The stay interview differs from an exit interview because, in a stay interview, you ask current employees why they continue to work for your organization. It allows you, the employer to address issues and/or concerns while the employee is still with your organization. At the exit interview, it’s because he or she is leaving to the organization to pursue something else.

  1. What do you like about your job?
  2. Can you tell me about a good day of work you had recently?
  3. Do you feel you’re being used to your full potential in this job?
  4. If you won $25 million in the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
  5. Is there something new in particular you want to learn this year?
  6. Do you feel you are appropriately recognized for your contributions?
  7. Do you have the right resources to perform successfully?
  8. Do you feel like you’re in the know when it comes to company information or departmental changes?
  9. Can you describe a recent frustrating experience or day on the job?
  10. Do you feel as though you are treated with trust and respect in your position?
  11. On a scale of 1 – 10, how satisfied are you with your job? What would it take to make you the next higher number?
  12. What are the favorite parts of your job?
  13. What is it about your job that brings you energy?
  14. Which projects this year have you been most proud of? Why?
  15. What elements of your job do you find draining (or less interesting)?
  16. If you could change one part of your current role, what would it be?
  17. I’ve noticed that you tend to get stuck or frustrated when ____ happens. Have you noticed the same thing? What’s causing the frustration?
  18. If you could do anything for a living, what would it be? How can we bring a few of those “dream job” elements into your current role?
  19. What do you envision as the next step for you career-wise?
  20. How can we reconfigure your current role to help you grow your skills?
  21. How can I help you on your professional development path? What should I start/stop/continue doing?
  22. What feedback do you have for me in the way that I interact with you?
  23. Can you think of anything we could do to simplify things around here?
  24. The last time you went home and said, “I had a great day, I love my job,” what had happened that day?
  25. The last time you went home and said, “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore,” what had happened that day?
  26. If you switched careers, what would you miss the most?
  27. What do you like most about your team?
  28. What demotivates you most about working on your team?
  29. What is really different at this company that makes you proud to be an employee?
  30. What demotivates you most about working for the company?
  31. What did you love in your last position or company that you’re not doing now?
  32. If you could afford to retire tomorrow, what would you miss most about your job?
  33. Can you think of any kind of advanced training or course you would like to take that would make you more productive?
  34. Are you challenged in your day-to-day work?
  35. What is most energizing about your work?
  36. How could we more fully utilize your talents and capabilities?
  37. What, if anything, is holding you back from being more effective?
  38. What can we do to make your job more satisfying?
  39. What can we do to support your career goals?
  40. What keeps you here?
  41. What might cause you to consider leaving the organization?
  42. What would be the one thing that, if it changed in your current role, would make you consider moving on?
  43. If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department or company?
  44. What was the best job you ever had and why?
  45. In what areas would you most like to learn and grow?
  46. What are your career goals? (short-term and long-term)
  47. Out of what we have discussed today, what are the top 2 to 3 priorities of focus for you?
  48. What knowledge and support will you need to help achieve your development goals?
  49. What can I do as your manager to help you meet these development goals?
  50. What would you say is your biggest complaint or criticism of me?
  51. What are some things you are working on that you are not being recognized for?
  52. In what ways do you not feel open to communicate with me and what do I do to cause this?
  53. Tell me specifically what factors cause you to enjoy your current job and work situation.
  54. If you have ever been asked by a close friend or have been contacted by an external recruiter, can you tell me what reasons you gave them for wanting to stay at our firm?
  55. Do you feel that you are currently doing “the best work of your life?”
  56. Can you list for me the factors that could contribute to you doing the best work of your life?
  57. Do you feel that your work makes a difference in the company and that externally it has a noticeable impact on customers and the world?
  58. Do you also feel that your coworkers think that you make a difference?
  59. Do you feel “fully utilized” in your current role?
  60. Do your colleagues and teammates listen to you and do they value your ideas, inputs, and decisions? How can that area be improved?
  61. If you “managed yourself,” what would you do differently (in relation to managing “you”), that I, as your current manager, don’t currently do?
  62. Can you make a list of the elements or motivation factors in your current role that you like best and that you would like “more of? What factors would you miss most if you transferred you to a completely different job?
  63. What things do you really miss from your last job?
  64. Can you also make a list of the less-desirable elements or frustrations in your current role that you would like to do “less of?”
  65. Are there any frustration factors that keep you up at night, that enter your mind while driving to work, or that cause you to dread having to come to work at all?
  66. If you were given the opportunity to redesign your current role, can you make a list of the key factors that you would include in your “dream job?”
  67. Can you help me understand your career progression expectations and let us know where you would like to be in the organization two years from now?
  68. Can you highlight any recent recognition and acknowledgment that you have received that increased your commitment and loyalty? Are there actions that we can take to further recognize you?
  69. Can you highlight for me your positive experiences in the area of learning, development, and growth?
  70. And are there ways where we could increase that growth?
  71. Do you want to move into a leadership role? If so, what are your expectations, timetable and concerns?
  72. Think back to a time in the last 12 months when you have been at least slightly frustrated or anxious about your current role. Can you list for me the frustration factor or factors that most contributed to that anxiety?
  73. If you’ve had conversations with other employees who have considered leaving or who have actually left our firm, did any of the reasons that they provided for leaving cause you to at least partially nod in agreement?
  74. What are the prime factors that caused you to leave your last two jobs? Are there factors from your previous jobs that you hope you will never have to experience again at our firm?