12 questions to ask during a stay interview illustration

12 Questions to Ask During a Stay Interview

You interview someone before hiring them, and you interview someone when they leave your company. But, have you ever thought about interviewing someone while they’re still with your company? Interviewing someone while they still work for you is called a stay interview or retention interview.

Stay interviews are one-on-one interviews between an employee and you (or their immediate supervisor) to encourage your employee to keep wanting to work for you. They go hand-in-hand with employee satisfaction surveys, but help you figure out what’s going on at an individual level (instead of a company-wide level).

Why Should I Conduct a Stay Interview?

Before we get into the how, let’s handle the why because you might be thinking, “I already have so much to do! How am I going to have time to interview my own employees?”

There are four strong reasons why you should consider doing stay interviews:

  • You’ll be able to identify any potential problems before they become big problems (the kind that cause people to quit). 
  • Stay interviews can help you boost employee retention and engagement.
  • It’s easier and cheaper to keep an employee than hire a new one, so you’ll want to find out how you can keep your employees.
  • You’ll learn how best to motivate your employees. Each employee has their own motivations and goals, and you won’t know what those are if you don’t ask.

How Should I Conduct a Stay Interview?

Try to hold stay interviews once a year and try to hold all of them within a few weeks of each other. By holding all the interviews around the same time, you’ll be able to notice any patterns and be able to put any necessary action plans into place quickly.

When it’s time to start your stay interviews, don’t just pull employees into your office. Instead, schedule the interviews in advance so your employees take them seriously and can prepare for them.

At the beginning of the actual interview, tell each employee that their opinions and views are important. Then, tell them that you just want to learn more about why they like working for the company. That way, your employees know that you’ll actually do something with what they tell you, and they’ll be comfortable enough to tell you the truth.

12 Questions to Ask During a Stay Interview?

  • Can you tell me what you would need in order to do the best work of your life?
  • Have you felt frustrated or anxious about your current job position in the past year? What contributed to those feelings?
  • Why do you look forward to coming to work every day?
  • Why do you dread coming to work?
  • What kind of recognition do you want to receive that you’re not currently receiving?
  • What professional growth opportunities would you like to have that go beyond your current position?
  • What kind of flexibility do you need to help you have a healthier work-life balance?
  • What skills or interests do you have that the company isn’t using?
  • What do you consider your greatest accomplishment during your time at this company?
  • What’s your dream job?
  • Do you feel like your job helps the company achieve its goals? Why or why not?
  • Do you feel productive at work? What would you change to feel more productive?