Job Interview: Motivation Questions

All candidates are motivated about something, and you need to discover what that is before recruiting them into your company. Like every other, you seek employees who have an intrinsic motivation that is related to work.

Discover that motivation by the expected tasks and opportunities in your available job. Decide how much motivation and inspiration you will have to provide. If you believe it is a lot, you may want to pass on that candidate.

The following sample job interview questions enable you to assess what motivates the candidates you’re interviewing. They help you discover what your candidate finds motivating at work. Feel free to use these questions in your interview or use them as models when you develop your own questions.


  • Describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy.
  • What’s your biggest dream in life?
  • Imagine that you have received a coveted national award ten years from now. Why did you receive the award, what is the award, and what are the circumstances under which you are receiving the award?
  • What goals, including career goals, have you set for your life?
  • How would you define success for your career?
  • When you were seven or eight years old, who did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Describe a work situation in which you can demonstrate that you encouraged the motivation of another person. Given that you can’t, what actions did you take that helped the co-worker experience feelings of motivation?
  • You are assigned to participate on a team that has several members who are not motivated to work hard and contribute their best efforts. How have you in the past, or would you, approach this situation?
  • In your experience, what draws forth your energy and effort, to go the extra mile, push harder, spend more time, do whatever it takes to get the job done?
  • What motivates your best, most successful job performance? Can you provide us with an example?
  • What role does your manager or supervisor play in your personal motivation at work?
  • What actions, behaviour, or workplace events, would limit or destroy your workplace motivation?
  • How have you coped in the past when an event or the actions of a person in your workplace adversely affected your personal motivation?
  • If you worked in a management role, how would you create a work environment that employees found motivating?
  • How do you ensure that your personal level of motivation is high on a daily basis?


Remember that you would want to hire highly intrinsically motivated employees who have the ability to also create a work environment in which other employees will choose motivation on a daily basis too.


For Leadership interview questions, read on.

 For Unusual interview questions, read on.



Source: The Princeton Review (image)