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10 Stay Interview Questions: [With Sample Answers]

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Companies conduct stay interviews to understand the working environment of their workers.

Its purpose is to gain insight to help them prevent employee turnover.

That said, if you’re on schedule to sit with your manager for a stay interview, then we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll talk about common stay interview questions and how to answer them.

So, take out your notes and keep reading to learn more about the type of questions interviewers ask in a stay interview.

10 Common Stay Interview Questions

It’s important for companies to ask for the right interview queries to know the best working conditions to keep up employee satisfaction.

Questions in stay interviews are mainly about three elements: employee experience, working environment, and how to improve those.

Managers are usually the ones who supervise these kinds of interview sessions, as they’re closer to you.

They employ techniques interviewers use and guidelines for this.

Here are some examples of inquiries that your managers will ask you:

  1. What do you look forward to each day when you arrive at work?
  2. What do you love most or least about your work?
  3. Would you recommend your friends to work in our company?
  4. If I gave you the opportunity to change something about your work, what would it be?
  5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you while working here?
  6. Is there anything that can make your job more satisfying?
  7. What or where do you see yourself in five years?
  8. Do you feel appreciated and recognized for the work you do?
  9. What’s the thing that would make you consider leaving your job?
  10. As your manager, is there anything that I can do to support you?

Those are some questions that could come up during the stay interview.

They’re designed to get information about your overall experience while working with a company, similar to an exit interview.

You can also familiarize yourself with entry level interview questions and communication interview questions for other types of questions that your interviewer could throw at you.

What Should I Say in a Stay Interview?

Stay interviews are your company’s way of telling you that you matter and that they care about your job satisfaction as a worker.

With that in mind, you can use it to inform the interviewer (normally the manager) about the good and bad points of your working situation.

What Skills Are Stay Interviewers Looking For?

Stay interviews are more about employee experience rather than about the company.

Although, it’s important to keep in mind that your answers can reflect your qualities as a worker.

Having said that, here are some skills that your stay interviewer looks for during the interview:

  • Good Communication Skills: During the interview, make sure that your answers to the questions are clear and concise as much as possible.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Highlight the positive aspects when answering questions that refer to your relationship with your colleagues.
  • Open-Mindedness: Answering the questions with an open mind is crucial to these interviews. It exhibits your openness to conversations, even if the issues are difficult.
  • Adaptability Skills: When raising issues and problems, convey your willingness to adapt and change according to how your company addresses them.
  • Honesty: Ultimately, stay questions point to your overall honesty as a worker. By being honest in answering the questions, you’re showing that you’re willing to communicate and are trustworthy.

What Traits Are Stay Interviewers Looking to Avoid?

Now, let’s look at the qualities that your stay interviewer will mark as red flags.

Below are the qualities that you should avoid during your interview:

  • Inability To Communicate: Communication is the key to a successful stay interview. Without it, your company wouldn’t be able to help improve your work environment.
  • Raise Unnecessary Issues: Make sure that the issues you’re raising during the interview are crucial to your work (and your co-workers’) performance.
  • Dishonesty: Dishonesty during an interview contradicts its purpose. So, as much as possible, answer your interviewer’s questions honestly.

If you’re nervous about your interview, try researching tips and tricks for success.

A better understanding of how to be an interviewer should help you get the picture as well.

Sample Stay Interview Questions and Answers

Now that you know what types of questions to expect and what traits and skills to exhibit during these interviews, let’s go over the questions one by one and how you should answer them.

1. What do you look forward to each day when you arrive at work?

Why This Question is Asked

The purpose of this question is for your employers to know your overall attitude before you start your work.

They want to know if you’re still on the right emotional track or if you have the same excitement or energy you had at the beginning of your employment.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

As you answer this question, focus on the parts that you find enjoyable and worthwhile in your job.

You can also highlight the positive qualities of your work environment, including your goals in the workplace.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT reply with words that make a negative impression, like “tired,” “dismayed,” and “bored.” These replies can imply a lack of enthusiasm or dissatisfaction.

