Exit Interview Questions and Answers

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Got a call from HR/Seniors for an exit interview, expect following exit interview questions. This article provides best answers and tips to answer them to leave your firm on a positive note.

An exit interview is a process of conversation between an employee (who has been resigned from his job post or has been terminated by the company) and the company representatives (usually, Human Resources department or supervisor/manager of the exiting employee) in order to receive feedback from exiting employee about - the office work environment, the job he has done being as an employee of the company, reason for resignation and to get feedback/suggestions on other aspects of the company.

Significance & benefits of conducting exit interviews

The significance and benefits of conducting exit interviews are,
  • The Company’s employer gets to know “why an employee is leaving his job”.
  • The company improvement & development - Employees feedback come in use to identify the particular areas/platforms where the company is really doing well and the areas/platforms where development is required.
  • Reduces the conflict between employees and supervisors – The exit interview also helps the employer to understand the attitude of managers towards the subordinates and to provide an honest feedback to the managers on their shortcomings and areas of improvement. 
  • Final goodbye with good terms – The final open conversation may become successful in ending the employer employee relationship on a positive note. 
  • Contact details of the exiting employee - The company receives the correct contact information of the exiting employee for further assistance
  • Helpful in resolving other employees problems – Many times, in an exit interview, an exiting employee discloses the issues faced by the majority of the employees regarding workplace/infrastructure. This honest feedback will help HR/ Management resolve the common issues faced by existing employees.

Frequently asked Exit interview questions and answers

There is no right or wrong way to answer the questions of the exit interview, the only thing you need to do while answering the question is – properly, listen & understand the questions that come to you and answer them confidentially in a polite manner in order to see-off everyone in the office on a positive note. In order to maintain a positive relationship with your colleagues, sometimes, you need to give a diplomatic answer even though the truth is far from it. Here are the few main exit interview questions and answers you may receive during an exit interview.

1) Why are you leaving your current job, Or, what are the major reasons that made you to take the decision to leave?

Generally, employees leave their job due to following reasons

  • Career change, 
  • To explore better opportunities in the same profile or different profile, 
  • Discontented with the current job or the seniors, 
  • Due to personal reasons 
  • Bad health reason

Let’s see what could be the best answer based on the scenario you choose,

For better job opportunities:-

If you are moving on from your current company to explore a better job opportunity, during an exit interview, speak in a manner that look like the reason of your resignation is due to your thoughts about your career growth and development. 

The best answer that can be given when you are leaving your current job for a better job opportunity,

Answer - I have been working here for past 6 years, and in these 6 years, I have gained ample amount of knowledge & experiences. Career & Skills wise, I have grown as much as I can. Now, this is the correct time for me to step towards a new job opportunity where I can meet with different people to explore my skills and to gain different types of knowledge and experiences by taking more challenges & responsibilities.

For better salary package

Every professional wants to work at a high salary. Even if you are moving on from one company to another for a better salary package, try not to bring out the actual reason for resignation in an exit interview, if possible. 

When you are leaving your current job for a better salary package are,

Answer – For the past 4 years, I have been working here as a software developer. The company had given me many opportunities to develop my skills in different areas, platforms and projects. I had a great time working here, learning, and contributing to my team. I have made a decision to join another company to utilize my skills and to add value to the projects that I will be getting over there and to gain new technical and managerial skills.

Discontented with the seniors of the team of the company

If your boss is terrible and you are leaving your job because of your boss, don’t wrap up yourself from the current company by mentioning the exact reasons for your exit. In an exit interview, say something positive to show-off your patience and love for the company. The best answer can be given as,

Answer – I have worked for this company for many years just because of the wonderful support of my team and other employees of the company. But now, I am leaving this job to experience different working environment, challenges and work culture of the other company. Please try to stay in touch with me forever in the future to encourage and motivate me in my future activities.

For a higher designation

For the past many years, if you are working on a same profile and there is no scope of the promotion which has become a reason of quitting the job. In an exit interview, don’t tell the correct reason of your exit; express your positive thoughts for taking upcoming challenges in your career. 

