Ace the Motivational Interview: 12 Essential Motive Interview Questions to Prepare For

Landing a job is tough Competition is fierce, and you need to stand out from the crowd That’s why nailing the interview is critical.

Of all the different types of job interviews motivational interviews can be the most challenging. Hiring managers use them to assess your core values passions, and ambitions. Rather than grilling you on your work history or technical skills, they’ll probe your inner psyche to determine if you’re a cultural fit.

This approach can catch candidates off guard. Motivational interview questions require self-reflection and soul searching. You must tap into your deepest motivations and goals

But proper preparation can give you a leg up. When you know what to expect, you can put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to help you answer the most common motive interview questions. With a little forethought, you’ll be ready to knock their socks off!.

What is a Motivational Interview?

The goal of motivational interviews, which are also known as values-based interviews, is to find candidates who share the company’s mission and values. Traditional interviews emphasize hard skills, experience, and education. Motivational interviews are mostly about your mindset, soft skills, and how well you’ll fit in with the company’s culture.

Hiring managers will probe to determine if you share the organization’s worldview. They want to ensure you’ll contribute passionately towards their goals and objectives.

It’s about finding a purpose-driven employee who cares deeply about the work. Someone who will wake up excited to push the company vision forward. Technical skills can be taught, but inner drive is innate.

Questions will revolve around what motivates you, what you care about, and what gives you a sense of meaning and fulfillment. They’ll assess whether your personal values align with the corporate values.

Some common topics include:

  • Passions, interests, and hobbies
  • Short and long-term goals
  • Sources of inspiration and motivation
  • Handling challenges, setbacks, and adversity
  • Personality traits and work style preferences
  • Values, ethics, and perspectives on life

Often this takes the form of a free-flowing, two-way conversation. The back-and-forth dialogue provides insight into your character and outlook.

Why Do Companies Use Motivational Interviewing?

Why are you asking all these personal questions instead of the usual ones that are asked in job interviews?

Because worker engagement and retention are vital. Disengaged employees deliver poor productivity and service. They drive customers away and hurt profits. Replacing them also costs thousands in recruiting and training.

But employees who feel connected to the company mission tend to thrive. When values align, people work harder and stick around longer.

That’s why most motivational interviews occur at:

  • Mission-driven organizations like non-profits and social enterprises
  • Startups with strong company cultures
  • Brand name corporations seeking brand ambassadors
  • Sales teams that rely on drive and persistence
  • Leadership roles where values must cascade down

Beyond engagement, motivational interviews screen for soft skills. Technical expertise isn’t everything. Emotional intelligence, communication skills, creativity, and likability also impact performance.

Asking about someone’s passions, motivations, and perspectives provides clues about these traits. It’s a sneak peek at how you think, work, and interact with colleagues.

Finally, motivational interviews assess culture fit. Every workplace has a unique vibe and set of unspoken norms. Candidates who mesh well assimilate faster and cause less friction.

How to Prepare for a Motivational Interview

Motivational interviews can seem invasive and full of curveballs. Many candidates stress about revealing personal details to relative strangers.

Here are some tips to get ready:

Research the company mission and values – Peruse their website and social media. Get familiar with their goals, ethos, and purpose. Know their principles inside out. This allows you to tailor responses to show alignment.

Reflect on your own motivations – What gets you out of bed each morning? What thrills you about your career field? Where do you find meaning? What values shape your decisions? Exploring this ahead of time makes it easier to articulate during the interview.

Craft an elevator pitch – Having a polished summary of your passions and ambitions will help you answer questions confidently and concisely.

Practice with mock interviews – Recruit friends to run you through some sample motivational interview questions. It’s ideal if they know you well enough to give constructive feedback. The more you practice, the more at ease you’ll feel.

Research the interviewer – If possible, learn about who will conduct the interview. Looking over their social media profiles can provide talking points to break the ice.

Get psyched up – Approach the interview with sincerity, not cynicism. Adopt an energetic mindset focused on sharing your authentic self. This positive outlook will come through.

12 Common Motivational Interview Questions (and How to Nail Them)

Now let’s dive into some specific motive interview questions that often arise:

1. Why do you want to work here?

This reveals your motivation for pursuing this role/company. Tailor your response using the research you’ve done on their mission and values. Explain why they specifically excite you. Share how you’ve admired their work from afar.

Sample response: Your commitment to [value] deeply resonates with me. I’ve always believed [value] is critical for [your field]. That’s a big reason why I’m so enthusiastic about joining your team – so I can play a part in advancing your mission.

