40 Best Stay Interview Questions to Ask

40 Best Stay Interview Questions to Ask
Last Updated: September 4, 2023

Stay Interview questions: What are stay interviews?

Stay interviews are a tool used by organizations to understand why employees stay with them. Vignesh (2012) suggests that stay interviews can help organizations gather hard facts about what keeps employees engaged and committed and help them proactively address employee turnover and retention issues. Freel (2023) describes a Stay Interview (SI) toolkit developed by a workgroup to empower leadership to retain high-quality staff by engaging employees in open and responsive conversations about motivations to stay in their current roles. Levoy (2012) notes that stay interviews can help understand employees' concerns while on the job rather than after they have left.

Stay interviews are discussions between management and an employee to learn why the person remains to work for the company. These meetings are typically held with high-performing employees whose skill set benefits the organization.

Stay interviews are designed to collect useful feedback from your employees and use that knowledge to enhance employee experience and engagement within an organization.

Related: Stay Interviews: A guide to conducting them

Stay Interview Questions: Reasons for Conducting Stay Interviews


Enhancing employee retention

When the appropriate questions are asked, a stay interview can provide invaluable insight into what individuals enjoy most about working for your company - and what should be improved.

According to AIHR, Assume that 7 out of 10 interviewees believe they do not receive adequate appreciation for their efforts. Implementing a modest employee or peer recognition program may be sufficient to address this issue, raise employee engagement, and, as a result, improve staff retention.

Obtaining useful employee feedback

Even the best managers may be unaware of why their people enjoy their jobs. Perhaps a prior employee in their position enjoyed the challenging projects that came with the job. You won't know unless you ask, and stay interviews are an excellent method to do just that.

Increasing employee engagement and satisfaction

According to AIHR, Stay interviews can be an effective approach for increasing engagement. They enable you to uncover pain spots and opportunities for improvement before they become causes for individuals to choose better pastures.

However, for the 'stay interview engagement technique' to function, two conditions must be met:

For the team members to be honest about what doesn't work for them, the manager and team members must have a trustworthy relationship. The manager must act on the feedback gathered during stay interviews and make necessary changes. Failure to address these concerns can result in team members becoming disconnected rather than engaged.

Create Trust

According to Terryberry, Stay interviews can also help you and your staff create trust. When stay interviews are handled properly, trust is an unavoidable result. Conducting stay interviews shows employees that you value them. Implementing their suggestions demonstrates your care for their progress and success. It is not enough to chat during these interviews; sensible improvements must be made to gain trust. If unable to implement recommended adjustments, follow up and explain why to avoid losing employee trust.

Related: The Importance of Building Trust in the Workplace

Stay Interview Questions: How to conduct a Stay Interview

Focus on two-way communication: For stay interviews to be fruitful, there must be a culture of openness and two-way communication between management and employees. A strict hierarchy can inhibit honest feedback. Only after two-way communication is ingrained within the company culture will stay interviews succeed in gathering useful feedback.

Choose a comfortable location: Like with exit interviews, comfort is important to encourage employees to share openly. Ask the employee where they would prefer to hold the interview - whether in a nearby coffee shop or taking a walk - and be flexible to adapt to their preference as much as possible.

Adjust the time appropriately: According to Built-in, Stay interviews can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what needs to be covered. Unlike exit interviews with pre-set questions, stay interviews should be customized to each employee's situation. Take as much time as needed to understand the factors driving the employee's satisfaction and pain points, which will vary from person to person.

40 Best Stay Interview Questions to Ask

Stay Interview Questions: 40 Best Stay Interview Questions to Ask

Stay Interview Questions about Motivation and Satisfaction

These stay interview questions gauge employees' motivation and satisfaction with their current work. Understanding motivation and satisfaction levels is key to determining why employees stay.

  1. What motivates you at work?
  2. How satisfied are you with your work responsibilities?
  3. How satisfied are you with your progress and opportunities for growth?
  4. Do you feel your job makes good use of your strengths and skills?
  5. When you arrive for work each day, what aspect of your job brings you the most anticipation?
  6. Is there any task or responsibility associated with your role that you dislike completing? If so, what is it?
  7. How recently was the last time you considered transitioning to a different position outside this organization?
  8. What factors led you to think about changing roles at that time?
  9. What kind of change to your current work situation would motivate you to seek other job opportunities?
  10. Would you feel comfortable referring family members or close friends seeking employment to this organization as a potential place to work? Please explain.
  11. Do you find satisfaction and purpose in the work you do every day within your role?
  12. What aspects of your job or this company keep you engaged and interested in continuing your employment here?

Stay Interview Questions about the Job and Work Environment

These stay interview questions focus on assessing employees' perceptions of the work environment, including resources, responsibilities, compensation, and work-life balance.

13. What do you like most about your job and working here?
14. Do you have the necessary materials and equipment to do your job well?
15. Are your job responsibilities clearly defined?
16. What could be improved to make your job/work life better?
17. How satisfied are you with your salary and benefits package?
18. How are work/life balance and flexibility prioritized at your         company?

Stay Interview questions about Management and Feedback.

These stay interview questions examine employee relationships with managers and the availability of feedback and two-way communication. Management and feedback are crucial factors for retention.

19. How satisfied are you with your relationship with your manager?
20. What could your manager do to help you be more successful?
21. Do you regularly have opportunities to provide input and feedback?
22. Are feedback and two-way communication encouraged in your team?

Stay Interview questions about Growth and Development

These stay interview questions explore employees' desires and opportunities for skills development, career growth, and taking on new responsibilities. Companies that offer growth paths see higher retention.

23. What skills or experience do you still want to develop? How can we help?
24. Do you have any roles you could grow into within the company?
25. What projects/responsibilities would you most like to take on next?

​Stay Interview questions about the Company's Culture

These stay interview questions gauge employees' perceptions of and alignment with company culture and values. A strong culture that employees identify with improves retention.

26. What do you like most/least about company culture and values?
27. What are some of the biggest frustrations or headaches you experience?
28. How well do you understand the organization's goals and initiatives?

Stay interview questions about Ideas and Improvements

The stay interview questions seek to uncover any policies, procedures, or aspects of employees' roles that could be improved. They elicit new ideas and suggestions for initiatives to increase employee satisfaction and longevity.

29. What else could we do to increase your likelihood of staying longer term?
30. Are there any policies or procedures that hinder your work?
31. If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change about your job?
32. How can your team/department work better together?
33. Are there any new initiatives you think the company should implement?

General Stay Interview Questions

34. What is your ideal job?
35. What do you think about on the way to and from work?
36. What factors are most important to you in deciding whether or not a workday was successful?
37. What is your favourite way of giving feedback?
38. Do you prefer working in groups or alone?
39. Would you rather work in an office or from home if given the option?
40. What is your ideal work schedule?


Stay interviews provide a valuable opportunity to identify issues that may lead employees to leave and changes that could improve employee motivation, satisfaction, and retention. By asking focused questions about the work environment, growth opportunities, management practices, and culture fit, stay interviews allow employees to provide honest feedback and suggestions that can drive meaningful improvements when implemented.

Logical Zivurawa
Logical Zivurawa is a Business Analytics Consultant with expertise in data analysis, visualization, and predictive modeling. Proficient in Python, SAS, Power BI, and SQL, Logical develops analytics solutions that drive data-driven decision-making and enhance profitability. With a strong understanding of business processes and client engagement, Logical effectively advances analytics strategies. Holding a BCom in Actuarial Science and an MSc in Big Data Analytics, Logical is passionate about continuous learning and staying updated on the latest advancements in data science and machine learning. Logical also writes articles on analytics topics, sharing insights and expertise. This commitment to rigorous analysis and effective communication makes Logical an invaluable asset in promoting data-driven decision-making within any organization.

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