Stay Interview Questions To Ask Employees (Plus Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 28, 2022 | Published February 22, 2021

Updated March 28, 2022

Published February 22, 2021

Stay interviews are an opportunity for a company to ensure their staff remains happy by allowing employees to express themselves and their opinions about working at the company. A stay interview gives you an opportunity to share any concerns you have and explain to your employer how they can make your time at the company more enjoyable. By providing strong answers at your stay interview, you can help your company make positive changes. In this article, we discuss the most common questions at a stay interview and provide sample answers.

General stay interview questions

When holding a stay interview, your employer may elect to ask you some general work questions to get a better understanding of your overall approach to your career. Common general questions asked at a stay interview include:

  1. What is your dream job?

  2. What do you think about during your commute to work?

  3. What do you think about during your commute home from work?

  4. What is most important to you when determining if a day was a success or not?

  5. What is your preferred method of receiving feedback?

  6. Do you prefer working in a team or individually?

  7. Given the choice, would you prefer to work on-location or remotely?

  8. What is your preferred work structure?

  9. How important is it that you regularly change the challenges you face in your professional life?

  10. If you won the lottery and no longer needed to work, what would you do?

Related: How To Make the Most of a Stay Interview

Stay interview questions about experience and background

During a stay interview, you are likely to face questions about your experience with the company to identify areas where the company can better suit you to produce stronger results. Common experience-based stay interview questions include:

  1. What do you look forward to the most when you come to work each day?

  2. What do you least look forward to when you come to work each day?

  3. Do you feel that the company effectively recognizes employees for good work?

  4. What resources do you wish were available to help with your career progression?

  5. How can we improve your experience with the company?

  6. What feedback do you feel would be helpful that you aren't currently receiving?

  7. What opportunities would you like that your current role does not provide?

  8. Are there areas where you feel the company could be more flexible to improve your experience?

  9. If you could change one thing at the company, what would it be?

  10. What would you miss the most if you left your position for a new role?

Related: 4 Steps for Answering Stay Interview Questions

In-depth stay interview questions

Some questions in a stay interview provide the opportunity for you to give an in-depth response about your working habits or preferences with the company. Common in-depth stay interview questions include:

  1. Describe your typical day of work.

  2. Tell me about a time you felt frustrated at work this year.

  3. You were promoted in the last year. What have you enjoyed most about your new job?

  4. What do you miss most from your prior position with the company?

  5. What skills and abilities do you possess that your current role is not getting the most out of?

  6. Tell me about your proudest accomplishment in your time with the company.

  7. Tell me about a time you were forced to make a difficult decision at work this year. What did you do?

  8. Describe the most challenging change that your new position with the company has presented.

  9. Do any of your coworkers stand out to you as particularly important members of the team?

  10. What do you think is the most important responsibility you have in your current position?

Stay interview questions with sample answers

When answering a question at your stay interview, it is helpful to first think about what your employer hopes to learn by asking it before crafting a response. These sample stay interview questions with answers demonstrate how to find your employer's reason for asking a question and how to use that to give an impressive response:

What are you passionate about?

One of the primary goals of a stay interview is getting to know the staff member being interviewed so that the company can better understand them. Give an honest response about your passions while incorporating how those passions relate to your professional career.

Example: "My biggest passion in life is definitely my art. I love to spend time with a fresh canvas and no preconceived plans, which lets me create artwork I truly enjoy. One of the biggest perks of working here as a graphic designer is that I get to spend my days using my creativity to create beautiful graphics and eye-catching layouts."

Is it more important to you that your job is challenging or that you can excel in your position?

In order to get the most out of staff, an employer needs to know what motivates an employee. When answering, be sure to acknowledge the value of excelling beyond your comfort level while emphasizing what you are more comfortable with.

Example: "I enjoy being in a position where my skills and experience allow me to flourish and provide the high standard of performance that I hold myself to. I think it should be everyone's goal in their job to first master their current role. Once you are excelling, it is also important to phase in additional responsibilities or roles that allow you to grow and expand your skills."

How often would you receive formal reviews from a supervisor if it was your decision to make?

The review process is an integral part of employee retention and employee development. Different employees have different preferences for oversight and review, so this question gives you an opportunity to show you appreciate the value of a review and to explain your preferred schedule.

Example: "I think performance reviews are critical to professional success, as they allow me to work toward a clearly defined goal. It's reassuring to know that the work I am doing is in line with your expectations and that I receive positive feedback when I meet or exceed the expectations laid out in those reviews. In my ideal performance review structure, I would receive an annual review that covers a full assessment of my work the prior year, along with smaller quarterly check-ins where we can discuss potential changes to my role or targets that would make me even more effective."

Related: What To Say in a Performance Review

Where does the company feature in your long-term plans?

An employer who is holding stay interviews is likely attempting to keep their most valued staff members. One of the most important things for a company to see is that its staff is committed to the company for the long term. When giving your answer, make sure to include what you enjoy most about working for your company.

Example: "I definitely see this company as my long-term future if I had my choice. I really enjoy my work here and believe in the company and the work we are doing. I also feel that I am regularly given new challenges so that my work here never feels stale. Every month is a new and improved challenge from the month before it, and I appreciate how that pushes me to keep growing professionally to compensate."

Do you feel like the company is providing you with opportunities for career advancement?

Promotion from within is one of the most effective ways to maintain consistency within a company and fill positions at minimal cost. This question is an opportunity to reflect honestly on whether you feel your employer appreciates your work and if you think you have a fair opportunity to move up within the organization.

Example: "Although I have felt that my direct supervisors have always appreciated my work, opportunities for advancement is one area that I have felt like the company could do more to reward that work. I consistently meet and exceed my quarterly targets, and I feel that I would benefit from a clearer understanding of what else the company would like to see from me for consideration for a promotion to a management role."

Have you been able to find a healthy work-life balance in your time with the company?

Employee happiness is a key component of maintaining high morale and keeping valued staff members. If you feel that expectations at your job are impacting your happiness outside of work, this is the opportunity to address those concerns while maintaining a formal and professional approach that acknowledges your commitment to hard work within normal working hours.

Example: "I think that the company does an excellent job of maintaining a fair level of expectations for a healthy work-life balance and was receptive to my prior concerns. Earlier this year, I had found that expectations were placed on me outside of normal business hours that I felt exceeded my comfort level. However, after having a conversation with my supervisor, we found a system that allowed me to maintain the separation of working hours and relaxing hours while still meeting all of my performance targets."

Tell me about a time you went above and beyond your usual responsibilities.

A stay interview is an opportunity for your employer to get a better understanding of how you and your coworkers behave in different situations. This question gives you the chance to talk about a particular achievement you are proud of, which can help you leave a strong impression on the interviewer.

Example: "While working on a marketing pitch for Smithfield Pharmaceuticals last quarter, my supervisor assigned me the task of creating three different mockups for a two-page magazine advertisement. My work on the project was more efficient than expected, and I was able to create an additional mockup prior to the pitch meeting. The clients loved the fourth option I made. It was ultimately the winning selection for the campaign, and it resulted in an extremely satisfied client."

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