Common Exit Interview Questions

By Zach Seybert
In April 18, 2018

Quitting a job can be an anxiety-inducing time in one’s career. From figuring out how to put in your two weeks’ notice to your boss to telling colleagues about your decision, the anticipation can cause a lot of stress. A lesser known part of the resignation process is the exit interview with your employer.

This is an interview with an employee about to leave an organization, usually meant to discuss the employee’s reasons for leaving and the employee’s experience with the organization. Although it likely doesn’t require as much preparation as an employment interview, this could still be an awkward conversation and nerve-wracking. While you never want to bad mouth the organization, this is a learning experience for both the employer and yourself.

So you know what to expect, our friends over at The Muse have some common exit interview questions that you might be asked before you pack up your desk and bid adieu to your colleagues.

Why Are You Leaving (Your Current Position)?

This is usually a given in exit interviews, since the employer wants to know what played into your decision to leave. Did something specific happen that made you want to leave? If so, the company usually wants to address this since retaining employees is a common goal. The company also wants to figure out what changes can be made to your (now former) role when it comes time to find a replacement.

What Was Your Relationship With Your Manager Like?

You likely communicate with your manager in some way or another every day. This relationship could have a major influence on your career and your decision whether or not to leave. While we all strive to have a great working relationship with our manager, unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Maybe your manager has a tendency to micromanage and is constantly critiquing your work and “looking over your shoulder.” You would not have been hired if you weren’t capable of doing the work, but due to the constant critiquing, you might begin to doubt yourself. These are things you should bring up in response to this question. There is a delicate balance here, because you never really want to complain about your boss, especially since they will likely be informed of this, but you want to be honest and provide constructive feedback.

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What Did You Like/Dislike Most About Your Job?

It might seem weird to get asked what you liked the most about your job, because after all if you were really satisfied with everything you wouldn’t be leaving, but this feedback allows your manager to learn and assess what he or she is doing well. Additionally, these positives might be highlighted when crafting a new job description for future hires.

Then of course, there is the other end of the spectrum and the question of what you disliked most about your job. After all, the point of the exit interview is for feedback, both positive and negative. This is your chance to be honest with your thoughts about the organization.

Wrap Up

The decision to quit your job (usually) isn’t made hastily. But if it is, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t quit your job the wrong way. The resignation process is usually an emotional time filled with stress and anxiety of how you are going to do it. Once you’ve put in your two weeks’ notice (suggested), chances are you will take part in an exit interview. This is your chance to explain why you are leaving your position and be honest in your assessment of your time with the company. Although it usually doesn’t take as much preparation as an employment interview, by knowing what to expect you will hopefully not be caught off guard. You can read the rest of Kat Boogaard’s article here.

If you’re wondering how to walk away from your job, check out these mistakes to avoid!

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.