How to conduct a successful Exit Interview ?

Exit interviews are opportunities to find out the reason for why an employee is leaving a particular job. A properly conducted exit interview tells the company much more than why the individual is leaving the job. It gives the organization feedback on a range of issues from compensation plans to the general atmosphere. The information collected during the process of exit interview should be used to make positive changes in the company. The employee who is leaving should be made comfortable and the entire exercise should be a cordial one for both the employee and the HR person who conducts it.

Before an exit interview is conducted it is necessary that sufficient homework is done before. An overall assessment of the employee’s contribution such as the major responsibilities handled and the initiatives taken should be taken. It may be necessary to consult the employee’s immediate superior and his colleagues on this. Based on this the HR manager who usually conducts the interview can prepare a list of questions to be asked.

Experts recommend that the employee also be given time to prepare for the exit interview. There are chances for the employee to use the exit interview as an outlet to voice allegations and complaints about their superiors, coworkers and the organization in general. Giving time for the employee to prepare himself may help him to focus on giving constructive feedback and may reduce the chance of negative statements. A form with a few questions on the employee’s experience in the organization and his complaints would be ideal.

The interview should be conducted in a calm environment where there are no distractions and disturbances. The interview should always be conducted by a HR person who is experienced. It should ideally be conducted by a senior person whose experience and age is more than the employee. The employee should be made comfortable with a few questions that are general and easy to answer. The candidate should be asked about his experience and perception of the organization. Some employees may be hesitant about making complaints if they are related to senior people in the organizations. While, others may think that negative feedback may affect their references in future employment. Experts recommend that a form be sent to the employees after about six months after they have left.

In additions to finding about the feedback of the employee who is leaving, the exit interview is also a place to find about the attributes required for the person who is going to replace the employee. A careful observation of the employee and his ideas would enable the interviewer to understand the qualities necessary for a replacement.

And lastly, if the person who is leaving is an efficient employee who has made contributions to the company and whose absence will be a loss, remind the person leaving that they are welcome again.

The date collected from the interview should be evaluated in an unbiased manner and the feedback should be conveyed to the relevant personnel for constructive improvement in the organizational processes.