Top Exit Interview Questions

When a valued employee walks out, it can hurt productivity, diminish morale and generally throw a wrench in operations. One way you can reduce turnover long-term is to ask the right exit interview questions to better understand why an employee is leaving.


Why are you leaving your position?

Asking an employee point blank why they’re leaving will give you insight into their logic and any motivating factors behind their decision. This will let you know if it’s due to something your company did or whether the employee is simply heading for greener pastures.


What was the biggest factor in your decision to leave?

In many cases, there’s a singular catalyst that causes someone to leave their job. Identifying the primary factor can be extremely enlightening and will let you know precisely what sparked this move.

According to a Gallup study, “50 percent of the 7,200 adults surveyed left a job to get away from their manager.” If there’s a particular leader that drove a former employee to quit, you’ll definitely want to know about it.


What could our company have done to influence you to stay?

Asking what you could have done differently points out potential deficiencies you might address within your business. Perhaps you need to tweak a policy, offer more robust benefits, or more flexible scheduling for a healthier work/life balance. Whatever the case may be, this question will help you better the company for the rest of your employees.


What would you change about your job?

If you’re able to trace an employee’s departure to a specific area of their job, you’ll know what adjustments to make to prevent other employees from jumping ship in the future. It can also tell you a lot about which aspects of a position an employee finds the most unsavory.


Which areas could we improve on?

There’s always room for improvement. Try to find at least three definitive areas where your company is lacking. Unearthing this information is the first step to getting things back on track and increasing job satisfaction for your remaining team members.


Do you have any unresolved issues?

You always want a former employee to go out on good terms. If they have any unfinished business with a certain manager, colleague or your business as a whole, it’s nice if you can resolve it. This may not always be the most comfortable question to ask, but it’s best to get it out in the open right then rather than hearing it through office gossip.

Asking this question can also minimize the chances of a disgruntled former employee launching a smear campaign and dragging your brand’s name through the mud.

Employee retention is vital. In fact, TLNT reports, “Nearly four out of five (78 percent) business leaders rank employee retention as important or urgent.” While asking these exit interview questions won’t stop the employee at hand from leaving, it can supply you with valuable intel that you can use to prevent other employees from doing the same.

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