How To Answer Exit Interview Questions

When you make the decision to finally leave your current job for greener pastures, don’t be surprised if your employer requests that you answer exit interview questions. Exit interview questions help your employer understand your reasons for leaving. Employers use former employees’ answers to exit interview questions to make changes within the company in the hopes of preventing the loss of other workers. 

  1. Be honest.  Unless you plan to return to the company at some point in the future, its unlikely that your answers to your employer’s exit interview questions will do you any good. You may, however, be able to help create a better work environment for the employees who choose to stay. So if you’re leaving due to low pay, better benefits elsewhere or unreasonable management-say so!
  2. Demonstrate a professional attitude. No matter how irate you may be at the company or the people who work there, if you want high ranking company members to take your answers to the exit interview questions seriously, be professional about it. Don’t raise your voice, swear or levy personal attacks against other employees. 
  3. Provide only the information you are comfortable disclosing. Remember, you don’t work there anymore. If the exit interview questions make you uncomfortable, you can politely decline to continue the interview or ask to skip certain questions entirely. Answering exit interview questions is the polite thing to do, but no former employer can force you to disclose information you aren’t comfortable discussing. 
  4. Offer suggestions. You obviously have a good reason for seeking employment elsewhere. If, however, you have suggestions that could improve the work environment for the employees that remain, don’t hesitate to offer them. Your former bosses may just take your suggestions to heart. 
  5. Compliment the company. The last thing you want to do when answering exit interview questions is to burn bridges. Not only do you want a glowing letter of recommendation from your current employer, but you never know when circumstances beyond your control may result in a need to reapply with the company. 
  6. Consider any new offers that arise.  Some employees are surprised to find that one of their exit interview questions is a genuine plea from their bosses for them to remain on the job. Consider what it would take to make you decline your new job offer and stay where you are. If you’d be willing to stay employed with the company for higher pay, shorter hours or better benefits, let your boss know. He may just be willing to oblige your requests.
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