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18 Best Stay Interview Questions and How to Answer

Cover image for 18 Best Stay Interview Questions and How to Answer

This post highlights the benefits of stay interview questions for employees and employers and explores why increasing numbers of workers leave their jobs for greener pastures.

In 2021, the term “the great resignation” became a workplace heuristic that dominated space in the media, and for a good reason. Forty-eight million employees resigned in 2021, and 55% of USA employees intend to find a new job.

In addition, millennials and Generation Z workers are the most dissatisfied and are considering quitting their jobs. Moreover, globally, 46% of the workforce is planning to relocate.


The Costs of the Great Resignation

For employers, low levels of retention are costly. According to HR experts, Centrichr, the replacement cost is around 6-9 months of an employee’s salary, representing 16% for low to average-paying jobs and up to 213% for executive positions. In addition, there’s the added disruption of downtime for onboarding new employees.

As companies struggle to maintain engagement and retention levels, more organisations are deploying stay interview questions to discover what motivates employees to stay in a job and help to secure the best talent in the Web3 space.

The stay interview questions are unlike new candidate interviews when applying for a job. The overriding purpose is to help prevent an organisation’s most valued employees from leaving the company.

Whether you’re a manager looking for questions to ask in a stay interview or an employee that wants to prepare answers to stay interview questions, here’s what you need to know.

What Are Stay Interviews?

A stay interview is a meeting between an employee and a manager. The purpose of the meeting is to have an open discussion about how an employee views the working environment and how a company can improve it to help increase retention rates.

With so many professionals resigning, stay interviews have become more of a necessity. Asking the right stay interview questions helps a manager gather the information to help deploy positive changes and remove potential roadblocks in the employee workplace experience.

Stay interviews are less formal than job interviews and are more of a one-to-one conversation that an interview. The objective is to encourage open discussion from an employee, putting them at ease to speak about negative aspects of the workplace.

The interviewing manager must remain detached and refrain from becoming defensive, or it will make it more challenging for an employee to report truthfully without fear of consequences.

What Are the Benefits of Stay Interview Questions for Employees?

Stay interview questions allow employees to discuss the issues and challenges they experience in the workplace. For example, they could struggle in a toxic work environment or be exposed to bullying, discrimination, or exclusivity.

During the meeting, employees can discuss negative feedback, with the opportunity to outline potential solutions that could improve a situation. The primary purpose of the meeting is to identify challenges to present to the organisation.

A stay interview isn’t an opportunity to bad mouth the company or employees for the sake of it. Nor should a manager be hostile or defensive if an employee says something disagreeable. Primarily, the meeting is a constructive, fact-finding exercise.

In addition, an organisation needs to find out what it is doing right. So, the stay interview questions can focus on the positive aspects of the workplace, asking employees what they enjoy about their jobs and not concentrating only on the negative.

The Top 18 Stay Interview Questions and Answers

Every company may have variations of stay interview questions, depending on the organisation and job role. However, it’s best to focus on situational questions relating to the job and the work environment.

As an employer, the answers to the stay interview questions can help you implement changes in the workplace, including the essentials of a job role. As an employee, you get the chance to tell the company what would make your job more enjoyable and help encourage you and future employees to remain with the company.

The below list is a few examples of sample stay interview questions: –

Q1: What do You Like and Dislike About Your Job?

The question relates to employee motivation, discovering what you appreciate about your job and what might cause you to look for a new job. It’s essential to be honest and objective with your answer.

You may find it challenging to be honest about concerns about your job, but the company needs to hear about what might influence losing their best staff. State the issues objectively and how it affects your productivity or enjoyment of your work.

Example answer [Q1]:

“I enjoy having the chance to use my coding skills daily. However, I have additional coding language skills that I don’t get much chance to use. I like that my manager gives me autonomy in my workflow. He is very approachable, and I enjoy his monthly feedback sessions as it keeps me on track.”

