The purpose of the exit interview is to gain insight into a person’s role and employment experience. That way, you can make the experience better for the next person in that role and your company a better workplace in general. Which leads to better retention of top talent moving forward.
As a general rule, exit interviews should only be conducted with employees leaving your company voluntarily.
These interviews should be a comfortable and open conversation where your transitioning employee can talk freely about their experience (the good and the bad).
Here are some tips for conducting an exit interview:
- Keep the conversation professional. Focus on work-related topics that will help you understand their experience.
- Don’t discuss personal issues or gossip. This can put you in an awkward position and create deeper issues moving forward.
- Listen to opinions, don’t offer them. Exiting employees will often share their opinions, both positive and negative, that can provide a clearer picture of their experience. Listen and take good notes – but don’t agree or disagree.
- Focus on the job experience, not employee performance. The exit interview isn’t the time to discuss what the employee did right or wrong in their tenure. It’s about learning how you can make [company name] a better place to work for your remaining employee.