For Employers: Stay Interview Questions

There’s the job interview, aimed at finding the best person for a position, and the exit interview, a chance to pretend to learn from a departing employee what is good or bad about the organization.

And now, there’s the stay interview. As proposed by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans in their book “Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye Talent Loss,” the stay interview is a conversation between a manager and a valued employee aimed at keeping that employee in the fold.

Kaye and Jordan-Evans offer the most common two-part question that might arise in such an encounter — “What will keep you here?” What might entice you away?” — but they add a few of their own that can help a manager learn about an individual employee and an organization, and give that good employee a morale boost.

“What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?” It’s an unexpected question about job satisfaction that typically elicits fascinating responses.

“What makes you hit the snooze button?” This is a safe way to ask an employee about what could cause job dissatisfaction.

“If you were to win the lottery and resign, what would you miss the most about your job?” This can be helpful for knowing who wants what.

“What do you want to learn this year?” This can unearth ideas for enriching a job.

“Does work give you back as much as it takes out of you?” A manager might want to think about his/her own answer to this question first.