Many employers are facing more exit interviews than they would like as employees decide to leave. To help them to mitigate the risk of needing to go through offboarding processes or engage with outplacement services, many are conducting stay interviews.
What is a stay interview?
Over the last two years, employees have been switching jobs, changing careers and looking for ways to make their jobs work for them. It’s resulted in what many are calling the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle. The job market is tight and many employees are looking to avoid finding replacements so they can keep costs down.
This is where the stay interview comes in. Much like a job interview or an exit interview, stay interviews are a chance for employers to sit down with their employees to hear their perspective.
A stay interview, however, is conducted during someone’s time with an organisation. It’s a chance to check in, to understand their motivations for staying with an organisation and find out how they want their career to progress.
What can you expect from a stay interview?
By far, an employer’s biggest motivation for conducting a stay interview is to understand what is keeping their best and brightest employees in their organisation and to preempt any risk of them leaving. If you are walking into a stay interview, you can expect to be asked questions that reveal more about your experience, motivations and more.
To be ready for a stay interview, consider these things. You might be asked questions similar to:
- What do you enjoy about coming to work each day?
- How do you feel about the impact of your work – are you proud of the work you do?
- Is there anything you want to do more or less of at work?
- What is your plan for the future (thing short term and long term)?
- If you could change anything about the way the organisation operates, what would it be?
The questions asked in your stay interview may differ, but you can be sure of the motivations behind the question, so be sure to consider your motivations for staying, what you want to see more of in the organisation and how you can use this interview to your advantage.
Make the most of your stay interview
For employees, a stay interview is an opportunity. Interviews can be daunting but unlike job interviews or exit interviews where you can feel as though you’re in the hot seat and without much power, stay interviews give you an opportunity to exercise the power you do have as one of the organisation’s best and brightest.
Shape your role:
Being honest in your stay interview, sharing what you think would improve your role and what you want from it in the future can help your employer to make changes to the role to suit you better. Whether it’s working remotely or opportunities for progression, a stay interview can give you the opportunity to shape your role.
Make a move:
You might be content within the organisation, but keeping your eye out for a role change. Stay interviews can be a great opportunity to be honest about how you’re feeling and make it clear that you would like to move upwards or even laterally to another department.
Your organisation wants to retain you if possible. If money is a reason you might be considering leaving, your stay interview is a great opportunity to be honest about this and negotiate a pay rise. In many cases, it’s cheaper for your employer to grant you this than to try and replace you.
Stay interviews are good news – when they’re done correctly
If a stay interview is on the cards for you in the near future, consider the following three things:
- You are being recognised as a valuable team member. Employers aren’t conducting stay interviews for employees who aren’t driving success for the organisation. Take this recognition on board.
- Where possible, stay interviews should be conducted by a third-party. It’s easier to be honest and forthcoming with information when this is the case. If this isn’t the case for your stay interview, consider suggesting it to your manager if you are in a position to do so. More honesty in stay interviews leads to better insights and better retention.
- The value of stay interviews lies in how an organisation implements your feedback moving forward. Be sure to monitor how your employers make changes based on your insights and be aware of any organisation that doesn’t act.
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