you didn't like about it. This also gives you a safe space to discuss any issues that were negatively affecting your employment and to discuss them openly. The company can then come up with an action plan on the feedback you provided so that it becomes a great workplace for to rest of the existing employees.
If you are faced with an exit interview, make sure that you make every effort to act as professional and friendly as possible. It is the best way to handle an exit interview so as to maintain good relationships with your colleagues and secure a good reference for your future.