Stay Interview Questions

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Stay Interview Questions

Stay interviews are conducted to help managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. In an effective stay interview, managers ask standard, structured questions in a casual and conversational manner. Most stay interviews take less than half an hour.

Opening the Interview

To open the stay interview, a manager may use the following (or similar) statements:

  • I would like to talk with you about the reasons you stay with [Company Name] so I understand what I might be able to do to make this a great place to work for you.
  • I’d like to have an informal talk with you to find out how the job is going so I can do my best to support you as your manager, particularly with issues within my control.

Questions

The following are questions you may ask during a stay interview. You should have several open-ended questions on hand. It’s important to listen and gather ideas from the employee about how you and your organization can retain him or her.

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What do you like most or least about working here?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • If you could change something about your job, what would that be?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?
  • How do you like to be recognized?
  • What talents are not being used in your current role?
  • What would you like to learn here?
  • What motivates (or demotivates) you?
  • What can I do to best support you?
  • What can I do more of or less of as your manager?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Closing the Interview

To close the stay interview, summarize the key reasons the employee gave for staying or potentially leaving the organization, and work with the employee to develop a stay plan. Be sure to end on a positive note.

Examples of closing statements include:

  • Let me summarize what I heard you say about the reasons you stay at [Company Name] as well as reasons you might leave. Then, let’s develop a plan to make this a great place for you to work.
  • I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me today. I am committed to doing what I can to make this a great place for you to work.

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