Browse Definitions:
Definition

exit interview

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

An exit interview is a wrap-up meeting between management representatives and someone who is leaving an organization, either voluntarily or through termination. 

Exit interviews are common in business, education and government environments. The purpose of the interview is to gather useful feedback that can help guide future practices and improve recruiting and retention.  

In a corporate environment, exit interviews are usually conducted by human resources (HR) personnel. Alternatively, depending on the size of the company and other factors, interviews may be conducted by management or outsourced to an HR service provider. 

The interview may be conducted in person, over the phone, through chat or email, or in an online survey. In general, interactive methods are considered more useful than surveys because they allow interviewers to respond to the employee and develop follow-up questions that can yield more in-depth information. 

The specific questions asked in an exit interview vary for terminated employees and those leaving voluntarily. For an employee leaving voluntarily, the most important question is "Why?" If they repeatedly hear particular reasons for leaving, the business may be motivated to review practices, pay scales and benefits, among other things. 

Whether an employee quits or is fired, it may be profitable to ask what they liked most about the job and what they liked least. If a number of employees mention problems working with a particular manager, for example, that is an issue that should be explored. When an employee is fired for inadequate performance, it can be useful to ask if they believe business practices or other corporate issues contributed to the problem. 

The exit interview is also an opportunity to provide the employee with information about any benefits and pay yet to be disbursed and any agreements in force between the business and the employee. 

Although exit interviews are often company policy, they should always be voluntary. 

This was last updated in September 2013

Continue Reading About exit interview

Join the conversation

5 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I have had a few jobs over the years due to companies relocating, going bankrupt or downsizing. I have yet to have an exit interview. I have been told on leaving one job after giving my 2 weeks notice, to just go clean out my desk. Due to security, they did not me working on the system any longer. I can see that. One other position I left due to issues with the manager. Over the years I have had no less than a dozen employment agencies call me and ask if I want to work for this company. I ask "is the DP manager still the same?", they say "yes", I say "no thank you". When they ask why , I'd explain. They say they hear that a lot about this manager, and it's a tough position to fill, yet as far as I know he is still there. If they only conducted an exit interview they may know they have an issue.

Cancel
I thin of exit interviews much in the same way I think of once-yearly performance reviews. The fact that they need to exist can be a sign of organizational dysfunction. 

In the care of performance reviews; if that employee doesn't have a good understanding of their standing in the organization well before that point, something in management is terribly wrong. 

Similarly, if you are not discovering reasons your employees are leaving till an exit interview on their last day, something is probably up with how that person was being managed. 

These are usually sock-puppet management tools only paying lip service to the actual problems employees and the organization as a whole are experiencing. 
Cancel
Exit interviews are in most cases a formality. They can be helpful or they can be just another piece of paper kept in a file for compliance purposes. 

Sometimes people leave jobs just because they get an option closer to home, or with different pay and benefits that suit them better. In other cases, there is a chance to highlight dysfunction or other issues in a constructive and helpful way.
Cancel
Exit interviews are just a part of the separation process. Not sure how many companies might be actually taking the feedback seriously.
Cancel
As many originally good ideas this one too often becomes just a ceremony. I, however, witnesses situations where the feedback taken from exit interviews triggered some staff decisions.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close