Exit interviews are more common than you might think. They’re like a candid conversation between employers and leaving employees that allows for more constructive feedback on the organization’s strengths and areas of improvement. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 61% of organizations conduct exit interviews as part of their employee feedback processes. Whether big or small, prioritizing these interviews helps you gain quick insights into organizational dynamics. It’s like getting insider tips on how to make things better straight from the source.

Dos and Don’ts of an Exit Interview

You can initiate a one-on-one meeting with your employee to discuss and gather information. Research suggests that this interview should last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes within the last few days of their notice period. Ensure that you approach in a friendly way to gather information without making the employee feel burdened or uncomfortable.


Before you begin your interview, you need to create a confidential environment for the employee to deliver their feedback. Keep in mind to prepare open-ended questions for more detailed responses, listen attentively, and note down points without interrupting the feedback. You can also use this interview as an opportunity to thank the employee for their contributions and time spent with the company.


Your information must not be pressing, so the employee doesn’t feel obliged to do the exit interview but instead views it as an opportunity for growth. Also, avoid conducting the interview in a rushed manner, as it may affect the collection of valuable insights. When you do, avoid pressuring the employee to provide specific answers or reveal sensitive information, like the names of employees who did something or otherwise. Give the employee an open window to talk about so you can get as much feedback as possible.

Which Questions to Ask and What to Expect

Companies want to know what the employee thought of their work environment, management, workload, policies, and more. To sum it up, they want to know why employees are leaving the position in search of a new one. The questions can be:

1.  Why are you leaving the company?
2.  What was the one time you felt motivated?
3.  Did you find any difficulties working in this position?
4.  Do you have any recommendations for onboarding new employees?

How Helpful is the Feedback?

Studies conducted by the Harvard Business Review reveal that 80% of turnover is due to issues that the organizations could have solved. Conducting exit interviews offers a chance to test small changes temporarily. By analyzing data from multiple interviews, you can spot recurring patterns and trends that may indicate systemic issues within your organization.

Why Are Exit Interviews Necessary?

It is perfectly necessary for companies that are experiencing a recent increase in employee turnover to conduct exit interviews. Most companies also do exit surveys, but exit interviews are more common in organizations. Exit interviews serve as a quick tool to gain feedback on what is happening within the organization.