The best answer that can be given when you are leaving your current job to get promoted in an another company,

Answer – Working as a project lead for the past 5 years was full of challenges that have given me many opportunities for career and personal growth. Now, I am ready to take new challenges in my career. I love working with the people over here, but to take another challenge and acquire new skills in my career I have to quit this job.

Personal reason

Many employees leave their job due to their personal circumstances and situation, so, in the exit interview, express your feelings for the company in a manner that may open the door of the company for you in the future too.

The best answer that can be given when you are leaving your current job due to your personal situation and circumstances,

Answer - My younger sister got married last month and now no one is there to take care of my old mother and father who are staying at my native. Therefore, I have to leave this job to find a job near to my home town so that I can go home and take care of my parents daily.

2) What do you think about our management process? Do you have any idea that can improve the process?

Overall, if you are satisfied with the management process of the company, but in some areas you feel improvement is really required, don’t miss the chance to speak on that matter in a way that your commitment and vision for company growth and development is intact, whether you are in or out of the company. 

Answer: Overall, I am glad and satisfied with the way the company management had laid out the processes and activities for better project management and ensure quality for all the products and services. But there is a scope of improvement in the way we make arrangements to deal with our new employees. We can facilitate and empower them in a way an employee feel independent and relaxed from the beginning, so that, we can get more and more innovative and new ideas from them (new employees) that may add more value to the project’s success.

3) Would you like to join us again in the future?

Sometimes, employees leave their job for a better career, paycheck, on-site opportunities or to take new challenges. Let’s see, how to answer this question in four different scenarios.

Example 1 - The best answer that can be given when you are leaving your job for better career opportunities,

Answer – No, I don’t want to get into the same job profile ever in the future. One year back, I joined this organization to financially support my family. But now, my family is able to sustain themselves without my financial support. Therefore, this is the correct time for me to leave this job to give complete focus and attention towards my career goal.

Example 2 - The best answer that can be given when you are leaving your job for better pay.

Answer – Yes, why not! I am leaving this job just for a change, because, for the past many years, I have been working for the same company which had become boring for me. But, in case, in the future, this company offers me a prestigious job with good salary package, surely, I will think of that.

4) At your service, is there any moment you really enjoyed or felt proud?

You can share which day or moment in your service, you really felt appreciated, proud, and happy. Your words may help the employers to come up with, “what can be done additional in the office to increase the self-confidence and self-motivation of the employees working over here”. The best answer you can give as,

Answer - If you remember, last august we delivered a performance enhancement software to Goldman Sachs. Just before the day of the launch, the client identified a critical issue in the system we delivered. I worked continuously for 24 hours to rectify the issue and the launch was smooth. That day I was really happy due to the appreciation I have got from the client and the office employees.

5) Did you receive effective training?

Even if you didn’t receive the mandatory training, they promised you at the time of joining, you can come up with useful suggestions that may add value to the training process. Also, if you are really satisfied and happy with the training that you have received from the day of joining till the end day of your job, thanks them for their superb management process and training programs.

Example 1 - Not satisfied with the training program that you have been received till now,

Answer: I am not that impressed with the training's that I have received till now, which was really important in order to analyze, plan, implement, and for the success of the projects. In my job, I have always used my own analytical skill and knowledge to get the work done.

Example 2 - When you are satisfied and happy with the training programs that you have been received, the best answer can be given as,

Answer: Overall, I am satisfied and happy with the training's i received till now. The complete orientation of the training with proper management and planning always helped and directed me to push the work towards the edge of success. I like to say thanks for giving such a wonderful guidance and support in order to achieve success wherever it was needed.

6) How did you reach to the conclusion of quitting this job?

Example - If you are leaving your job because of your own decision and interest. The best answer can be given as,

Answer - I was suppose to leave this job one year back due to my MBA studies. But at that time, my manager insisted me to stay here for one more year for the ongoing project that was under my care. Now, that project has been successfully completed and it is a correct time for me to leave this job.

Before leaving, I want to make one thing very clear, I am leaving this job not because of any pressure and annoyance.

7) Did the company become supportive in meeting your career goal?