Example Answer

“There’s plenty of stuff that I look forward to at work. I particularly appreciate the creative freedom that I have here. Working with my co-workers has been a delight as well. It’s a great feeling to work with supportive and energetic people. What I look forward to the most is contributing my skills and talent to something that I know is important to the company.”

2. What do you love most or least about your work?

Why This Question is Asked

When your manager asks this question, he or she wants to know about your working conditions.

It’s related to the first question, as it can also mean knowing what you value in your work.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

To answer this interview question, think about what part of your job you find most satisfying.

It can be the company culture or your teammates.

You can raise the common issues that you encounter while working and how you deal with them.

This would let the interviewer know about your problems while also conveying an image of flexibility and problem-solving.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT rant.

While your manager wants you to share your difficulties, ranting would leave a negative impression on your employer.

Focus on important issues and be open to suggestions.

Example Answer

“What I enjoy most about my job is that it provides many opportunities for me to improve my skill set. I also appreciate how encouraging and courteous my teammates are. Although I sometimes get confused by the different instructions from different supervisors, I see it as a learning opportunity to improve my communication skills.”

3. Would you recommend your friends to work in our company?

Why This Question is Asked

While the first two questions relate to your job, this question will show your overall impression of the company you’re working for.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Regardless of whether you’d recommend your company to your friends, your answer should focus on your company’s good qualities and unique aspects.

This gives the impression that you respect and regard them as a reputable company.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT make this question about the issues and problems that you encountered while working.

Avoid negative words that can connote disrespect as well.

Example Answer

“What I love about this company is how nurturing and supportive it is to its employees. In that regard, I would recommend it to my friends, especially if the position matches their career goals.”

4. If I gave you the opportunity to change something about your work, what would it be?

Why This Question is Asked

Managers pose hypothetical questions such as this to pinpoint the specific areas of your work that you find problematic. 

It’s a casual yet effective way for your employers to know anything that you find uncomfortable about your working situation.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

When answering this question, think about issues that you and your co-worker encounter.

You can share personal experiences and anecdotes that can support why you want them to address these problems.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT make it only about yourself, even if they’re posing the question to you.

Showing consideration for other people is a trait that any manager can appreciate.

Example Answer

“I like most of the things about my current job. However, I noticed that some of my teammates are having a hard time reaching out to some supervisors. So, if I were to change something, I would like to establish a clearer communication line between my team and the management. I believe that this would improve our productivity and would greatly benefit the company.”

5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you while working here?

Why This Question is Asked

During the stay interview process, managers ask this interview question to quantify employee feedback.

They want to gauge employee happiness to know how likely you are to stay or leave.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Focus on the parts of your work that you find satisfying and dissatisfying, and base your rating on that.

This would help your organization understand the actual situation and take the necessary steps to improve it.

Justify your answer by listing out all your reasons for giving it a high or low rating.

Your manager will appreciate an honest and reasonable answer.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT answer according to other people’s opinions and biases.

Instead, think hard about your experiences with the company and draw from them.

Example Answer

“I would rate my overall experience with the company at 7 over 10. I rate it 7 because, although I find my day-to-day work fulfilling, there are some areas of the work process that need to be addressed. One example is the outdated desk computers that make researching and printing difficult.”

6. Is there anything that can make your job more satisfying?

Why This Question is Asked

They ask this kind of question to understand your expectations of the company.

This gives them an overview of what you believe to be necessary for a satisfying job.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

A satisfied employee is a valued employee.

You can talk about recognizing good work, clear communication, and meaningful tasks.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT request or raise unnecessary issues.

You don’t want to sound too demanding and needy.

Example Answer

“While I consider myself satisfied with my current work, I think there are some aspects that would make it more rewarding for me and my team. For example, we would appreciate it if we receive a constant performance review.”

