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Three things you should NEVER ask James when conducting his exit interviews

by , 18 September 2014
An exit interview is an interview you have with an employee, let's call him James, who's resigned from your company.

These interviews are great because they allow you to identify underlying organisational issues and facilitate the process of developing solutions to address them. The end result: Low employee turnover and an increase in productivity.

While the questions you ask during an exit interview must be as soul-searching as possible, you mustn't go overboard. There are questions you must stay away from when you conduct exit interviews, otherwise, you'll miss out on the benefits.

Here are the three things you shouldn't ask when you conduct exit interviews

According to insperity.com, while it's important to be on alert for harassment or discrimination complaints or just bad management, you don't want to fuel the fire.

The site says you must never ask about the following:

  1. Don't ask targeted questions about specific people or issues. The last thing you want is to feed office gossip.
  1. Don't ask about personal issues.
  1. Don't ask the departing employee to stay. According to the site, 'this is somewhat controversial, but some HR experts say you shouldn't attempt to convince the employee to change his mind.' Perhaps the reason for this is if the employee decides to stay, his heart may not be fully into your company.

Now that you know what not to ask, keep this in mind when it comes to exit interviews.

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Exit interviews must relate to all aspects of the situation, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management

This means, you must structure your interviews in a way that they include questions about:
  • The organisation;
  • Management;
  • Working conditions and hours;
  • The position itself;
  • The supervisor or manager;
  • Career opportunities and progression;
  • Training;
  • Benefits and compensation; and
  • The departing employee's future direction.

Knowing what not to ask when you conduct exit interviews will help ensure you don't cross the boundary in the pursuit of honest feedback.

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