Do I have to attend an exit interview?

Friday December 04 2020
By Moses Ssesanga

Dear Moses,
I have been working with a multi-national company. I got another job and notified them. I even went on with orienting the person that must fill my role. But then, I was notified of a leaving interview with the Human Resource department. I have never heard of these before, what is the significance of such an interview? Doreen

Dear  Doreen,
What you have been invited for is called an Exit Interview. The purpose of the Human Resource exit interview is to assess the overall experience you had in the organization and also identify opportunities to improve engagement of the remaining employees. The greater goal for the company however, is to retain its valued employees.

The HR interviewer would also want to find out from you the real reasons for your exit. This is because it’s now easy for you to speak with honesty and forthrightness about the company you are leaving. 

 In addition, the interviewer may seek to understand how well your job was structured and if you had the appropriate tools to succeed or, had the opportunity to learn and grow, what you liked most about your job and the company and how you feel about your supervisor and the other bosses and colleagues you have been working with. 

 In addition, exit interviews or questionnaires provide the HR Dept with benchmark data with comparator organisations, where the company is losing its talent. From these interviews, the HR gets to learn the best talent attraction and retention practices in the job market.

Exit interviews or questionnaires are also aimed at treating departing employees with respect and gratitude. As the HR, you would want the departing employee to become your company’s ambassador and also remain a customer for your brands. 


 What should also be borne in mind is that the exiting employee may seek to return, having realised that the grass wasn’t actually very green the other side.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out about your former employers, many companies don’t conduct interviews or exit questionnaires. Some, which do collect exit interview data don’t analyze or even use it. It’s important to note that exit interview data is a treasure trove for retention strategies of any organisation.

Moses Ssesanga,
Head of Human Resource, 
NMG Uganda