Based on insights into who is really getting the job (plus exactly how they do it), this podcast is a new and simple approach to job interview preparation. Each episode is only five minutes long. This way, you can make progress even if you only have a couple of minutes. It contains one specific topic, gives you the relevant background and a clear and simple, step-by-step approach to help you prepare the perfect answers.
Visit www.InterviewPreparationSimplified.com for more information on how to prepare for an interview, to provide feedback or to make suggestions for upcoming episodes..
In this episode, I show you a simple, four-step approach to demonstrate that you are self-aware and have the right motivation for the job.
Scroll down for a list of words that might help you describe yourself
Welcome to today’s episode, which is about the common interview question, “What motivates you?” Interviewers ask this question to ensure that you have the right motivation for the job, because even a candidate with perfectly matching skills and experiences will not perform well if they are unmotivated. And there is a risk of conflict and frustration if the applicant’s motivation is not aligned with the role and the company’s culture. Finally, asking this question also helps the interviewer determine how self-aware you are. So, let me show you a simple, 4-step approach to formulating a genuine and convincing answer. After that, I will also briefly explain what you can do if you are not entirely certain that this job aligns with your motivation.
Step 1: Motivating tasks
A common mistake candidates make is to talk about what motivates them without linking it to the job they are interviewing for. To avoid this pitfall, start by re-reading the job description and listing all the tasks you will perform if you get the job. Then, look at the list and ask yourself, “What would I enjoy doing most, and why?” For example, if you are a software engineer, you might like designing software solutions, writing and testing code and troubleshooting application issues. And you enjoy performing these tasks because you have a passion for technology and it motivates you to solve complex technical problems.
Step 2: Motivating work environment
Read about the company’s culture on its website to learn more about its values and the work environment. Identify 2-3 things that would make you feel motivated to work there. For example, you might like that the company has teamwork and diversity as two of its core values and that it promotes life-long learning.
Step 3: Your personality
If you want to give a genuine answer and demonstrate self-awareness, it’s important to link your motivation to your personality. So, start by identifying a couple of words you could use to finish a sentence that begins with “As a person, I am…” Your list could, for example, include traits such as “determined,” “curious,” “helpful,” “structured,” “empathetic” and “reliable.” If you need more inspiration, check out the resources included in the show notes.
Once you have completed your list, identify those 3-4 traits that best align with what you have identified as motivating in steps 1 and 2. For instance, being determined matches well with enjoying problem-solving, being curious comes in handy when working for a company committed to life-long learning and being helpful is appreciated in collaborative work environments.
Step 4: Formulate your answer
Formulate your answer by putting together all the pieces. Start by describing yourself in one sentence and then add what motivates you. For example, “As a person, I am determined, curious and helpful and passionate about technology. So, what motivates me is to be able to solve complex technical problems, ideally in a collaborative work environment where I can contribute as part of diverse teams and develop new skills.”
These were the four steps to formulating a convincing answer to the interview question, “What motivates you?” Before closing this episode, I would like to discuss one final aspect.
Let’s assume you end up in a situation where you see a mismatch when preparing your answer. For example, it might motivate you to be part of an organization with a quick decision-making process. However, when you read about the company and its culture, it turns out to be very hierarchical. Now, you don’t want to create any red flags for the interviewer, so you would probably not want to mention that you are motivated by flat hierarchies. However, you also want to make an informed decision as to whether or not to accept the job if it is offered to you. And a slow and bureaucratic decision-making process might actually be a red flag for you. So, tune into my episode about asking the right questions during an interview to learn how you can address this in the best possible way.
That’s it for today. Thank you for listening, and I hope this was helpful to you.
Words that could be used to describe yourself: