Motivation matters. It’s the “stuff” that makes you want to get out of bed each morning and, if managed properly, could mean the difference between a less-than-productive workforce and employees that flourish. Motivated employees tend to be engaged and find their jobs more fulfilling. So interviewing job applicants with motivation in mind is a strategy for success.

Employers need to know not only whether job candidates have the skills to get the job done, but also whether the desired role is something they would be passionate about. The motivational technique is not a standalone method for conducting an interview; rather, it is an honest accounting of an individual’s nature, focusing on a candidate’s goals, preferences and aversions. Basic but powerful and — when used correctly — it can leave the interviewer with a strong “gut instinct” about the applicant.

Can You Dig It?

Work need not be a constant struggle. Employers who rely on workers to motivate themselves may lose productivity when willpower alone isn’t enough to keep employees engaged, or lose them entirely to unexpected turnover. Openly discussing motivation, on the other hand, helps employers to identify potential productivity gaps.

The idea is to hire candidates who naturally like what they do. Businesses can ask, of course, during the interview, but few applicants are likely to give candid answers if the day-to-day job tasks aren’t something they would truly enjoy.

Five Components to Motivational Interviewing

  1. Identify the Candidate’s Personal Preferences: What type of tasks are they naturally inclined to enjoy? How do they like to be managed? What activities get them into “work mode”?

  2. Sync Expectations: Prospective employees are outsiders; even internal candidates may be outsiders when it comes to assuming a new role. Without assistance, it may be difficult for an applicant to understand the true nature of the job. Employers should explain the day-to-day requirements and long term expectations and reward the desire to seek clarification.

  3. Determine the Candidate’s True Level of Interest: Do you believe that the applicant is genuinely excited about the position, or is he just putting on a good show? Highly motivated candidates, even those with so-so backgrounds, tend to be more successful than those with pristine resumes and low motivation.

  4. Discover What Drives Their Success: Identify the applicant’s likes, dislikes and motivators to understand how a candidate wants to be rewarded and incentivized.

  5. Consider Your Available Resources: Can you meet an individual’s motivational needs or will they go unmet? Consider whether each candidate’s motivational needs outstrip your current resources. Never make any promises you can’t keep.

15 Motivational Interview Questions

Many motivational interview questions seem so straightforward that they are often forgotten about, their answers glossed over or assumed. For example, employers rarely ask whether a candidate is excited about an available position, because they know she wouldn’t respond any other way. Motivational interviewing techniques are still recommended, however, because obvious questions sometimes elicit uncommon answers, and candidates may give non-verbal cues that bely their verbal responses.

Some good motivational questions might include:

  • Why are you applying for this position?

  • Why are you excited about this opportunity?

  • What do you expect the job to be like on a day-to-day basis?

  • How do you think your role may change over time?

  • What is “success” to you?

  • How would you like to be rewarded for a job well done?

  • What do you enjoy about work?

  • What makes you more productive?

  • Describe a time when an outside influence (such as a supervisor or coworker) helped to motivate you.

  • How do you like to be managed?

  • What do you do for fun?

  • Are you a people person?

  • Are you tech savvy?

  • Is tidiness and order important to you? How do you stay organized at home?

  • What steps do you take to ensure your own productivity?

Honesty is the Best Policy

Encourage a meaningful discussion. Be friendly and create a comfortable environment to foster candor. Every interviewee wants to give the “right” answer, but the motivational portion of the interview is not about winning or losing. This part of the interview is about compatibility. Provoke thoughtful responses while listening carefully for canned answers rather than tailored responses.

Ask about motivation early and often. Interviewing just sets the framework, an initial impression of what success may look like. Further your efforts by looping in your employees on your efforts to enhance and maintain motivation, increase productivity, bolster job satisfaction and create clarity of vision. Recruiting applicants who are well-oriented to your office environment and staff position will allow them to succeed, and your business as well.

Share With Your Followers