“Things that I dislike are the lack of prompt communication for resources. I’m often held up for 24-48 hours waiting for a response. As a result, I spend significant time twiddling my fingers or starting another project, which can be disruptive.”

Q2: If You Could Change One Thing About Your Job, What Would It Be?

Your answer should be objective and measurable. For example, asking for a coffee machine in the office might not be pertinent to the question.

Example Answer [Q2]

“When Sophie left last month, I took on the extra work. At first, I didn’t mind, but after accepting my next project, I found it challenging to cope with the demands. I want the extra responsibility, but getting extra help would make my job more manageable.”

“Another thing I find challenging is the number of weekly meetings. Last week I attended five meetings lasting an hour, and my input wasn’t necessary. Losing five hours disrupted my workflow, making it hard to get back into the swing.”

“Ideally, I think it would help if management determined that attendees were limited to relevant participants. Meeting notes could be sent by email, so others stay in the loop without disrupting the workflow.”

Q3: If You Could Improve One Thing About The Company, What Would It Be?

This question presents the opportunity to highlight issues that might cause you to seek alternative employment. Keep your answers on point and relevant to workplace practices or environment.

Example Answer [Q3]

“I would like the chance to work from home a few times a week, but the company doesn’t offer remote working. The train journey five times a week is sometimes troublesome when there are strikes or bad weather. During these issues, it would be great to work remotely.”

Q4: Do You Feel Valued And Appreciated By The Company?

Give an objective example of when you felt valued and appreciated and when you did not. Staff that feel appreciated and valued are more loyal and less likely to leave. Recognition and reward can go a long way towards increasing engagement levels and happier staff.

Example Answer [Q3]

“Yes, mostly. When my daughter was ill last Christmas, the company was amazing, giving me compassionate leave until she recovered. However, sometimes I feel that my work efforts aren’t always appreciated, and I would like more recognition for my hard work.”

“What I would like is just a thank you for my efforts. I’d also like more recognition that I am ambitious and want to progress with the company. I am uncertain if I am on target for transitioning to management.”

Q5: Do You Feel Supported By Your Manager And Colleagues?

This question helps the company understand whether the workplace culture supports its staff. It can highlight micromanaging issues, bullying or lack of team cohesion, all essential factors for completing projects.

Example Answer [Q5]

“Yes, Brian, my manager, is brilliant and very supportive. He does what he says he will do and is always available if I have a problem. He is one of the best managers I have worked with.”

“One concern is that recent high staff turnover has disrupted our team. New employees are onboarded quickly, and as they work remotely, we haven’t got a chance to get to know each other. Communication is occasionally slow on the project board. Subsequently, the team isn’t supporting each other as well as it could be.”

Q6: Do You Receive Regular Feedback From Your Manager? If Not, How Often Would You Like To Attend Feedback Meetings?

Regular and consistent feedback is essential for employees. It increases uncertainty if the most productive workers do not know how they are doing. Ambitious employees want to experience progress, and ongoing feedback helps them feel they are on track with their careers within the organisation.

Example Answer [Q6]

“I have been with the company nine months and haven’t received regular feedback from my manager. I don’t want to criticise him, but I’m not always certain if I am doing a good job. in my previous company, my manager gave me feedback for every project, and we had an appraisal meeting once a month. That gave me more confidence and security as an employee.”

Q7: Are There Any Obstacles That Hinder Your Productivity?

Focus on tangible obstacles, such as insufficient resources or systems, limiting software, micromanaging team leaders, or anything that hinders your job daily.

Example Answer [Q7]

“The main obstacle is the computer system and Internet, which is very slow and sometimes randomly goes down. This situation causes a lot of frustration as I have lost work occasionally and had to start a project again once the system came back up. Doing a job twice definitely slows my productivity.”

Q8: Is There Anything About Your Job That Caused You Frustration In The Last Year?

Consider your answer carefully because what might cause frustration to one person may not factor for another employee. Think about anything in the workplace that is inefficient and may cause a lack of productivity or hinder your ability to do your job.