7. What or where do you see yourself in five years?

Why This Question is Asked

The reason managers ask this during stay interviews is for employers to have an insight into how long you plan to stay with them. Your answer to this question also indicates your motivation and long-term goals.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

The correct response to this question is to tell them about your career and professional goals.

Be honest. You can talk about the skills and competencies you want to learn or get better at. Tell them about your dream job or the position you’re aiming for.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT answer as if you’re trying to leave them as fast as you could. Don’t hesitate while answering, so you don’t appear indecisive.

Example Answer

“I’m absolutely into exploring new ways and technologies involving graphic design, as I’m hoping to eventually move into art directing or creative designing positions. In 5 years, I look forward to establishing solid knowledge of different techniques and methods of graphic designing.”

8. Do you feel appreciated and recognized for the work you do?

Why This Question is Asked

Employers need to know that you feel recognized for the tasks and responsibilities you complete. When employees know that they’re valued, it increases their productivity and their desire to stay.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Answer this question as frankly as you can. Talk about how you’re receiving feedback from your supervisors, including your company’s employee benefit (if any). You can hint at some ideas on how they can improve your and your colleague’s feelings of appreciation.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT respond in any way that can give the impression of ungratefulness. You can suggest some appreciation ideas but never demand for them.

Example Answer

“Yes, I feel sufficiently appreciated for my work, and I’m thankful for that. I constantly receive positive and valuable feedback from my supervisors, too.”

9. What’s the thing that would make you consider leaving your job?

Why This Question is Asked

As the purpose of a stay interview is to discourage a departing employee, managers would want to know what will make you consider quitting. Keep in mind, though, that managers don’t ask this question to make you feel bad.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Since this is about new career opportunities, you can tell them about the steps toward your career goal. Walk them through some factors like better work-life balance, financial benefits, and professional development.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT only talk about higher salaries and benefits. Avoid talking badly about your present working environment or criticizing colleagues.

Example Answer

“While I’m completely satisfied in my current position with my wonderful co-workers, I’d consider welcoming career opportunities that can offer a better life-to-work balance.”

10. As your manager, is there anything that I can do to support you?

Why This Question is Asked

Managers during stay interviews will ask you questions about how they can assist and support you. This is to improve communication and trust between you and them.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

It’s best to answer this question directly. Give out something about your current role that you think your manager can help you with. You can talk about the importance of honest feedback or anything that relates to performance management.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT demand. Keep in mind that this is your opportunity to voice out your concerns and not abuse the situation.

Example Answer

“I believe that you and our supervisors are all doing an excellent job. Although, I and my team would appreciate it if you can give us your valuable and honest feedback as we work. This would help us smooth the production process.”

Other Common Stay Interview Questions You Could Be Asked

While the 10 questions above belong to the top questions that could turn up during your stay interview, it doesn’t mean that’s all they’re gonna ask you.

Here, we’ve listed some questions that could come up regardless of the type of interview.

1. Why are you the best person for this job?

Why This Question is Asked

It’s likely that you’ve already encountered this question before. This line of questioning is the employer’s way of gauging your confidence, motivation, knowledge of the job, and ability to handle challenges.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

For this question, you can list out all your qualities that match what the job entails.

This shows an understanding of the requirements for the job position. Use examples and anecdotes.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT answer in long-running, memorized speech. Keep your answers concise and clear.

Only use examples that are related to the position you’re applying for.

Example Answer

“Working as a former multimedia animator, I have the needed experience and skills I can use for this position. In my previous work, I oversaw the production process of a team of 15 people and increased our production rate by 20% in four months. I’m confident that I can bring the same success to this company.”

2. How do you prioritize your work?

Why This Question is Asked

Your employer wants to know how you manage your time for work.

This is to give them a rough idea of how much you value your work.

For entrance interviews, they use it to know if you can give the attention required for the position.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

Give the interviewer a rough map of how you spend your time in a single day.

You can tell the interviewer how you divide work between what’s urgent and what’s important.

