Exit interviews are interviews conducted with departing employees just before they leave. From an employer's viewpoint the purpose of the exit interview is to learn reasons for the person's departure. Human resources departments conduct exit interviews (also called exit surveys) to gather data for improving working conditions and retaining employees. However, a latent purpose is to help employers avoid costly litigation caused by disgruntled employees later on. The comments and the notes that you give during your exit interview might be used against you in court, should you decide to sue your former employer.
From the departing employee's perspective, an employee exit interview is a chance to give some constructive feedback, and to leave on a positive note, with good relations and mutual respect. It is better not to blame and badmouth your boss and colleagues even if you have genuine reasons to do so. Be calm, fair, objective and as helpful as possible. In the future you may wish to return to the organization and you may cross the paths of your ex-colleagues, managers in the future. The exit interview is an opportunity to shake hands and leave friends, not enemies.
Here is a list of probable exit interview questions:
What is your primary reason for leaving?
Did anything trigger your decision to leave?
What was most satisfying about your job?
What was least satisfying about your job?
What would you change about your job?
Did your job duties turn out to be as you expected?
Did you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
Did you receive adequate support to do your job?
Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance between merit reviews?
Were you satisfied with this company's merit review process?
What would you improve to make our workplace better?
Were you happy with your pay, benefits and other incentives?
What was the quality of the supervision you received?
What could your immediate supervisor do to improve his or her management style?
Based on your experience with us, what do you think it takes to succeed at this company?
Did any company policies or procedures (or any other obstacles) make your job more difficult?
Would you consider working again for this company in the future?
How do you generally feel about this company?
What did you like most about this company?
What did you like least about this company?
Can this company do anything to encourage you to stay?
Did anyone in this company discriminate against you, harass you or cause hostile working conditions?