1. What is an exit interview?
  2. How to answer exit interview questions
    1. Be sure of what you want to speak of
    2. Approach with caution
    3. Secure your reference in advance
    4. Avoid venting out
  3. Exit interview questions with sample answers
    1. Could you tell us the reason for leaving the job?
    2. How was your relationship with your Boss/ Manager?
    3. What did you like / dislike the most about your job here?
    4. Do you have any proud moments to share with us during your time here?
    5. Did you receive proper training with us?
    6. Is there something we could have done to retain you?
  4. Interview tips

We all know about the different type of interviews and have also read up on most asked interview questions of each category.

But have you wondered about an exit interview? And what are exit interview questions and how do you answer them?

Don’t worry, we have you covered.

In this blog, we will talk about everything regarding exit interview questions and also provide interview tips.

Let’s begin.

What is an exit interview?

Much like the other type of interviews, an exit interview is also conducted by the recruiter/ HR to gauge why an employee is willing to move on to another company.

As much as the HR would want to retain an employee, asking exit interview questions help them understand the factors within the company that requires fixing to improve their employee retention level.

However, unlike other most asked interview questions, exit interview questions can be unnerving and are tricky to answer.

One thing you would not want to do while leaving is to end on a sour note.

How to answer exit interview questions

More often than not we tend to take exit interview questions lightly and answer rather rashly.

But what we don’t realize are the repercussions left on our image as an employee.

So, here are a few factors to consider while answering exit interview questions if you want your image of a good employee to remain untarnished.

Be sure of what you want to speak of

There can be various reasons for which an employee decides to leave an organization.

So, the best thing to do is to pinpoint the factors you want to speak of instead of scrambling all over while answering exit interview questions.

Think about why you are switching your job, is it because of a bad job/ boss? Is it because you are not feeling challenged enough? Or, Is it because you can't fit into the company culture?

Think through the points you would want to cover and practice it well. Doing so will help you to stay on track while answering exit interview questions.

Also, practicing your answers beforehand will prevent you from an emotional meltdown at the time of the interview.

Approach with caution

As much as you want to rant about all the factors that have led you to this decision, you need to tread the path with caution.

No matter what the reason, HRs would not appreciate an employee bad-mouthing their organizations to anyone.

So, be very careful about what you say while tackling exit interview questions as it can have a greater impact on your career ahead.

Try to answer diplomatically even when stating negative facts for leaving the job.

The simple reason being, the HR might want to recruit you back sometime later under some other boss/manager.

So, saying anything obnoxious might hamper your chance of working with them again.

Secure your reference in advance

Every organization asks for a list of references from your previous organizations for cross-checking.

In which case, it is best to ask for references from your colleagues and boss/manager at least 2 weeks before your exit interview.

Although rare, this can help you avoid sticky situations later on where your references could be withheld.

Avoid venting out

Remember that an exit interview is similar to the other type of interviews and should be given equal importance.

So, just like how during a job interview you cannot bad mouth your organization.

Similarly, the same protocol must be followed while answering exit interview questions.

An exit interview also demands the utmost professionalism.

The most popular exit interview questions asked can look the most innocent but if not answered correctly can turn into a disaster.

Hence, while answering exit interview questions, answer in a professional and diplomatic tone, and avoid letting your emotions get the better of you.

Exit interview questions with sample answers

Now that we know how to answer exit interview questions, here are a few most asked interview questions during an exit interview.

Could you tell us the reason for leaving the job?

This happens to be the most asked interview question during an exit interview.

When the HR asks for a reason for leaving the job, it is to get clarity on your reason for leaving the job.

So, don’t hesitate in stating the truth. But remember to be professional and avoid sounding accusatory.

Here’s how you can answer such exit interview questions.

“To be honest, working here was a great experience.

However, I felt that my talent was not being utilized to the best and after a point, the works that were given to me did not even feel challenging enough.

This led to mundane work life and I did not want to get comfortable with it as I have a lot to learn and I believe facing challenges is the best way I can grow in my career.”

How was your relationship with your Boss/ Manager?

When your HR asks this exit interview question, he/she majorly want to know about your boss/ manager’s managerial capabilities and communication skills.

So, focus your answer mainly on the facts whether his/ her managerial skills encouraged you to do great work, or did it make you catch a fever at the thought of coming to work.

Tip: State only what YOU have faced first-hand.

Here’s how you can answer such most asked interview questions.

“Mr. X is a man who has great knowledge about the field of work and it was a great experience to see him work and work under his guidance.

However, there used to be communication issues that hampered productivity leading to discord on and off.

But despite all of it, I appreciate my time and the learnings I received from Mr.X.”

What did you like / dislike the most about your job here?

As straightforward as these exit interview questions might be, you still need to be practiced and prepared while answering.

Being one of the most asked interview questions, HRs want to understand your everyday routine at work that you used to look forward to or what you were dreading.

Was it some task which you felt was unnecessary? Did you feel you were not being guided properly? Or, was it those unnecessary meetings that ate into your work time? Answer it honestly and based on facts.

Also, remember to back up your answers with proper justifications so that HR does not consider you as a lazy employee who refuses to take anything seriously.

You can take inspiration from this sample answer.

“The two things I liked most about my job was the weekly catch-ups.

Also, the fact that I could approach my manager with any problem or seek for his / her expert opinion on a project to help improve without going through a long process of fixing a meeting et al.”

Or,

“The one thing that I disliked about this job was I was assigned tasks in which I had no expertise and I also had no supervisor who could guide me in it.

More so, after working on it for a month or two the entire project was scrapped off resulting in a waste of work hours and nullifying all the effort.”

Do you have any proud moments to share with us during your time here?

Not all exit interview questions are complicated to answer.

One of such most asked interview questions is about the proud moments of an employee while working in their organization.

After all, HRs would want to leverage the positive aspects of their organization to attract future employees.

So, feel free to answer these exit interview questions with great positivity and enthusiasm.

“There were quite a few moments while working here that I am proud of.

However, the one moment I am really proud of is when our team managed to achieve and cross the Half-Yearly sales target despite a few road bumps.

Despite the pressure to meet targets, the team had each other’s back at all times which led us to victory.

Hence this particular moment is one of my most proud moments while working here.”

Did you receive proper training with us?

Employers want their employees to feel well equipped when they begin working at their organization.

Being one of the most asked interview questions, you can answer such exit interview questions freely.

“The first week of joining is crucial for a new joinee as it is a completely new environment with new people and responsibilities.

The best thing that a company can do to help an employee during that time is to provide proper guidance like a Buddy program.

This helps the new joinee to get well accustomed to the new work environment and methods.

You could think of doing something similar for future employees.”

Is there something we could have done to retain you?

Being one of the most asked interview questions, this question is asked in a rather candid manner.

Your answer will act as feedback to your Hrs and employee which will benefit the future employees.

However, avoid being unnecessarily sarcastic, harsh, or negative. You can answer such candid exit interview questions like this,

“I have had a great journey while working in this organization.

I was really excited about the awaiting opportunities when I first came and to date, I have had a great experience of learning.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the opportunities and experiences.

I must now move on to look for new opportunities, challenges, and learnings. Thank you .”

Interview tips

Summing it up when answering exit interview questions, these following interview tips must be kept in mind.

  • Be thankful and kind
  • Avoid citing accusations
  • Answer with respect
  • State only the facts
  • Answer in a positive tone

To conclude, give equal importance to exit interview questions as compared to other type of interviews.

Also, practice these most asked interview questions and follow the interview tips to help get over exit interviews like a pro.

Hope this helps!

All the best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers