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An exit interview is an ideal way for employers to get feedback about workplace experiences, and gives employees an opportunity to offer suggestions. During an exit interview for social work, the interviewer asks questions that help determine reasons the employee is leaving the agency, and identify ways in which the agency can improve to help new employees meet work expectations and goals.
Reason for Departure
Employers often want to know the reason behind a social worker's job change to determine if the company was at fault or if it was merely a personal decision. You might expect exit interview questions such as "What experiences with clients or staff encouraged you to stay with our agency this long?" or "What factors led to your decision to cease employment with our agency?" When you answer, be as honest as possible without criticizing or making negative comments that undermine your clients, work responsibilities or relationships with co-workers.
Relationship With Supervisor
An exit interview might require you to discuss your working relationship with your supervisor. The interviewer might ask, "Do you feel you had a strong professional relationship with your supervisor and explain why," or "How did your supervisor make your job easier or more difficult?" Social work supervisors are responsible for offering advice, accompanying social workers on client visits, and suggesting a range of strategies for dealing with difficult or unfamiliar situations. They are sounding boards when social workers need feedback to help them advise their clients on how to work through economic hardships, family issues and physical or mental disabilities. Determine how well your supervisor addressed these responsibilities with you so you can provide a fair evaluation if you are asked about them.
Suggestions or Improvements
Employers are often interested in ways they can improve work conditions and make transitions into the agency smooth and convenient for new employees. The interviewer might ask, "What resources were beneficial to you and are there any that you wish you had while you were here?" or "Do you have any suggestions on how we could improve this position or make the transition easier for new hires?" When asked these types of questions, it is an ideal time to offer ideas or make suggestions about the workload, job demands or shortcomings associated with the position or the agency. These questions give you the chance to vent any frustrations in a professional manner.
The employer might feel bad about your departure and try to uncover reasons for your unhappiness or dissatisfaction with your current role as a social worker for her agency. According to Michigan State University School of Social Work, the employer might ask, "Is there anything we could have done to keep you at this job?" or "Were there any internal factors, such as burnout, case load, job stress or pay that influenced your decision to leave?" As the interviewee, you determine how much information you want to disclose.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.