20 Must-Ask Exit Interview Questions for HR Professionals

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Exit Interview Questions
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Nowadays employees are switching jobs at a higher rate than ever, resulting in higher employee turnover. That makes it essential to understand why the retention rate at your company is falling so drastically.


Since it is about the employees, you have to ask them for genuine reasons. Their answers will be helpful to your company in understanding steps to improve work-related aspects that can lead to better retention.


As an employer, you always do multiple things to improve the employee experience, but you also need to look for employee feedback. The employees that work for the company often hesitate to give negative feedback and so you never get the whole picture.


The best feedback can be obtained from the employee who wants to leave the company. That is the reason exit interviews are essential now. Employees who leave the company voluntarily are most likely to be truthful about their experience while they were working for the company. This feedback can be utilised to improve employee retention in the future.


In this blog, we will get to know more about exit interviews and discuss some of the best exit interview questions for employees.


Two Types of Good Exit Interviews

When it comes to an exit interview, there are two ways to do it.


1. Survey

You can send the employee your exit interview survey questions, and they can fill in the answers. Here are some benefits of an exit interview survey;

  • Employees might feel more comfortable as they don’t have to face their boss upfront.
  • It takes less time to fill and submit online or offline surveys comparatively.
  • You won’t miss out on the questions you intended to ask in the exit interview survey.


2. Exit Interview

Here are some benefits of doing the face-to-face exit interview with the employee and that makes it a more widely practised method.

  • Gives the opportunity to dig deeper into the issues as and when you learn about something new in the interview.
  • You get more enhanced feedback as you can study employees’ body language during the interview.
  • Exit interview questions can be used to show the employee that your company cares about them and value their opinion.
  • This shows that the employer respects their decision to leave the job and would love to welcome them back to the company in future.


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Who Should Conduct Exit Interview

It’s also crucial to consider who is going to ask the exit interview questions you design for employees. In your company, it can be either their manager or the HR that can be conducting exit interviews.


If the manager or their direct superior is conducting the interview, they can ask an exit interview question about the issue that is more specific. It can be about the job challenges or their relationship with colleagues. They are likely to have a better idea about what the employee experienced during their employment.


On the other side, if an exit interview is conducted by the manager, employees are less likely to give honest answers to questions such as listed below.

  • How would you describe your working experience with the manager?
  • Did you feel that your manager was micromanaging you?
  • Did you feel that your manager can adopt different managerial styles?


Even though an employee is leaving the company, they don’t want to talk about the negatives about their bosses or team to their face. When people work together they are likely to establish some bond and to ruin it on their last it is not the idea that most people entertain.


Whereas some employees might try to sugarcoat it as they are giving negative feedback about the person they are talking to. Either way, it’s difficult to get honesty here. Having an HR conduct an exit interview is more likely to help you get honest answers.


The employees are familiar enough with HR from their recruitment and onboarding in your company. That makes it likely that they might share their views on their managers with someone who is not their manager.


Exit interviews conducted by HR make greater sense as they are responsible for improving employee retention. With their nature of work, they can rightfully represent the company without taking any negative feedback personally.


Human resources are also more likely to understand employee performance and company culture better. That will also help HR to understand how to improve employee experience further. As part of human resources, they also know the best exit interview questions for employees. That can help you get even more valuable insight.


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‍Plan the Exit Interview

To get the effective exit interview questions that you can ask your employees, the interview questions must be prepared in advance. The focus of the exit interview can be how you would improve the employee experience or even retain the employee.


The exit interview questions can help you check the possibility of rehiring the employee in the future. Through a specific interview question, you can find out if the employee is interested in making a comeback to the company in future.


When it comes to what questions you can ask employees, it’s best to be prepared in advance. If you rely on the moment to be spontaneous, you might miss important information. As exit interviews are conducted on the last day of the employee, you want to make sure that you can get as much insight as possible.


If you are wondering what questions you should ask your employees, you can start by asking yourself what you want to accomplish with the exit interviews. What do you think that you can get to know only from the employee who has worked for the company and is not under pressure to provide an answer without sugarcoating it?


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The Best Exit Interview Questions

Some of the best exit interview questions for a company are to understand the reasons employees leave the company and how to retain them in future. If you ask employees specific questions about their decision to leave the company, you will get a specific answer.


The same goes for other aspects, such as company culture, their relationship with their colleague, their manager and much more. Let’s discuss some of the best exit interview questions for the employee below.


About Company Culture

It’s important to have a healthy work culture, toxicity and office politics are the things people want to avoid. It can be very discouraging and also brings down performance. That’s why it is important for the management to check on the work environment that their employees are dealing with.


Here are a few exit interview questions to ask employees.

  • Do you think the work culture at our company is supportive?
  • Did you feel valued as a part of the organization?
  • In what was your company culture can be improved?
  • Did you like working with your job responsibilities?
  • Were you happy with your job location?



The direct superior or the manager has a significant impact on the employee experience. How supportive or overbearing the managers are can have a direct impact not just on productivity but decisions on how long employees want to continue with the company.


Sometimes a single bad manager can bring the employee turnover rate to an astonishingly high rate. Getting information on such disasters beforehand can be a blessing for the company.


So ensure that at least one exit interview question to employees lets you know about their manager’s performance. Here are a few examples

  • Do you feel your productivity would have been different with the different managers?
  • Did you feel your manager is micromanaging you?
  • What would your company have done to help you be better at your job?
  • Did you feel you do not have autonomy at work?


Coming back

Losing good employees is not a pleasant experience. You can use your exit interview to check if an employee is willing to come back in future in a case by the time you develop the opportunities that they are looking for.


Here are some questions to find out the same.

  • Would you consider joining our company again in the future?
  • What could we have done to make your stay with the company?


Open Ended Suggestion

Open-ended exit interview questions are as important as focused questions as they can give you the crucial information you missed.


Give your leaving employees the opportunity to freely share something they think you should know about.

  • Do you have any suggestions for our company for improvement in the future?
  • What would you change about the company if you were given a chance?


Employee Experience

Overall, employee experience in the company is crucial for employees and the company. The term includes all type of interactions that employee has with the company.


Starting from the recruitment process, employee experience also includes the last day of their work. So, you can ask them about all the aspects of their work.


Here are some suggestions to find out about the employee experience.

  • How would you describe your work experience since you were hired for the job?
  • Do you feel accepted as a part of our company?
  • Would you describe the job experience?
  • What activities can do for a better employee experience at the company?



Employees face many challenges in their day-to-day work responsibilities. But these issues keep on repeating and make employees work on the thing longer or cause more effort for the work, which is not ideal, it can add to the frustration.


Exit interview questions to the employee can help you take some of those small challenges which burden your employee a lot over the period of time. Exit interview questions and employees’ answers need to be handled well with sensitivity to encourage them to talk more. We have a few suggestions,

  • Would you describe that challenge further?
  • What has changed since you were working on a particular project or task?
  • What would you suggest is the right way to take some of the challenges you faced here?


The key is to keep an open mind, show interest and ensure employees know that there is no judgement.


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The exit interviews are essential to get honest feedback and perspective of employees that won’t be easily shared by others. While conducting an exit interview, you should design the exit interview questions to get the most information.


The decision about who is supposed to conduct the interview should also be taken carefully to ensure that employees feel comfortable sharing their experiences. When conducted in the right way, the exit interviews can get you valuable insight and also ensure that top talent joins your organization again in the future.

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