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Knowledge-Based Exit Interview Guide

Page history last edited by pamholloway 14 years, 10 months ago


PDF Version of the Guide



The primary focus of this guide is Exit Interviews, in particular how to capture key knowledge from employees who are about to leave the organization.   Although the focus is primarily on knowledge capture at exit, the tools and methodology are part of a larger program of knowledge capture that includes not only exit interviews, but entry interviews and expert interviews as well.

About Exit Interviews

I once heard recruiting expert Nick Corcodilos call exit interviews "The cockroaches of the HR world: No one knows why they exist, no one can justify or eliminate them, and they will likely survive into the third millennium."  Although I agree with Nick on most things, I'm not ready to give up on this one just yet. Sure, there are things we need to do to improve the process, but there's also some real potential here. What if we used the exit interview opportunity to collect not only the basic HR stuff, but also knowledge about what it takes to do the job?  Information that could be used to staff the job, improve the organization, and help incumbents and candidates.

How does a knowledge-focused exit interview differ from a traditional exit interview?

In a knowledge-focused interview, you may collect the typical HR information, but your primary focus is on knowledge -- knowledge that would be helpful to the next person in the job or to others in the organization with similar roles and responsibilities.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Essential Dos and Don'ts

  3. Preparing for the Knowledge-Based Interview

    1. What to Collect?
    2. The Best Interviewers
    3. Pre-Interview Work
  4. The Interview

    1. The environment

    2. People dynamics

    3. How to know if you collected what you need?

  5. Common exit interview questions

  6. Questions for eliciting job knowledge

    1. Typical Day-to-Day Activities

    2. Problems and Challenges

    3. Teams and Collaborative Work

    4. Resources used: People, Documents, Training

  7. Questions for Leaders and Managers

  8. Questions for capturing knowledge about a specific process

  9. Questions for gaining clarification and stimulating discussion

  10. Dealing with difficult people

  11. Integrating Staffing, Training and Knowledge Management strategies


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