You know how when you leave a job, there is frequently an exit interview to ask you a bunch of questions?

At least that’s what I hear.

When I left the corporate world, I didn’t actually have any exit interview questions asked of me.

And when people would leave my department, and I’d ask HR for any feedback on things we should be aware of to improve or address in the department, I never got any feedback.

Ever. In nearly fifteen years of having people work for me.

Despite my lack of experience with seeing anything come from exit interview questions, the IDEA of an exit interview seems worthwhile.

The value of it got me thinking the other day about creating a self-administered personal exit interview for 2012. With the end of the year approaching, wouldn’t it be an opportune time to ask yourself some probing questions about what worked and didn’t in the year we are about to exit?

4 Exit Interview Questions for this Year

One approach would be to use the Plus-Minus-Interesting-Recommendation (or PMIR) format we use for strategic thinking events. The PMIR approach (borrowed originally from Edward de Bono via Chuck Dymer, with the addition of the R from a former co-worker) would have you list out as many things as you can think of for the past year that were:

  • Plusses – things that worked well
  • Minuses – things that didn’t work
  • Interestings – surprises, unexpected events, and random occurrences that had an impact
  • Recommendations – things you should bring forward or avoid in 2013

The PMIR approach is great for doing a general brain dump at the end of the year and recalling what you should pay attention to as the current year exits and gives way to the next year.

Another 9 Personal Exit Interview Questions

If you want your personal exit interview to be more probing and focus on specific areas to learn from and consider for 2013, here are another 9 questions to further push your personal strategic thinking:

  1. What are the most significant skills I developed this year, and were they significant enough?
  2. Who were the most impactful people I added to my ACTIVE personal network this year?
  3. Who were the most impactful people I added to my social media network, and which ones will I be meeting in real life this coming year?
  4. What was the most life-changing assistance I offered to someone else this year?
  5. In what ways did I scare myself through taking on risk or uncertainty this year?
  6. What are the five most important accomplishments I achieved this year, and have I already added them to my resume and LinkedIn profile?
  7. What personal relationships did I strengthen this year?
  8. Where did I grow spiritually this year?
  9. In what ways am I ending the year better prepared to deal with uncertain conditions?

Will you be conducting a personal exit interview this year?

- Mike Brown


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