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Resigning On Good Terms: 6 Common Exit Interview Questions

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Jun. 3 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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If it’s time for you to move on to a new opportunity, you may have a chance to share feedback with your current employer. Companies will often ask some common exit interview questions to get an idea of your experience working with the company. Your interview could happen in person, on the phone, virtually, or through a form. 

Businesses use the feedback to assess employee satisfaction, company culture, and management efficiency. Exit interviews are also used to gauge where they have room to improve. Here are six common exit interview questions to expect and tips on responding.

1. What did you like most about working here?

Remember, employers conduct exit interviews to gain constructive feedback on the role that can be utilized as a selling point for future employees. That said, take the time to share what aspects of the job you enjoyed.

Example Response:I worked on incredible projects with talented people. I also sharpened my skillset, adding more to my toolbelt.

2. Why did you decide to leave the company?

Although leaving a job is a standard practice, it’s important for your employer to know why you decided to part ways with the company. After all, if the work culture was an issue or you didn’t feel valued, the company would want to re-evaluate the situation to prevent the same result in the future.

Example Response: While I’ve learned a lot working here, I decided it’s time to explore other options. I want to expand my skills and take my career to the next level.

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3. What did you think of the way you were managed?

If your boss is not your direct report, sometimes, it’s easy for them to get an incorrect assessment of your work performance. This question is a great opportunity for you to share your experience working under your manager. Share your thoughts about their managerial skills, but make sure to keep it professional.

Example Response: Given the large amount of responsibility managers have, there is room for improvement. I felt like my capabilities weren’t wholly recognized, and as a result, I’ve been at a professional standstill.

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4. What factors do you consider when choosing a new employer?

Again, this is another question employers use to get a sense of what they may be missing that has caused them to lose employees. Don’t be afraid to share what exactly you’re looking for in a company.

Example Response: I’m looking for companies that nurture employees and promote from within. In addition, I’m seeking a great benefits package and support for a good work-life balance.

5. What would make this a better place to work?

At this point, you should see the trend of the exit interview. Although prospective employees compete for a role, companies are also in competition for the best candidates. With that in mind, share your grievances about your experience with the role and provide meaningful feedback that the company can actually use.

Example Response: While the work and the team were wonderful overall, the training process could use a boost. I didn’t always have training for common roadblocks or resources at hand to do my job well.

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6. Would you recommend this company to others seeking employment?

From your former employer’s standpoint, you are the best person to ask about recommendations for other candidates. Your answer will help your employer assess if they can rely on your network for future talent.

Example Response: I’d recommend this company for employment if someone had experience in a specific role and was used to some circumstances.

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Considering how you’ll answer these questions will prepare you to leave your job on good terms, per Harvard Business Review. It’s an opportunity to practice balancing the truth, keeping things professional, and not dwelling on the negative. Remember that it’s often not what you say but how you say it that carries a point across. Make sure it’s the point you intend to relay. Your interviewer doesn’t need to know your personal information. Only share what you’re comfortable sharing regarding your next moves.

Per Psychology Today, no matter why you’re leaving your job, you’ll have feelings about things changing, even if they’re changes you want. We spend so much time working that it’s natural to form a relationship with the routine and people you work with. Answering these common exit interview questions may also help you to process your time at the company, giving you closure. Let your work experiences inspire you in your next job. By reflecting on your professional life, you’ll encourage yourself to keep reaching for growth. As a result, you’ll achieve more of the day-to-day life you desire.

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By: Wanda Duncan

Wanda Duncan is a multipotentialite entrepreneur and travel and wellness writer. She’s slow traveled since 2010 through Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa and Central America. Find her work in Fodor’s Travel, Her Agenda, The Black Wall Street Times, Love B. Scott, and WeTravel. Wanda is the founder of Black Women Travel and won the Women in Travel Summit 2023 Bessie Awards Social Impact Award and was nominated for the 2021 Trailblazer Award. Connect with Wanda through her website WarmlyWanda.com.

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