It’s normal for employees to leave a job and a company. Some of the most common reasons include the company’s work culture, changes in the management, workload, rewards and location. 

It could also be due to factors not entirely related to the company like the employee wants to choose another career path, or they’re relocating. Sometimes it can be a combination of those mentioned. 

Whatever the reason is, most companies conduct an exit interview to gain some insight from the resigning employee on what’s doing well and what needs to be improved. In fact, a study shows that 63% of employers found exit interviews to be useful to both professionals and the organisation itself. 

Now, when managing an exit interview, there are a few things to ask and remember to gain valuable insight from the employee and ensure a positive closure. 

  • Let the Employee Answer a Written Survey

Before scheduling the face-to-face interview, it’s a good idea to let the employee answer a survey beforehand. That way, both the employee and employers will know what questions and answers to expect during the interview proper. 

This also allows the employee to actually think about what they would like to say. Plus, written surveys can be more comfortable for employees, especially if they still hesitate to share negative feedback. 

  • Ask the Basics

As obvious as this one is, it’s a reminder to keep it professional and proper when conducting an exit interview. Ask the employee common questions like why they are deciding to quit; their relationship with their team, the management, and the company itself; if they feel that their roles matched the job description they applied for or were promoted for. 

As simple as these questions are, it helps set the exit interview’s tone and keeps you as an interviewer from feeling biased. 

  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask and Hear the Negatives.

Remember that the purpose of the exit interview is to know the company’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Don’t be afraid to hear any negative feedback that the employee may have towards their team, superiors, management, or company. Instead, take note of these so that you can further assist with the management of what you can do to address those points of improvement. 

  • Listen Clearly

It’s easy to make assumptions and get lost in your own translation of what the employee shares. Hence, it’s necessary to listen actively to really understand what they’re saying. This will show the employee that you value what they’re saying and that the organisation itself cares. 

  • Don’t Address Workplace Gossip.

Some employees may share office gossip or slander their colleagues and state it as a reason for their resignation. When that happens, it’s best to let the employee know that while you are listening to them, you do not have an opinion and will not engage. Remember, this will only add fuel to the fire. 

  • Don’t Give Opinions. 

Like we mentioned earlier, it’s best not to give any opinions. Keep in mind that this exit interview is meant for the employee and for them to feel comfortable and open. 

  • Encourage Them to Stay in Touch

Though they will eventually be no longer part of the company, it’s ideal not to burn bridges, especially if they’re not a bad employee. Instead, encourage them to stay in touch. You’ll never know when they might actually be interested in returning to the company (if allowed) or potential collaborations that can also benefit the organisation.


An employee resignation is a bittersweet ending, and an exit interview will help determine and achieve a proper closure. So keep these tips in mind when conducting an interview with a leaving employee. 

Got any questions or additional tips for conducting exit interviews? Start the conversation with the best IT recruitment consultants in Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane by emailing or calling 1300 544 652.