Conducting Exit Interviews

Conducting Exit Interviews (downloadable pdf) from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Includes a list of questions and considerations for managers to ask departing employees.


During the Exit Interview

  • explain the nonprofit’s reference policy;
  • remind the departing employee about the importance of keeping sensitive client or agency information confidential (and the confidentiality agreement he/she signed as a condition of employment);
  • collect keys, building access cards, company credit cards or phone cards, and company equipment (laptops, wireless phones, pagers);
  • test that passwords on record give access to password­protected data;
  • gauge the employee’s emotional reaction to departure; and
  • ask if the employee has witnessed or experienced discrimination, harassment or other illegal conduct.

The Interviewer Should

  • pose open-­ended questions about the employee’s work experience;
  • probe for the employee’s view about management issues (fairness, sensitivity to concerns, racism, sexism, fair compensation); and
  • place a summary of the interview and copies of any document shown or discussed with the employee during the interview into the employee’s personnel file.

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