Knowledgebase: Performance at Work
Exit interviews
Posted by - NA - on 05 January 2009 05:51 PM

Exit interviews are useful to gather information to find out why an employee is leaving and for ways to improve working conditions. It is a conversation or an interview with the person leaving the job. It involves the employee who is leaving and the employer (or their representative, such as their manager). The employee is encouraged to be as honest as possible. Some exiting employees might not feel comfortable to carry out this interview because they might be scared about leaving a bad impression on the company, or they might be nervous to destroy any potential relationships.  They might also be concerned about ruining references. Some organisations might choose to use a third party such as PsyAsia to conduct the exit interview as this relaxes the employee, and they are more honest and open in their responses.

An exit interview involves taking down any notes which might help in reducing the number of people leaving a particular job. The information obtained from the interview will help the organisation in avoiding unnecessary costs, or conflicts which could occur. The information provided during the interview is beneficial for the organisation as they can be better prepared for certain issues in the future.  An employee can either request for an exit interview or can decline in taking part in it. An employee should consider how confidential the information will be before they agree to sit for an exit interview. Some common questions which are asked during an exit interview is “Why are you leaving?”; “Was there anything that you were unhappy about while you worked here?”; or “What was the most satisfying aspects of your job?”. All the questions asked relate to gathering any sort of information which might help the organisation in the future to retain an employee, attract them in the first place, or to improve working conditions.

The purpose of the interview should be explained to the departing employee and confidentiality should be assured. An exit interview should be used to help the company and should be carried out in a systematic way whereby the information can be useful.