Exit interviews are common when someone is leaving a job. And usually, the onus is on the employer to ask the questions. If you’re taking a new job offer, they may want to know why you’re leaving, or what they could have done to keep you around. If you’re being let go, they’ll want to make sure you know everything about the package you’re receiving, and your legal options.
Rarely do people talk about the questions you should ask in your exit interview. Here are eight that can provide invaluable answers.
1. Will my feedback be anonymous?
If you have some important issues to get off your chest, this is a very important question to ask beforehand. You don’t want to tear into an awful boss or coworker, only to find out that it has gotten back to them. You may even want to consider if it’s worth the risk at all; if you work in similar fields, your paths may cross again in the future.
Despite this, you may feel a moral obligation to tell HR all about the problems that certain coworkers caused, for the sake of the people who are left behind. If you must spill the beans, ask this question before you say anything negative or controversial about anyone. You may even want to write something down that can go on record — minus your name, of course.
2. What did I do well during my time here?
You can phrase this question however you feel most comfortable, but what you’re looking for here is feedback on your strengths. What did you do that made a difference to the company? Were you a rock star at certain things? Were you highly prized in areas you didn’t even consider?
All of this can be great information to take with you to your next job. You may have thought that speaking up in meetings about potential issues with a project was a cause for grief. But it turns out that people really valued you asking those “Devil’s Advocate” questions, as it helped with the development of otherwise unconsidered issues. This kind of feedback can really bolster your performance in your next position.
3. Do I have the option to come back here one day?
It may seem like an odd question to ask — after all, you’re probably leaving the company for very good reason. However, “boomerang” employees can be common in some industries, especially if you’re leaving to relocate out of state and may one day return. If you’re leaving on good terms, this probably won’t be an issue. If you’re leaving because things went sour with certain people, it may be tricky to return until they, too, have left. If you’re being laid off, you should be given the option to apply…