SupportBiz lists 10 tips for an effective exit interview.
1. Reassure the employee.
Reassure the employee leaving your employment that all information furnished by him/her during the exit interview will be kept confidential and that no records will be maintained on a permanent basis.
Make sure that you stay to this promise, as far as possible.
2. Encourage the employee to be honest.
Encourage the employee to be brutally honest during his/her exit interview.
Request him/her to sum up the major reasons for leaving you. Also, ask them to summarise their experience of working with you, including the high and low points.
3. Keep it simple.
Do not make the exit interview very complicated and difficult for the employee.
Make sure that you focus on a few specific questions that are important to you.
4. Do not get rude or personal.
Whatever be the reason for an employee leaving your firm, it is imprudent to get rude or overly personal with him/her during the exit interview.
The interviewer should be at his/her courteous and professional best during the interview, so that honest replies can be received.
5. Explain the purpose.
Explain the purpose of the exit interview to the departing employee, and make sure that they understand its significance. Only then will they be able to give their honest suggestions and comments.
Tell the departing employee that the responses given by him/her would help you in better understanding the problems faced by him/her during employment with your firm. Let him/her know that the responses would also help you in reducing labour turnover in future.
6. Ensure that the interviewer is not the employee’s immediate boss.
If you wish to get unbiased and honest responses in an exit interview, make sure that the interviewer is not the departing employee’s immediate boss.
The immediate boss conducting the interview might influence the responses of the exiting employee. Avoid this awkward situation as far as possible.
7. Make it a one-on-one discussion.
Ensure that the exit interview is a one-on-one discussion. This will help keep the employee comfortable and fearless, and help in ensuring a greater degree of honest responses.
A group interview might put the employee in a difficult situation, thus influencing his/her replies.
8. Keep it private.
Make sure that the exit interview is privately held, out of the sight and hearing of other employees or members of the management team.
This will go a long way towards ensuring the comfort level of the departing employee, and getting straightforward, honest replies.
9. Be sensitive.
Be sensitive to the needs of the employee during the exit interview.
Be open-minded and willing to understand and accept his/her reasons for quitting their job. Remember that you might be the best of employers, but every employee who leaves you has his/her own reasons.
10. Assess data collected and act on it.
Simply conducting an exit interview and forgetting about it is as good as an exit interview not conducted.
Hence, make it a point to thoroughly review the information collected during exit interviews and act on it.