217 Best Employee Exit Interview & Survey Questions

By: | Updated: January 30, 2023

Here is our list of helpful employee exit questions.

Employee exit interviews and surveys are questions to ask departing employees. These questions help management understand why the employees are leaving. Examples include, “what made you start looking for another job?” “did you feel appreciated at this company?” and “what did you enjoy most about this job?” The purpose of these conversations is to understand the employee experience at your business and improve the experience for remaining staff.

These questions are similar to employee engagement survey questions and interview questions. You can use these surveys to battle employee turnover and quiet quitting.


This list includes:

  • employee exit survey question examples
  • open-ended employee exit survey questions
  • employee exit survey email questions
  • employee interview questions for happy employees
  • exit interview questions for terminated employees
  • exit interview questions for disgruntled employees
  • exit interview questions for managers
  • exit survey questions for long-time employees
  • exit survey questions for new employees

Here are our best examples.

Employee exit survey question examples

Hiring new employees can be challenging. When employees leave, it is crucial to understand why they quit and what you could have done to make them stay.

  1. What made you quit this job?
  2. What pushed you to find a new job?
  3. Is there any change that we could have made to make you stay?
  4. What would you change about this company?
  5. What goals did you have while in this job?
  6. Did you get enough training for this job?
  7. Is there any responsibility you would have loved to take on?
  8. Do you feel this company stuck to its values and vision?
  9. What does this company’s culture feel like to you?
  10. What policies of ours would you most like to change?
  11. How could communication with upper management have been improved while you were here?
  12. How would you describe management’s handling of employee reviews?
  13. What did you love the most about working here?
  14. What was the least fun part of this job?
  15. What specific problems about this company would you like to discuss with us?
  16. What would you want the company to change to make you consider returning to this job?
  17. Were you ever harassed or bullied in any way in this job?
  18. What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
  19. Is there any way we can make your transition to your new job easier?
  20. What would you love to get off your chest?
  21. What policies of ours did you like the most?

The answers to these questions can reveal where you need to do better as a business owner.

Open-ended employee exit survey questions

Instead of asking rigid exit questions, open-ended employee exit survey questions allow employees to express their reasons, goals, and concerns better.

  1. Can you tell us about your experience at this company?
  2. What tools and resources did we provide for you to succeed in our organization?
  3. How was your relationship with your colleagues?
  4. How was your relationship with your manager?
  5. What did you love the most about this job?
  6. What irked you the most about this job?
  7. What issues did you feel you encountered most frequently while working?
  8. How would you rate the company’s response to problems you encountered?
  9. How do you feel we can improve the company’s culture?
  10. Can you suggest ways you feel the company can improve its policies?
  11. What inconsistencies did you notice in the job given to you vs. the job you applied for?
  12. How was the training you received to you to perform your role?
  13. What concerns do you have about our organization?
  14. What do you feel could have been done by the organization to prevent you from leaving?
  15. In what ways could your exit from this organization have been handled better?
  16. What suggestions do you have in mind about this company’s crisis management?
  17. What is your perception of this organization?
  18. What other opportunities would you have liked to gain access to during your time here?
  19. Can you comment on the company’s employee engagement?
  20. In what ways do you feel you could have been better supported during collaborations with other departments?
  21. What do you think about our appraisal system?
  22. How did the company affect your motivation to work?
  23. How can this company work to retain its employees?
  24. Looking back, can you talk about a situation you felt underappreciated? How can the company work to make the situation better?
  25. What do you think could bring you back to work in this business?
  26. What made you leave this organization?

Open-ended questions generally work better for exit interviews rather than exit surveys.

Employee exit survey email questions

If you cannot conduct an exit interview in person, then ask the employee to answer these survey questions via email. The goal remains to get insight into the employee’s decision.

  1. Can you tell us about your new job?
  2. What factors led to you leaving our organization?
  3. Is there any way we could have avoided your exit?
  4. What do you love the most about your current job?
  5. Did you get all the resources you needed to do your job successfully?
  6. Did you feel you were adequately compensated for your work?
  7. Did the company put your skills and experience to good use?
  8. Were you treated fairly by the supervisors?
  9. Did you feel you had adequate communication with your supervisors?
  10. Did you feel you got adequate recognition for your work?
  11. Did you feel valued at work?
  12. Did you feel safe at work?
  13. Were you aware of the company’s operations and strategies?
  14. Were you well informed about your rights as an employee?
  15. How realistic was the work-life balance in this role?
  16. How often did you find yourself thinking about work when off the clock?
  17. Were you satisfied with your work at this company?
  18. Is there any complaint that you would want the management to know about?
  19. On a scale of 1-10, how was your experience with management?
  20. How well do you feel management was trained?
  21. What suggestions do you have for management?
  22. Were there any policies from our organization you did not like? Name them.
  23. Do you feel any of our methods of operation are outdated?
  24. Would you describe your colleagues as your work family?
  25. On a scale of 1-10, how meaningful did you find your work at this company?

You should note that exit surveys through emails work best when there are varied options.

Employee interview questions for happy employees

Some employees are happy yet still decide to leave. In that case, you want to understand how you could have met their needs better and avoid losing more happy employees.