Example Answer [Q8]

“Occasionally, the company switches project boards. I’ve had to move the teams’ projects to the new board, which is time-consuming. In addition, the team and I have had to become familiar with how the new board works, which slows down our productivity and has caused significant frustration.”

Q9: If You Left The Company Today, Is There Anything You Would Miss About Your Job?

This stay interview question lets managers discover what the company is getting right. The interviewer can determine what employees like about the company and use these details to implement improvements.

Example Answer [Q9]

“Yes. It’s the first position where I have had complete autonomy for my projects, and the company has a good range of resources that helps me do my job. In other companies, managers micromanaged my projects, and resources weren’t always available when needed.”

Q10: What Could The Company Do To Improve Your Experience Working Here?

Highlight tangibles. For example, if the workplace environment is toxic, the company needs to know because it’s one of the main reasons employees want to jump ship to another company. Ask for what you want and what would make you happier at work.

Example Answer [Q10]

“I would like to work remotely a few times a week if possible. In addition, it would help if employees were more informed of developments. Sometimes we don’t learn about changes until it’s time to navigate them. I also miss team building exercises, which my last company regularly did. It helped us get to know each other better.”

Q11: Are You Confident Of A Secure Future With The Company?

Humans dislike uncertainty, so this question is one of the most important for discovering if staff are more likely to leave. Employees enjoy feeling assured of a secure job where they can progress in their careers.

Example Answer [Q11]

“I’m not as confident as I would like. Lately, there’s been rumours of a merger or a takeover. I’m feeling uncertain of what that might mean for the workforce. Also, there have been a lot of resignations over the last few months, and management hasn’t given us any reassurance about what the future might hold.”

Q12: Would You Like To Take On More Responsibilities, Or Do You Have Too Many?

It’s not uncommon for companies to offload additional responsibilities to staff if a co-worker leaves, and employees can feel overworked and overwhelmed. Likewise, ambitious employees may seek more responsibility as a step up to progress in their careers within the organisation.

Example Answer [Q12]

“I’ve been doing my job for two years and find it easy. Although I enjoy the work, I would enjoy taking on more challenges. I want to upgrade my skills and take on extra responsibilities or, in the future, transition into team management as I love helping others and sharing my expertise.”

Q13: Is Anything About Your Job Or The Workplace Causing You Stress?

A workplace without some levels of stress is almost impossible. However, employees cannot work at their best if stress levels are high. It can lead to rising levels of sick leave and mental health issues. This stay interview question is a way for managers to identify if there are pockets of stress in the workplace that can be reduced or eliminated.

Example Answer [Q13]

“People gossip about leaving, which is unsettling and stressful. I feel the company doesn’t keep employees in the loop about upcoming changes, so we are left wondering and speculating, creating uncertainty and stress.”

“Also, many people resigned when the company stopped offering remote working after the lockdown. I returned to the office and had to take on extra responsibilities, making it harder to finish my work on time.”

“I enjoyed working from home and have found the workplace more stressful since returning to the office. I think I am more productive in my relaxed home environment.”

Q14: What Are Your Long-Term Career Aspirations?

Companies that identify and help employees reach career goals have better engagement and retention rates. Ambitious staff that cannot see career progress within an organisation will leave.

As an employee, ensure your answer is specific and attainable and ask directly if the company can help you achieve your goals.

Example Answer [Q14]

“I am a lifelong learner and ambitious. I enjoy my job but would like to move into a leadership or management role and have a team of my own. Last month, I stood in for John when he was on leave for a month, and I think I did well with overseeing the project. We hit the target date and were on budget. When he returned to work, I got great feedback from my manager, John. However, I don’t have management qualifications, and I was hoping the company may support my career aspirations with training options and job shadowing.”

Q15: Do You Feel Engaged With Your Work? If Not, Why Not?

