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What Are Motivational Interview Questions and How Do I Answer Them?

We all know about behavioural based interview questions, but what about motivational questions?

When we asked a group of experienced job seekers about what they do to stand out in job interviews, they all talked about the importance of using the STAR technique. They focused on highlighting their skills, experience, and achievements. No one mentioned motivation. Despite being less known, we believe responding well to motivational interview questions is critical. The good news is that you’ve probably answered many motivational interview questions and successfully landed jobs without being aware. But to ensure you shine every time, we’ll provide a breakdown of motivational interview questions and how to best respond to them.

The key reasons interviewers ask motivational interview questions

  • To assess your interest and enthusiasm for the role. Many managers will tell you it’s easier to teach staff a new skill than shift the attitudes of unmotivated team members. That’s why hiring managers look for motivated and engaged employees. Positive employees make a great addition to any workplace.
  • To understand if what motivates you aligns with the position. Employers wants to know if you’ll accept the job if they make an offer (or how to best position the opportunity so you will accept).
  • To predict your job satisfaction and time in the role. Information about what motivates you can help predict your satisfaction and tenure. The question helps the interview think long-term about staff turnover, retention, and the return on investment.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you want to demonstrate you have the right motivational fit.

How do you spot motivational interview questions?

Motivational interview questions do not require demonstrating your capability, skills, or experience. Instead, focus on your interests, what is important to you and why. Here’s what they sound like:

  • What interests you about this opportunity?
  • Why did you apply to this position?
  • How would you describe the work environment or culture where you are most productive and happy?
  • What are you looking for in your next role?
  • What would be essential for you to accomplish in your next role? Why?
  • What aspects of your current role have you enjoyed the most? Why?

How to respond to motivational interview questions

  • Be specific and provide examples. Just as behavioural-based interview questions require you to be clear and concise, you should be specific when outlining your response to motivational interview questions and back up what you are saying with examples.
  • Relate your response to the role and company culture. Make sure you have a good read of the position description and research the company so you can incorporate that knowledge when you respond.
  • Don’t lead with money. Organisations want to entice you with their perks and benefits, including salary. But they want to know you care about their company mission and cultural values, not just pizza Fridays or a weekly pay cheque.
  • If you are excited about the opportunity, make it known. Many candidates who lack some skills but demonstrate more enthusiasm are often selected when hiring managers compare candidates.
  • Be open and honest. Ultimately, you are asked motivational interview questions to ensure the job is a good fit for you. That’s why it is best to answer these questions honestly. You’ll end up in a role you enjoy. If it isn’t clear whether the company offers something important to you, bringing it up will help the hiring manager provide clarity. And, if they make an offer, they might match their offer to your motivations to secure you for the role.

If you want to lift your interview game, ensure you are well prepared to answer motivational questions. Your answer should highlight a skills and values match. You can also review the resources we’ve put together to help you land your next role.

If you are on the job market looking for your next IT opportunity, check out our job board to see all our current vacancies. We also have a fantastic referral program that can earn you $500 for every great person you send our way.

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Clicks is an award-winning IT recruitment specialist. As Australia’s favourite IT recruiter, we help candidates in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney find great opportunities each day.

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