8 Common Exit Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Updated 22 July 2022

Many employers conduct exit interviews at the end of an employee’s tenure at their organisation in order to gain context around why an employee is leaving their position. This meeting is an opportunity for you to provide feedback and offer suggestions for the company to help them improve. In this article, we will review some common questions interviewers ask during an exit interview and how you can prepare thoughtful answers.

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Why do companies conduct exit interviews?

Companies conduct exit interviews so to hear an employee’s opinions about their job, supervisor, organisation and more. An exit interview is a conversation between you and your employer—likely a human resources representative. This is an opportunity to discuss job satisfaction or offer feedback on policy and direction.

Exit interview questions and sample answers

Below you will find standard exit interview questions along with possible answers. Whether you are leaving due to a new career change, better opportunity or dissatisfaction with your job, it is wise to answer thoughtfully, objectively and with a professional tone.

Why are you leaving your position, or what led you to the decision to leave?

Your employer may ask this question to find out if you are leaving because you have been offered a better opportunity or for personal reasons. Try to maintain a balance between honesty and politeness when answering this question. If applicable, mention the skills or experience you’re hoping to get from your next job.

Example: “I have really enjoyed working here, and I have learned a lot over the course of my employment. However, I feel like I have accomplished all I can in this role and need something different. While I have learned a great deal at this job and honed my skills and experience, I feel it is time to go in a different direction. I havegained invaluable experience for the future, and I feel the time is right to expand my experience and strengthen my abilities.”

How do you feel about management, and do you have any feedback or suggestions for how we can improve?

This question gives you the opportunity to help your employer see your position from your perspective. Stay objective and fair when sharing feedback. Be specific and give your feedback in a positive way while keeping the focus on improving the company.

Example: “Overall, I am satisfied with the way management has guided me in my job, but there is room for improvement. Management sometimes overlooked the ways they could utilise my role, so I occasionally felt somewhat stagnant. However, if they empower new employees to feel independent from the beginning, we can get more innovative and new ideas from them to add value to the company’s success. This seems like a more effective solution than waiting for directives.”

Was there a time when you felt proud of your work?

This is a great time to share a positive experience you had with the company. No matter your reason for resigning, acknowledge what was good about your job. Remember that everyone likes to know when they get it right, including your supervisor.

Example: “Yes. We worked on that last project a little longer than we expected, but the client was impressed with how detailed and thorough we were. It made me proud to be a member of the team.”

Do you feel you received proper and complete training?

Companies want their employees to feel prepared for their jobs. This is an area in which you can really help by sharing your candid experience. If you did not feel ready or if your training did not cover enough, let your employer know. Share practical ideas for improvement so future employees are better prepared.

Example: “The best thing you can do for new employees is to make sure they understand their roles and supply them with the tools they need to perform their job. I didn’t always feel as though I had the resources to do my job well, so I think new employees can benefit from more thorough and frequent training. To fully prepare new employees to meet the company’s expectations, management might consider additional training or refreshers so new and current employees can meet their tasks to the best of their ability.”

Do you think the company supported your career goals?

When answering this question, let your employer know how they lived up to your expectations and supported you in your career path. Support might include providing training or education. Provide feedback on how or why you felt supported and when you did not.

Example: “When I came to work here, I was excited for the opportunities to continue to advance my position or increase my knowledge and experience. While the company has given me opportunities to learn things I have aimed for in my career, I believe that I have gathered sufficient knowledge working with this firm. It is the right time for me to expand my skills at another company.”

Would you recommend this company to others seeking employment?

When you answer this question, be straightforward about why you would or would not recommend your employer to someone else. Consider offering suggestions that might make the position more attractive.

Example: “It would depend on which positions were open and what that person’s career goals might be. I would recommend this company to friends or family if the position matched what they were looking for. A comprehensive benefits package would make the job more appealing.”

What were your criteria for choosing a new employer?

Your answer to this question will help your organisation gain insight as to why you chose a different employer or position. Share the specific reasons you searched for a new job. For example, your new role may include benefits not provided by your current employer. Provide examples, and be honest in your assessments.

Example: “In my new position, my employer will provide additional training so that I can advance my position. With the resources I will have available, I expect to earn my sales certification within six months.”

Would you consider staying on?

Your employer might ask this question to discover whether additions to the job, such as benefits or additional training, might make it more attractive. Be honest in your response and consider whether you would truly want to stay and what factors might affect your decision.

Example: “I have worked here for a long time, and this company has provided me with valuable skills and learning opportunities. I have enjoyed working here, but I feel that my expertise and career goals would be highly prioritised at my new position. However, if I received the right offer, I would strongly consider returning.”

Tips to prepare for an exit interview

Keep the following points in mind when preparing answers for your exit interview.

  • Be objective. Keep your focus on the job. Talk about the company as a whole instead of its individual employees.

  • Practise your answers. Consider asking a friend or colleague for help.

  • Take notes. Creating a record of the exit interview helps you remember what you and the interviewer said or agreed upon and gives you an accurate backup if you need it.

  • Consider nonverbal signals and body language. Take a few deep breaths before the interview, and consciously relax. This will help you remain calm and focused on the interview. Try to keep your body language open, which will help you feel more comfortable throughout your exit interview.

By preparing yourself for the interview and rehearsing your answers, you’re able to feel more confident in your replies. Although companies conduct exit interviews primarily for the benefit of the employer, it is still a good opportunity to give valuable feedback and resolve any differences or issues. While you are in the interview, give the best factual answers you can. Keep a positive outlook, and your old employer might recommend you for your next position.

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