Exit questionnaires are sent to employees leaving due to resignation, retirement or redundancy. They will not be issued when an employee transfers internally. The questionnaire asks about reasons for leaving and staff's experience of employment at York. This enables us to understand why colleagues leave the University, monitor trends and take action when concerns are identified.

An exit interview may be offered by Human Resources should the leaver raise concerns about their employment and indicate that they wish to participate in an interview.

Whether or not an individual chooses to complete an exit questionnaire or participate in an exit interview will not affect any future references or employment prospects.


Once a manager has received notification from an employee of their intention to leave they should complete the leaver notification form, including the leaver's personal email address. When processing this notification Human Resources will email to the leaver a letter acknowledging their departure and a link to the exit questionnaire.

Exit questionnaires submitted are reviewed promptly. The relevant HR Operations team will be alerted to any feedback that may raise concerns.

When the leaver notification form is received, an exit questionnaire will be automatically sent to the employee for completion.

Exit interviews

The leaver is asked in the questionnaire whether they would be willing to participate in an exit interview. If the leaver indicates they are willing to participate in such an interview and provide their contact details, an interview may be conducted by a member of the HR Operations team.

Departments may wish to conduct their own exit interviews with staff in addition to the centrally issued exit questionnaires. This may be particularly relevant for Athena Swan submissions and monitoring.

Departments should decide who should conduct exit interviews and how these will be recorded. The questions departments may like to ask will vary and can be chosen from the list of typical exit interview questions below. Participation in exit interviews is optional and this must be made clear to those invited to an interview.


The HR Operations team will be responsible with departments for follow-up, with patterns or trends being referred to the HR Adviser for consideration and action.

List of typical exit interview questions for departments:

  1. What is your main reason for leaving the Department (and the University of York)?
  2. What were the most important factors in your decision to take up a new job? (Salary? Benefits? Something else?)
  3. Did your physical working environment (office and/or teaching spaces) contribute to your decision to leave?
  4. Were adequate resources and support provided to you in order to be able to undertake your work within the department? If not, what was missing?
  5. How did you feel about your work-life balance while working for the Department/University?
  6. Do you have any suggestions as to how work-life balance could be improved?
  7. Did the induction you receive provide you with the information you needed about your role?
  8. Were any complaints you had during your time here dealt with in an appropriate manner?
  9. How did you feel about the level of communication within your team/the Department?
  10. Do you feel that you were kept well informed about opportunities to further your career eg training within the Department?
  11. How would you describe your workload during your employment?
  12. Did you find your job challenging and rewarding? Why?
  13. Did you feel like you had clear goals and knew what was expected of you in your job?
  14. Did you receive adequate feedback about your performance?
  15. Did you have a mentor/line manager who offered career or promotion advice?
  16. What did you like most about your job?
  17. What did you like least about your job?
  18. Do you believe that you were treated as a valued member of the Department?
  19. Would you recommend the University/the Department to family or friends as a good place to work?
  20. Do you have any general suggestions about how the Department could be improved?

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  • Approved on: 30 June 2014