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Motivation questions worth asking

Questions focused on motivation are an opportunity for you to get to know your candidate beyond their skills and experience. Understanding candidate motivations helps to identify if their motivations and drive align with the culture and nature of the work in your business, ultimately, to achieve satisfaction and engagement from them as a prospective employee.

Does working in an agile role and environment give them a buzz? Are they driven by collaboration or creativity? Or, is the ability to start late and finish late or have a weekday off their biggest game changer? The following interview questions are designed to help uncover candidates’ motivations:

“What interests you in working here?”

This uncovers if the candidate is connected to your business purpose and values. A candidate showing passion for the hospitality industry, showing they’re genuinely drawn to the role and your business's purpose and values, will help to achieve a better impression than an answer from the candidate suggesting any job will pass.

“What’s your understanding of the role?”

This question ensures you both have the same expectations about the role, tapping into what they value in the job,  helping you identify whether you can accommodate for what they're working for 

“Tell us about a team you’ve worked in that allowed you to do your best work? What was it about the team?”

This gives insight into the type of environment the candidate is suited to. What type of team or people do they enjoy working with? Do their preferences align to your businesses culture? Will they ‘fit right in’?

“Do you have a work achievement you are most proud of?”

Uncovering what satisfies and makes a candidate proud will help you recognise opportunities in your business that will keep their satisfaction and sense of purpose alive. This question is less focused on how they perform and more about understanding the why component in what they value.                          

“Is there anything about your current job that you really love?”

That old chestnut! Candidates are warned not to bad-mouth their current or past employer, so listen out for uncalled for negativity. Most importantly, use this question as an opportunity to identify any traits that your business may have in common with their current or previous employers. Depending on those similarities, your business or the role of discussion may or may not be suitable.

If you don’t get the answer you’re hoping for, try and dig deeper by asking more questions. The more you can uncover and identify in their motivations, the easier it will be to determine if they’re the right fit for your business and to understand what will drive and motivate them if you employ them.