There are only three questions in a job interview:
1) questions about strengths/weaknesses
2) questions about motivation, and finally
3) questions about fit.
These three key job interview question setups are paramount to getting beyond the interview process and into that next new position. This posting is solely about #2 – Questions about Motivation.
Interviewing for Motivation
Interviewing for motivation is much less straightforward than interviewing for strengths/weaknesses or fit. The biggest problem is that it’s hard for someone to put their finger on what really motivates a candidate. The other part of the problem is that interviewer’s will have a bias to uncover what you are saying and to try to trip you up. They may not be sure that you can do the job, they are generally obligated to get you to make an error so they don’t have to offer you the job.
On one level, motivation is born of:
• How work/life activities fit with a person’s lifestyle and ideal job criteria.
• How the job will help them progress towards their long-term, end-game
On another level, people strive for happiness. A working hypothesis is that happiness is good. In truth, there are three goods: Good for Company, Good for Me, Good at the Job/Task.
Good for Company: People that care about this good, want an active hand in shaping the current and long-term structure of the company.
Good for Me: People who emphasize this need to know how pleasurable and fulfilling the work is or will be. Compensation also factors in here in the ways of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards (monetary, non-monetary, recognition, respect, freedom to be creative)
Good at Job/Task: This one is all about how the activities of the job match up with your strengths, personal resources, long term employability, learning and development.
Questions that you may receive in your interview and what they have to do with each other.
Check out these two questions to see what they have in common.
1) “What gets you out of bed in the morning (other than your alarm clock)?”
2) “Talk about some of the most significant memories you have had throughout your career and what it is that got you through those times either good or bad.”
These two questions are both 100% about what motivates YOU ~ this subset of questions goes directly to what you need to perform at optimum levels within the company structure. If you answer these well, you could be on your way to a great new job or career.
Lastly, Some Final Advice for Interviewees
Figure out what makes you happy in the crazy work/life balancing act, then look to find and explain matches between the role and organization and your personal traits/strengths/skills.