Include points to convey that your work is at the top of your priority list.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT lie by setting unrealistic expectations.

Example Answer

“I manage my tasks by creating a list. Then I divide them based on what’s urgent and what’s not, as well as what tasks are big and what’s small. I work on the tasks that are urgent first before moving on to the others. I also make it a point to keep an open communication line with my colleagues and coworkers for any issues that arise.”

3. What motivates you to do a good job?

Why This Question is Asked

Your personal motivation is one of the most important services you can contribute to your job.

Thus, employers would want to learn what drives you as a person and assess your self-awareness.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

You can answer this by pointing out several motivations you have.

It can be your family, career development, success, or a personal goal.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT talk about money. While all of us understand that, it can sound vain and unnecessary.

Example Answer

“My family motivates me to work hard, but professional development is also a motivator for me. For that reason, I’m always searching for new ways and methods to improve my work process.”

4. What makes you unique?

Why This Question is Asked

This is an invitation for you to outline the qualities and skills that you have that differentiate you from other candidates.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

This question isn’t only about your qualifications for the position.

So, talk about what other quirk or talent you have to bring to the table.

Focus on how you could use them for the job.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT criticize or try to downplay the other candidates. This is about you, not others.

Example Answer

“Given my experience as a creative designer, I have a clear understanding of the graphic design industry. I’m also an excellent communicator, and I can easily relate to others. Through this, I can easily fit in any work environment.”

5. Do you want to tell us anything else about you?

Why This Question is Asked

Interviewers usually pose this question at the end of the interview

It’s meant to encourage you to provide additional information that can help you land the position.

What to Focus On When Answering This Question

If you think you’ve covered all the ground during the interview, you can say no to this question.

Otherwise, you can talk about a talent or experience you have that you haven’t discussed yet.

What To Avoid When Answering This Question

DO NOT talk about topics that are unrelated to the interview. If you want to clarify something, keep it short and to the point.

Example Answer

“Thank you for asking! I believe we’ve already covered all topics that are important, so I don’t have anything to add. I learned a lot, and I’m grateful that we’re able to talk about this in person.”

Additional Tips for Stay Interviews

There are many steps an interview takes before you’re in the clear.

So, let’s go over to some other helpful tips for your manager-employee talk.

1. How Do You Prepare for a Stay Interview?

Preparing the right way is crucial for an effective stay interview.

The first thing that you should do is review the common questions that managers ask in these kinds of talks.

Check our guide above for the 10 common stay interview questions.

2. What Should You Wear in a Stay Interview?

Wearing the appropriate attire during an interview is part of interview etiquette. With that in mind, make sure that you wear appropriate clothing for the occasion.

3. Should You Ask Questions at the End of a Stay Interview?

It’s always right to clarify one or two points after every interview. This shows that you’re listening and are taking notes on details that are important to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

If it’s your first time experiencing this kind of managerial talk, here are some of the frequently asked questions about this type of interview.

What does a stay interview mean?

When an organization or a company conducts “stay” interviews, it means that they want to gain insight into how to decrease the rate of employee turnover.

They require a high performing employee to sit down with the manager and talk about the working conditions.

Stay interviews relate to exit interviews as they’re both ways to gather employee feedback. This interview is usually an informal conversation.

What are the benefits of a stay interview?

There are many benefits to these kinds of interviews. It’s a way for your company to improve employee experience and increase employee retention.

Second, it’s your organization’s way of telling you that you matter and that they’re listening.

You can raise concerns and issues about your workplace that otherwise, they wouldn’t notice.

Finally, as a way of employee engagement, it can help establish the best practices to nurture trust within your company and prevent turnover.

Bottom Line

We’ve all been there. Interviews can be so stressful, especially if you’re unprepared and under a lot of pressure.

The good news is that a stay interview is basically about your job satisfaction and how you’re dealing with your work.

That said, use what we discussed in this guide about the 10 common stay interview questions (and tips!), and you’ll get past that interview smoothly.

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