Example - Many companies facilitate their employees to learn things apart from their own work that may help them to move towards their desired career goal. The best answer can be given as,

Answer: The profile on which I joined at this company was totally different from my career goal. But, the company had given me many opportunities to learn additional things apart from my work profile that had given me a chance to learn things which I have aimed for my career. Now, I believe that I have gathered sufficient knowledge working with this firm and it is a correct time for me to move on.

8) Were you satisfied and happy with the type of care and facilities you have been received from here?

Let’s see, how to answer the question on “Are you satisfied with care and facilities you have been received from the management” and “when you are unsatisfied and unhappy”.

Example 1 - When you are satisfied and happy, the best answer that can be given as,

Answer: I am completely satisfied with the care i received working here in the past many years from all of my seniors and team members. They were always there whenever I need their help.

In my achievements and accomplishment at this company their contribution is very big. I like to say thanks to all of them for their guidance in the way to choose the right track. At work place, my managers have always given me the freedom to think and work independently, and I was always appreciated for my good work and independent decisions.

Example 2 - When you are unsatisfied and unhappy, the best answer can be given as,

Answer: My past experiences say, there is some scope of improvement in the management process managers and seniors follow to deal with the team members and outsiders who come to the company for the purpose of marketing, interview and business. I know that the company has their own way to handle different kinds of people, but still, I request some kind of politeness should be there while dealing with a third person.

9) In the future, if you get to know about some good openings at this company, will you recommend any of your family members or friends to join us?

Answer: In the future, if I get to know about some good openings in this company, surely, I am going to tell my family members and friends to try to get a job here. I will also explain about the care and support I have been getting here being an employee of the company.

10) Is there any particular event or reason that forced you to leave this job?

If you are leaving your job due to a particular reason, let’s see how to answer to the question in an exit interview. The best answer can be given as,

Answer: Last few months were very hectic for me, because, during those days, management had given me responsibility of four projects with a stringent deadline. I was unable to handle all four projects at the same time and asked for the help from management in terms of resources, good team members, and better planning. Instead of getting proper support, they had questioned my efficiency and commitment. I felt like management was doing this intentionally to fire me.

11) Is there any change you feel need to be done in the work culture of the profile you have worked for?

In an exit interview, while answering the question, don’t miss the chance to speak about the changes company need to make in the work culture based on your past experiences and analysis while working in the firm. Also, speak about the things you really liked in your profile during work.

Answer: I am happy and satisfied with the role I have played for the company, but I have certain grievances. During my employment with this company, the things which had made me happy are; the projects that I have handled and successfully completed with the help of my very cooperative team members and Managers.

On the other hand, I am unhappy with the lack of planning and resources that I have been received at the time of work. I don’t want anyone else in this office to face the same problem. Based on my personal experiences, my suggestion is that, the work can be done efficiently and effectively, if a company spend more time on planning and resource allocation.

12) What additional benefits you are obtaining from your new company that encouraged you to leave your current job?

In reply to this question, you can speak about all additional benefits you are getting from your new firm that enhances your career growth and financial aspects. The best answer can be given as,

Answer: As you know, I have given ample time to this company. Like any other employee, I too dream about getting a job that enhances my career prospects. Also, my new firm firm had offered me an excellent salary package compared to what I am reeving now. On top of that, the company had offered me a 20% incentive based on my performance.

13) What can we do to retain you?

Answer: Nothing can be done to retain me here, because, I am leaving this job with many years of experiences and knowledge that I want to use in the right manner to give value to the other processes/projects by taking different challenges, opportunities and work of the other company.

14) What were your criteria to choose your new employer?

Answer: There are many factors involved in choosing a new employer – the role company plays in the development of an employee, a wonderful work environment, providing flexibility & independence to each employee, giving appreciation, growth and opportunity to the employees for their good work.

Through an exit interview, the employee and the employer both get benefited - the employee (who is leaving his job) gets a last chance in the company to speak all good things and bad things that he has been faced and the employer gets a chance to understand “why the employee is leaving his current job and what all things need to be changed in the office to avoid the future employee losses.

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