How To Design an Exit Interview Template in 7 Easy Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 9, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When staff members leave a company, whether it's because they're retiring, they've found a new opportunity elsewhere, or another business has poached them, it's common practice to conduct an exit interview with them. For those working in human resources, it's often their responsibility to design interview templates to make the process easier. Understanding the fundamental steps in creating an interview template is key to creating one that has all the necessary components for getting constructive information. In this article, we describe how to design an exit interview template, and provide an example of a template.

How to design an exit interview template

Creating an exit interview template that gathers useful information is simple when you know the basic steps to construct one. Here are seven steps you can follow to design an exit interview template:

1. Gather the basic information

To start your interview template, the first step is to gather the necessary basic information regarding the employee and their role. Collecting these details can help to identify which departments, managers, employees, or workplace elements can benefit from improvement. Include fields for the following information at the top of your form:

  • employee name

  • position

  • department

  • direct supervisor or manager

  • amount of time at the company

  • location, if applicable

2. Ask for honesty

The most effective type of helpful feedback is typically honest feedback. If the interviewee feels they can only respond with positive answers, it may be challenging to identify areas of improvement. That's why it's vital to convey certain points to the staff member before they complete their exit interview form. Here are some tips that could help motivate honesty in your interviewee's answers:

  • describe the purpose of the form

  • express the need for honesty

  • explain that the feedback is anonymous and confidential

It's vital to let the leaving staff member know about the chain of communication. In many cases, the feedback they provide goes through a digital program, which may yield more honest answers. These computer systems compile anonymous feedback from all exiting employees within a given timeframe. When possible, reassure the interviewee that supervisors can receive feedback as statistics to make them more comfortable being honest.

Related: HR Interview Questions: Preparing for Your Interview

3. Assess the training and onboarding experience

Effective training for staff around processes, systems, and equipment is vital for enabling new and existing staff to excel in their roles. When hosting exit interviews, it's vital to assess the onboarding and training process to work toward increasing productivity for current and future employees. You can benefit from learning if employees feel that their job description was clear and whether their training was impactful.

When this is the case, the company is in a better position to yield high retention rates. Similarly, finding out what resources were beneficial to the employee can also help the company focus on developing those assets. These might include HR resources, information databases, or training guides that helped staff during the onboarding process.

4. Evaluate workplace culture and climate

Workplace or organizational culture is a factor that affects a team member's overall job satisfaction. Understanding what the experience is like for employees in particular roles can help to adapt elements of the company to improve them. The following questions can help build an understanding of each department's culture and climate:

  • Did you feel supported in your role?

  • Were there enough opportunities to make friends at work?

  • Did you look forward to coming in to work?

  • Did you feel comfortable expressing opinions or ask questions?

  • Did you feel welcome in your department?

5. Ask about the employee's decision to leave

There can be many reasons for an employee to leave that are outside of the company's control. For instance, they may want to relocate, or decide to pursue a role in a different industry. When employees leave for reasons that relate to their employment at the company, gathering feedback can help to improve the business. The following questions can identify areas for improvement in the organization:

  • Is your reason for leaving personal?

  • Did your salary accurately reflect the work you did?

  • Did you feel recognized in your contribution to the company?

  • Did you ever feel safe or uncomfortable in the workplace?

  • Do you have another job to go to? If so, how does that opportunity suit your needs better?

Related: Top Interview Skills for an Efficient Interview Process

6. Find communication gaps

If you can confirm that an employee's reasons for leaving are not due to extenuating life circumstances, there's likely an opportunity to make an improvement in the business. Whether their motivation for leaving was that they weren't feeling challenged or they didn't feel that they had job security, it's vital to establish if they weren't able to communicate their concerns. Ask whether they voiced their concerns to either their manager or the human resources department.

If they did express their concerns, try to find out why nobody took sufficient action to rectify the situation. If they didn't bring the issue to a supervisor, find out why they didn't feel they were able to do so. These answers can be highly useful for identifying and resolving communication problems in the workplace.

7. Ask for personal opinions

Regardless of the facts behind their decision to leave, the employee's opinion matters too, as other staff may share those viewpoints. Make sure to ask for their opinion on how they think departments can improve. Ask if the management team could have done anything differently to influence their decision to leave or stay.

You may also ask if the staff member might consider coming back to the organization in the future. If circumstances were different, they may not have considered leaving and knowing what those circumstances are is key to learning from an exit interview. You may even consider including a section at the very end for any further notes or thoughts they may have that they weren't able to express by answering your questions.

Related: How to Interview Someone

Example template for an exit interview

When designing your next exit interview template, you can use the example below as a guide:

Confidential employee exit feedback form

Basic information

Employee name:
Position:
Department:
Direct supervisor:
Dates employed:
Office location:

The purpose of this exit interview

This exit interview is intended to provide constructive feedback to improve the company, teams, and employee experience. Please answer each question honestly to help us identify areas we can improve on as a business. All exit interviews answers are anonymous and confidential, and your name will not be shared. All parts of this interview except for part 2 of the final section and the last question will be shared in the form of charts and statistics with your supervisor, averaged with the feedback of other exiting employees.

Preparedness

Help us understand how prepared you felt to complete your assigned duties proficiently. Review the following questions and rate your experience on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest level:

  1. Was the job description you received comprehensive and accurate for your role?

  2. Were the number of training courses and resources you received sufficient?

  3. Was the training you received impactful in understanding your role?

  4. Did you feel like you had all the tools and equipment needed for your role?

  5. Was someone available to you as a resource or guide through your career journey?

Culture and community

The following are YES or NO answers. Feel free to elaborate in the space provided to help us better understand your experience:

  1. Were there enough opportunities to make friendly connections at work?

  2. Was there a safe way to express questions or concerns?

  3. Did your salary accurately reflect your work and job title?

  4. Did you enjoy coming in to work on most days?

  5. Did you at any time feel unsafe or uncomfortable at work?

  6. Did you feel welcome in your team or department?

  7. Did you feel supported in your role?

  8. Do you feel that the company recognized your contribution sufficiently?

Reason for departure

Part 1: What led to your departure from the company? Please check all that apply:

  • Work duties were hard to manage

  • Personal reasons

  • Work duties were not challenging

  • Insufficient salary

  • Negative relationship with supervisor

  • Job offer elsewhere

  • Length of commute

  • Relocating for reasons unrelated to work

  • Lack of connectedness

  • Lack of work-life balance

  • Lack of promotion or advancement

  • Negative relationship with a peer or team member

Part 2: Please read the following questions and respond with as much detail as possible:

  1. What is your primary reason for leaving this role?

  2. Is there anything that the business may have done to avoid your departure?

  3. If you had concerns about the role, did you ever communicate them with HR or your supervisor?

  4. If you did communicate a concern, who did you talk to and what was the outcome?

  5. Would you consider returning to the company in the future?

How else could the company improve?

Thank you for your time. We appreciate your contribution to making our company an even better place to work. If you have any further opinions, concerns, or questions, please state them below in the space provided.

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