Employee turnover may happen for varied reasons. But when an employee hands in a voluntary resignation, you may need to conduct an exit interview to obtain insights on the motivational drivers for separation. Exit interviews are important feedback tools that pinpoint inefficiencies in your company. As such, you need top-line preparation to ensure exit interviews offer upfront insights. This article runs you through conducting the exit interview and highlights the dos and don’ts of the interview.
What is an Exit Interview?
An exit interview is a Q&A session when an employee parts ways with the employer. Exit interviews assess the overall work experience of the employee during their tenure at the organization. Candid conversations during the interview uncover a host of previously unvoiced feelings that managers can use to improve the employee experience.
What Is an Exit Interview Template?
An exit interview template is a customizable fillable form containing questions and sectioned spaces for capturing a soon-to-be ex-employee candid perspectives on their work experience.
Note: Some templates break down central questions into sub-questions. Find a template with questions that best capture the employee’s views of their work experience.
Exit Interview Templates & Examples
Why Use an Employee Exit Interview Template?
Exit interview templates concisely depict the employee situation at your organization. The process is an inexpensive way to obtain insights that you would use to improve your organization. You can then increase retention rates for productive employees.
The templates cover all pertinent issues, maintain consistency and ensure you deliver a productive interview. Think of exit interview templates as beacons for the interview.
Essential Elements of an Exit Interview Template
Exit interview templates significantly vary depending on where you source the template. The templates employ different structures and questionnaires. At the minimum, any professionally designed template should have the following:
- Employee name
- Date of the interview
- Department or title
- Initial and last date of employment
- The main reason for leaving
These contents can appear on a simple Word document, alternatively use template software to generate one.
Essential Questions to Include in Your Template
The chief aim of the exit interview is to seek candid perspectives on the employee’s reasons to leave. To achieve this, some questions are a must-have in your template. They include:
- What was the main reason for leaving?
- Did our organization live up to your expectations?
- Where do you think we can improve?
- What was the overall work atmosphere?
- What did you like about the organization?
- Would you consider working here again in the future?
- Did our training adequately prepare you for the job?
Generally, the questions should revolve around the work experience at the organization. You can tailor the templates to include manager, team, or training-specific questions.
Types of Exit Interview Templates
There are two main types of templates. One is a form the employee fills while the other has questions the interviewer asks and captures information as the interviewee responds. You can find both types of templates on different template providers’ websites.
Tip: You can blend both methods to ensure you obtain accurate information. Customize the questions centering on the main drivers for the professional separation.
Methods of Conducting Exit Interviews
The methods of conducting exit interviews or surveys depend on the method of communication. The main techniques are:
In-person interviews are physical sit-downs with the interviewer. The major merits are the interviewer can gauge the honesty of the interviewee’s answers and seek clarification.
Virtual interviews involve audiovisual technology such as Zoom, Skype, and other teleconferencing tools to obtain employee perspective. Virtual meetings may be costly but less time-consuming, especially for a large organization.
Paper and pencil
The HR department gives a template containing exiting questions on the final day at work for the ex-employee, and they will mail it later after filling in the replies. Such responses take longer while others ignore sending back the template. The other two methods are more effective.
Do’s and Don’ts of Exit Interviews
A well-conducted exit interview depicts the real employee experience to prevent the recurrence of employee turnover. Despite the excellent opportunities the interview presents, there are don’ts you should steer clear from and do’s to do.
- Plan for the interview. Carefully arrange what you will say to compliment or criticize the work experience positively.
Tip: Expect questions that assess your work experience, like colleague interaction, and adequately prepare for them. Most importantly, have substantive answers to each query.
- Act professionally and convey your honest feelings. The interview is the end of the professional relationship but not future work interactions. End the relationship amicably.
- Don’t be rude or vent during the interview. However, you can positively criticize the employer.
- Don’t mention colleague names. Although it is your last dance at the job, there is no need to mention other employees who may already be under scrutiny.
- Be specific. Avoid steering from the topic question and providing extraneous information.
- Don’t speak about your new job. However, if you can’t avoid the question, be modes about it. Avoid boasting about how good your new employer will be.
Yes. There is no obligation to sit through an exit interview. If you decline, provide valid reasons for why.
In a one-on-one meeting, you should ask why the employee is departing. You will obtain first-hand uncut information about why the employee is parting ways with your company.
HR uses the insights to ameliorate company inefficiencies that may be the reason an employee leaves. Non-competent HRs only give the interview report a cursory glance and shelve it.
Do not be rude and do not provide insubstantial details. Provide only substantive information.
There is no specific length. However, exit interviews usually take half an hour to an hour, depending on the number of questions.
HR share the exit interview with the management cadre, who act accordingly to improve areas of concern.
HR managers usually conduct exit interviews. However, any member of the managerial cadre can interview if the employee was in their department.
Exit interviews provide an opportune time to obtain insights on employee experience you wouldn’t obtain from surveys from current employees. If done correctly, an exit interview will highlight improvement areas and build a positive relationship with your ex-employee, cementing your reputation as a competent employer.