  1. How was your broad experience working at our organization?
  2. What were you most excited about every day at work?
  3. Who was your favorite colleague, and why?
  4. What motivated you the most in this company?
  5. Did you have all the tools and resources you needed for your work? If no, what further tools could have been provided?
  6. Did you feel your team supported you?
  7. Did you achieve all the goals you set for this job?
  8. What could we do to make your job easier?
  9. What would you change if you could change one aspect of this company?
  10. What skill of yours did management not utilize properly?
  11. Did feedback from your supervisors help you grow?
  12. Did your supervisor value your feedback?
  13. How would you describe working at this business?
  14. What was your favorite part of working here?
  15. What could we have done to make you stay?
  16. What are you most excited about in your new job?
  17. What made you happiest at work?
  18. When did you feel most connected to coworkers?
  19. Did you feel your superiors had good communication?
  20. Does the company’s management care about the team’s success?
  21. Do you feel the management of the company is transparent?
  22. Did you ever feel overworked?
  23. In your opinion, does this organization offer enough career advancement and promotions?
  24. Were your job responsibilities clearly defined?
  25. On a scale of 1-10, how happy were you at work?
  26. On a scale of 1-10, how happy do you feel your colleagues are at work?
  27. Did you feel our compensation package was fair?
  28. In what ways do you feel our company can make employees more satisfied at work?

When interviewing exiting employees, always show your gratitude for their contributions to the company.

Exit interview questions for terminated employees

How employees exit the company is just as important as how they started. It can be tempting to let a fired employee leave quietly and quickly, especially if they were unsuccessful in their role. However, exit interview questions for terminated employees can reveal how the company could have served the employee better.

  1. What could you have done differently at this job?
  2. Do you feel the management has been a fair entity?
  3. What could management have done differently?
  4. Would you ever think of returning to this organization?
  5. Did you feel like you had all the tools needed to work here?
  6. Did you consider yourself part of a work family?
  7. What was the most challenging aspect of working here?
  8. What can we do to improve the employee experience?
  9. How was your relationship with management?
  10. Did you feel management was equipped to handle your affairs?
  11. Do you feel we handle conflicts well within the company?
  12. What were your goals at this job? Did you achieve the goals?
  13. What would you do differently if you were to return to this job?
  14. How would you describe the employee culture here?
  15. Did you consider yourself friends with fellow employees?
  16. Did you feel like an integral part of this company?
  17. Did you ever feel we passed you over for promotions or perks?
  18. What was the easiest aspect of working here?
  19. What was your most memorable day at work?
  20. What would be your first course of action if you were boss for a day?
  21. Did your supervisors give you clear goals and objectives?
  22. What would you do to increase employee morale?
  23. What policies and procedures of this organization made no sense to you?
  24. What policies did you like the most?
  25. What would you choose if you were to choose any job in this company?

Keep in mind that terminated employees may be less likely to give answers to your questions. You might want to do an in-person exit interview instead of sending an email survey.

Exit interview questions for disgruntled employees

Exit interview questions for disgruntled employees can help you identify cracks in your company culture and leadership. Identifying the problem may be the key to reducing employee attrition.

  1. Do you feel management gave you the support you needed while working at this organization?
  2. What was your worst experience working for this company?
  3. What was your best experience working at this company?
  4. Did your colleagues support you while working at this organization?
  5. Can you talk about any situation or part of this job you do not like?
  6. How can we improve our employee experience?
  7. How did our company’s workplace culture impact you?
  8. Would you ever work in an organization similar to this company?
  9. Did you feel like an equal member of your team?
  10. Are there any changes you would recommend for our compensation plan?
  11. What changes or factors would make you want to return to work for this business?
  12. Did you have enough opportunities for career growth?
  13. How was managing professional and personal balance?
  14. What do you think of our workflow?
  15. What working arrangements would you have been most comfortable with at this company?
  16. How often did you have to put your work over your personal life?
  17. Did you get constructive feedback for your work?
  18. Were the goals set for you by our business realistic?
  19. How did you feel while working with your team?
  20. How would you rate your workload in comparison to other employees?
  21. What were your biggest issues with working here?
  22. Did you ever have communication problems while working with your team?
  23. What advice would you give your replacement?

For disgruntled employees, schedule the interview after their exit to give the employee some space to gather their thoughts.

Exit interview questions for manager

Replacing a manager is no easy task. But these exit interview questions can help you better retain your next manager.

  1. How was your experience managing a team at this company?
  2. Did you feel like you impacted lives at this job?
  3. What made you choose to work in this organization?
  4. What changes while working here pushed you to look for other job opportunities?
  5. Did the company give you enough support to meet KPIs?
  6. How often did you work outside company time to meet deadlines?
  7. Was your autonomy encouraged?
  8. Did you feel heard while working here?
  9. How would you describe the morale of the management team?
  10. Was our compensation plan (salary and benefits) enough for the work done?
  11. Is the compensation plan of your new job better than our company’s?
  12. How do you feel about our organization’s values, mission, and vision?
  13. Do you feel that this company’s vision has changed since you started working?
  14. What do you think about our current company brand?
  15. How can our services improve this company?
  16. Would you recommend other people to work at this organization?
  17. Can you describe your experience working at this company in three words?
  18. Did you feel that you received adequate management and leadership training?
  19. Do you feel that your higher-ups supported and backed up your decisions?
  20. Were you given enough information to keep your employees informed?
  21. Was the reasoning behind executive decisions made clear enough to make you comfortable enforcing these policies?
  22. How would you rate the change management systems within the organization?