Low engagement and retention rates are indisputable reasons employees lose interest in their jobs and look for alternative employers. There can be multiple reasons why the figures are low. Still, each organisation can determine the cause by asking employees for genuine feedback about disengagement in the workplace.

Example Answer [Q15]

“Over the last few months, I have found it more challenging to be engaged 100% with my work. Since the company decided to create an open-plan office environment, I feel constantly overseen by management, which makes me feel less trusted.”

“I enjoy my job but like to be left to get on with it. It seems like a manager checks on me several times daily, which is disrupting because it breaks my concentration.”

Q16: How Does The Workplace Culture Compare To Your Previous Company?

A healthy workplace culture is an organisation’s backbone and can improve retention and employee loyalty. Whether a company is a small start-up or a large conglomerate, assessing, monitoring and improving the workplace environment goes a long way to helping employees enjoy coming to work.

Example Answer [Q16]

“In my last company, they had relaxation areas. They installed comfortable seating in communal areas, with a drinks machine and vending machine snacks. It helped reduce my stress levels because I could occasionally take a break and recoup my energy. It also helped with getting to know others in the workplace. The environment was very relaxed, whereas here, it is a bit more stressful, and there is nowhere I can go to chill for five minutes.”

Q17: How Do You Feel About Remote And Flexible Working?

The great resignation began after employees had experienced remote working in during the first Covid-19 lockdown. Companies restructured their services so everyone could work from home, and employees decided they liked working remotely.

No longer faced with long commute times and workplace distractions, employees found it easier to gain a healthy work/life balance. When instructed to return to the office, many young employees chose alternative employment with organisations offering remote working.

Despite the challenges of setting up a workforce to work from home, remote working is here to stay.

Example Answer [Q17]

“If the home office and the infrastructure align, I think remote and flexible working is a great idea. I think it increases hiring inclusivity because those with families can apply to work here knowing they will spend less time travelling and have more time for the family without detracting from work time.”

” I would prefer to work from home, as I did with my last company. Sometimes the open-plan office noise makes it challenging to concentrate on my work.”

Q18: Do You Think The Company Is Compassionate To Employees With Personal Issues?

How a company handles personal issues like grief, mental health and stress problems can determine how employees feel about committing to staying in their jobs. One incident of a manager dealing poorly with an employee struggling with a personal issue can impact their decision to leave for a more compassionate employer.

Example Answer [Q18]

“When my dad died last year, my manager allowed me to have three days off, but it wasn’t enough. I had to help my mum organise the funeral and come to terms with my loss. I returned to work on day four but struggled to focus on my work. The company could be more compassionate to those with personal challenges and consider each employee case-by-case rather than a standard three-day window.”

Conclusion: 18 Best Stay Interview Questions and How to Answer

The interviewer may lead the stay interview questions, but it’s an opportunity for employees to ask questions relating to their experience with their jobs and the company. For example: –

  1. Does the company have a long-term plan to increase remote working/flexible working/better healthcare (or other improvements)?
  2. Will the company support my professional growth into management, and if so, how?
  3. What are the company’s plans to maintain competitive compensation rates?
  4. I want to utilise my skills on projects that would benefit the company and make me enjoy my work more. Is that possible?

We do not know what matters to employees until they tell us. Making assumptions will not help an organisation make improvements that matter to the workforce.

Every company and employee can benefit from stay interview questions. They are an excellent opportunity to receive and offer feedback that can help an organisation implement positive changes. In addition, when employees feel heard and see the changes happening, it increases their trust and confidence in the company. Ultimately, that means they are less likely to look elsewhere to progress in their careers.

If you are unhappy with your job and looking to start a new Web3 career in 2023, contact the CB Recruitment team of Web3 specialists to discuss your options.

About Author

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Jan Barley

Jan is a SEO copywriter, brand advisor, content strategist & case study specialist writing for crypto, recruitment, and SaaS companies. Jan lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Since 2020, Jan has written hundreds of SEO articles for various crypto companies including CB Recruitment & Coin Bureau.

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