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What is an Exit Interview Form?

By Kathy Heydasch
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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When an employee leaves a company, an exit interview form can help that company ascertain the reasons for leaving and whether or not those reasons might affect current or potential employees in the future. An exit interview form is either a questionnaire filled out by the employee who is leaving, or a checklist of interview questions to be asked of the employee by the interviewer. In either case, the exit interview form is a valuable tool for employers.

The purpose of an exit interview form is to ascertain all the factors that led up to an employee’s decision to leave the company. This includes reasons for an alternate job search, the availability of training or advancement, how well the employee got along with supervisors and coworkers, whether the employee felt the compensation was adequate, and the level of enjoyment of the work, among others. With a valuable employee, an exit interview form can possibly determine if there are any conditions under which the employee might change his or her mind. In addition, the company must try to find out if there are circumstances which are affecting other current employees in order to mitigate employee turnover.

Participation in an exit interview should be voluntary, with an employee given an alternative questionnaire to complete if he or she is not comfortable with the interview process. Often an employee will be more forthcoming with information if he or she is not face-to-face with a representative of the company. Also, the employee’s current boss should not be the person executing an exit interview. If an objective third party conducts the interview, the employee might feel more comfortable divulging information about his or her current working conditions. In fact, the employee’s current boss might be the reason for the decision, and the employee must feel comfortable telling this to someone else.

Questions on an exit interview form are usually very simple and straightforward, and an exit interview should be quick and easy for the exiting employee. Often the employer wants to leave a good impression with the employee and show that it cares about the reasons for departure. When a big company takes the time to interview one departing employee, this can make the employee feel like he or she was a large contributor to the company on the whole.

Analysis of an exit interview form can be as simple as discussion among managers, or it could be a more scientific procedure of analyzing the data. In large, complex companies, there may be entire jobs dedicated to the analysis of this information. If employers are skilled at exit interviews, they may find a treasure trove of information within the data which can help them manage their current employees better.

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