Employee Retention

5 exit interview questions you should definitely ask in 2024

Around three quarters of businesses conduct exit interviews when employees leave. So businesses see the benefit of them, but are they asking the right exit interview questions?

In a study of over 17,000 exit interviews, 63% of ex-employees rated their former employer as excellent or very good. And 66% rated their former supervisor the same.

It seems fewer people will talk about the negatives and why employees leave, though. Just 7.6% of companies share the most common reasons employees quit. 

Without sharing these statistics, it’s impossible to learn from what could be a common problem. Employees get no backup and businesses with bad practices and cultures never learn.

So how do you get the most out of an exit interview? And what are the best exit interview questions to ask?

How to make employees feel comfortable in an exit interview

I’ve spoken to friends before who dislike exit interviews and don’t bother with them because they’re concerned about burning bridges. Particularly in industries like tech, where it can feel like everyone knows everyone else.

So it’s important to make employees feel comfortable answering exit interview questions. This is especially true when some answers could be sensitive. For instance, if they felt excluded by their team or didn’t get along with their manager.

Explain the benefits of exit interviews

Your employee is already leaving. So why would they care about your exit interview questions?

An exit interview can be part of their legacy at the company, helping improve the company culture, supporting their colleagues, and improving work-life for the person who replaces them. 

So while there are no direct benefits of an exit interview to an employee, they get the warm fuzzies that come from helping people they’ve spent several months or years working with.

One of my legacies at an old job was getting a manager their own office so that they could work in a quieter environment.

Keep it anonymous or only include HR

Allowing employees the chance to answer exit interview questions anonymously may help them feel more comfortable. That way, they can answer challenging questions and reduce any concerns they might have about burning bridges.

Alternatively, if you want to do the interview in person, keep direct supervisors out of it. 

Unless employees get on really well with their supervisors, they’re less likely to be honest about why they’re leaving. 

If it’s just HR or even an external consultant, employees can share their feedback without worrying about a bad reference or no reference from their line manager.

You could even ask employees whom they’d prefer to have ask the exit interview questions.

Exit interview questions to ask in 2024

So, what exit interview questions should you ask?

Why are you leaving?

This is obvious, but it’s one of the most important exit interview questions to include because it can tell you a lot. It helps you spot patterns in everything from leadership style to employee pay.

For example, if several people from the same team leave within a short time frame, is there something going on within that team that warrants an investigation so that you don’t lose more team members?

Or if a lot of employees leave for a pay raise, are you paying below the market rate? Is there budget to change this and retain more employees?

Hiring and training new employees is expensive, after all. You might save money by giving existing employees a raise instead.

Is there anything we could have done to retain you?

There are many reasons employees choose to leave their roles. Asking exit interview questions such as whether there’s something you could’ve done differently to get them to stay is another way to help you look for patterns.

An employee might be more willing to put up with a high workload if they’re paid more, feel valued, or are offered more training, for example.

Or, on the flip side, their workload might not be mentally stimulating enough, and they might be stressed at work because they’re bored.

What do you think of your manager?

For employees to be honest about this one, they have to trust you.

As I mentioned before, some may not want to risk burning bridges in case they come back one day, or work in a close-knit industry. So they may gloss over the answer or insist that everything is fine.

But for managers and companies to truly improve and get the best out of their employees, they need feedback.

If they’re not sure how to explain, you could ask follow-up exit interview questions like:

  • Did you feel like your manager supported you?
  • What was your manager’s feedback style like?

How did you get along with your team?

We spend more time with our colleagues during the week than our loved ones, so it’s important that we get along with them. Or at least treat each other with mutual respect, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye.

Asking employees exit interview questions about how they really felt about the rest of their team allows them to mention any colleagues they thought were particularly helpful or hindering when it came to them doing their roles.

How can we improve the company culture?

A company’s culture can make a difference to how inclusive it is, how employees feel doing their daily activities, if new hires decide to stay, and how long people stay for.

No business has a perfect company culture.

And it’s important to remember that a positive company culture requires active work. 

If you’re not working on your company culture, it can become outdated or forgotten, leading to employees also feeling forgotten. 

And since they’re the key to business success, tapping into what they need is vital.


Conducting exit interviews can tell you a lot about your company culture, employees’ workloads, and how your business compares to the rest of your industry.

To get the most out of them, you need to make sure you ask the right exit interview questions. These will give you quantifiable answers that you can analyze and learn from, highlighting things that are detrimental to your business and its long-term health.

Want better data even before an employee leaves? Workrowd can help. Our all-in-one tool suite ensures you always have your finger on the pulse of what’s improving your employee experience, and what could use a bit more work.

Sound interesting? Visit us online to learn more, or send us a note at to schedule time to discuss.

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