When doing exit interviews with managers, you should include questions about the manager’s organization and supervisory roles instead of generic questions.

Exit survey questions for long-time employees

Long-time employees usually have some tips or two to leave that help the business as a whole and help you with other employees. Here are some questions to ask exiting long-time employees:

  1. What qualities would you look for if you were to hire a worker to replace you?
  2. Would you say this job made you a better person?
  3. What made you decide to re-enter the job market?
  4. Was your motivation to change jobs money-related or workplace-related?
  5. Are the benefits you get at your new job better than ours?
  6. What attracted you to your new job?
  7. While working at this organization, did you ever feel overwhelmed with work?
  8. Did you receive adequate support from management when you asked to leave?
  9. Did you get enough feedback for your work?
  10. Was the feedback you received mostly positive or negative?
  11. When you raised issues in the company, did you feel heard?
  12. How did management react to issues of unfairness?
  13. Did this organization help you map out a career path?
  14. How would you describe the workplace environment?
  15. Was collaboration entertained in this company?
  16. Did you feel the workplace was equitable and inclusive?
  17. Did you ever feel unsafe working here?
  18. Can you give us tips to improve diversity and inclusion in our workplace?
  19. Did any employee at this organization ever threaten you?
  20. Was there any worker or situation in this company that made you uncomfortable?
  21. How was employee morale in your department?
  22. What would you do to improve employee morale at this company?
  23. On a scale of 0-10, how would you rate your experience in this company?
  24. During your time with this organization, what was the best/worst/biggest change you observed?
  25. How do you feel overall about your time with the company?
  26. Would you recommend working at this company to an acquaintance?

A long-time employee leaving can hurt, but be sure to take the criticisms the employees give seriously and take action.

Exit survey questions for new employees

New employees leaving the company may be a sign of an unseen problem. Asking new employees these targeted questions can help you fix the problem and retain your next hire.

  1. What company policies were too difficult to understand?
  2. What made you start looking for a new job so quickly?
  3. What was your first impression of our company?
  4. Under different circumstances, do you see yourself returning to work at this company?
  5. How was the team you worked with at this organization?
  6. How was the onboarding process?
  7. How closely did the reality of the role align with the expectations and descriptions presented during the hiring process?
  8. Was the training given to you before you started your job adequate?
  9. Did you feel respected at this job?
  10. Did you ever feel micromanaged?
  11. Before you chose to leave, did you make your concerns known to leadership?
  12. What did you dislike most about working at this organization?
  13. Do you feel that this business is doing enough to encourage diversity?
  14. Is the employee benefits satisfactory?
  15. What is your opinion on the workflow in this business?
  16. Do you think the company gives all employees equal access to opportunities?
  17. Do you prefer remote or onsite work?
  18. What would you do differently if you could return to work for us?
  19. What would you like management to do differently?
  20. Do you feel we adequately explained the company’s policies?
  21. On a scale of 1-10, can you rate your time at this organization?

This interview may be your last chance to leave a good impression, so ensure you show empathy during the process.

Final Thoughts

Having employee exit surveys and interviews helps your business learn and improve. Generally, employees are more candid when they leave your company rather than enter. You can use this feedback to improve the employee experience. You might even be successful at saving the relationship if you can pinpoint why they want to leave. Either way, you should not ignore the answer to exit interview surveys. The action you take could save you money and time otherwise spent in filling vacated roles in the future.

Read about employee retention strategies.

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FAQ: Employee exit questions

Here is more information about employee exit questions.

What are employee exit surveys?

Employee exit surveys are surveys performed on employees leaving an organization. These surveys gather data on employees’ perceptions of the company and gather suggestions for improvement.

What is the purpose of employee exit interviews?

The purpose of employee exit interviews is to help you better understand the experience of employees in your workplace. The soon-to-be ex-worker being interviewed is typically more honest and gives a unique perspective into improving the company.

What is the difference between exit surveys and exit interviews?

The difference between exit surveys and exit interviews is that exit surveys are standardized questionnaires that gather data and dive deep into employee responses to questions about the company they are leaving. In comparison, an exit interview is a dialogue or meeting between the HR and exiting employees discussing the employee’s experience in the company. An exit survey is usually objective, faster, and not done in person, while an exit interview is subjective, slower, and is done in person.

What are good questions to ask exiting employees?

Good questions to ask exiting employees include:

  • When you raised issues in the company, did you feel heard?
  • Was our compensation plan (salary and benefits) enough for the work done?
  • Can you talk about any situation or part of this job you do not like?
  • How can we improve our employee experience?
  • How was the workplace environment?

After the exit interview, assure your employees their opinions are valued. You can even ask for permission to do a follow-up interview in the near future.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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