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hiring managers want to gauge your ambition and career goals. But don’t make the mistake of describing a totally different job. Emphasize how you hope to grow professionally within their organization.

Sample response: In five years, I see myself becoming an expert in [aspect of role] and a leader who helps nurture the skills of newer team members. I hope to take on additional responsibilities and projects that utilize the full range of my talents. My goal is to be an invaluable contributor who helps the company achieve key milestones.

3. How would your friends describe you?

The goal here is to convey positive personality traits and work preferences. But don’t rattle off a laundry list of fluffy buzzwords. Give specific examples that back up the impressions you make.

Sample response: My friends would describe me as curious – I’m always asking questions and exploring new ideas. They also consider me extremely persistent. When I set a goal, I don’t stop until it’s accomplished. For example, when I decided to [achievement], even when obstacles arose, I kept pushing forward.

4. What are you passionate about?

Share interests and hobbies that demonstrate skills relevant to the role. Even if it’s not directly related to work, discuss passions that show you’re a well-rounded person.

Sample response: I’m passionate about [hobby] because I love [aspects that connect to job requirements]. I become completely absorbed when [describing the activity]. I also really enjoy [other hobby] because it allows me to flex my creative muscles in a different way.

5. What are your strengths?

Again, don’t just rattle off a generic list of strengths. Provide specific examples that offer proof. And make sure they’re strengths that matter for the job.

Sample response: One of my biggest strengths is [valuable trait] – I have a knack for [example of using that trait]. For instance, in my last job when [situation arose] I was able to [how you exhibited the strength]. Colleagues have often complimented my ability to [another example].

6. How do you handle stress?

Be honest – everyone experiences stress sometimes. But emphasize what proactive steps you take to manage stress productively. Share any coping mechanisms that help you thrive under pressure.

Sample response: When stress levels rise, the first thing I do is [strategy, like taking a short walk or listening to music]. I’ve learned this helps clear my head so I can think straight. I also make it a priority to [strategy like exercising or talking to a mentor]. Staying focused on my priorities and reaching out for support keeps stress from spiraling out of control.

7. Why should we hire you?

Sum up your top strengths and motivations and how they make you a great culture fit. Demonstrate what unique value you’ll bring to the table.

Sample response: You should hire me because [strength] enables me to [accomplish key aspect of job]. I will pour my heart into this work because [example of passion/value alignment]. My [relevant skillset] makes me extremely qualified. Most importantly, I truly believe in your mission. I’m committed to doing my part to help [how your role serves their mission].

8. What motivates you?

Share what energizes you and gets results. Emphasize motivators that map to the job duties. Provide examples of how those motivators have driven past achievements.

Sample response: I’m motivated by [motivator] – I love the feeling when [example how motivator feels

motive interview questions

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU? (How to ANSWER this TOUGH but COMMON Interview Question!)


What are motivation interview questions?

At their most simple, they might just ask “What motivates you?”, “What are you passionate about?”, “What challenges are you looking for?” or even “Where you do you see yourself in five years?”. In essence though, they are all basically asking: “Why do you want to work with us?”

What is the star method when interviewing?

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing. Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.

What is a motivational fit question?

What is motivational fit? Motivational fit occurs when you’re trying to determine if certain candidates’ motivations align with what your organization is looking for in a candidate to determine if they’re a good fit.

How do you motivate others with an interview question?

Example: “I’m great at focusing on the positive aspects of any situation and communicating with others. These two abilities together, my optimism and communication, help me motivate others by sharing positivity with them. I try to improve their day and help them become more determined to finish tasks.”

What questions do hiring managers ask during a motivation interview?

During an interview, hiring managers may ask questions about motivation to learn more about what motivates you to ensure you fit well with a company or team. They may also use these questions to evaluate your work ethic. Here are seven common motivation interview questions with sample answers to help you prepare: 1. What motivates you?

Why do interviewers ask questions about motivation?

Interviewers often ask questions about motivation to assess how candidates inspire themselves, work through challenges, and encourage others to succeed. Reading common interview questions about motivation can help you prepare for your next interview.

What are some open-ended motivational interview questions?

Here are some open-ended motivational interview questions with example answers to help you prepare: 1. Can you tell me how you maintained motivation while doing repetitive work? The STAR method can help you answer questions that relate to your work tasks directly.

How do you answer a motivation question in a job interview?

This question assesses your ability to inspire others and encourage them to succeed. An interviewer may ask this for any role that involves teamwork and collaboration. In your response, use a real example if you have one. Try to focus on the actionable steps you took to motivate the person. Be specific and include the techniques or tools you used.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *