Interview questions and answers: Motivational questions

Motivation is the driving force behind people's actions. The motivational job interview question is extremely important. The reason why the applicant wants the job is crucial to employers. Your interview answer is critical, too.

Like many of the most important job interview questions, this is often a very simple question, like 'Why do you want this job?'

The interviewers are trying to find personal motives that indicate commitment to the position. Your interview answers must show commitment.

The best indicators of commitment motivation are:

  • Career based
  • Qualifications based
  • Experience based
  • Career based

Career based motivation is easy to follow, in terms of any job interview questions and answers. It's an association of roles with career moves.

  • Qualifications based

Some jobs and qualifications are very closely linked. Internships, for example, are directly linked to academic qualifications. Some relate to ongoing studies. Make sure your interview answer shows the association with the job.

  • Experience based

Some levels of experience are absolute necessities, and many jobs are the way to get those levels of experience.

The interview question allows for a wide range of possible motivations. In practice, you'll find that your interview answer is actually a combination of at least two of these elements.

Extremely important:

Your motivations may be clear to you, but you must express yourself clearly in this interview answer.

The interviewers must see from your interview answer how the job relates to your motivation in practical terms.

  • Explain your goal.
  • Show how your job application fits in with getting that goal.
  • Express your interview answer simply.


An entry level applicant is applying for the job of junior accountant. The job interview question is 'Why do you want this job?'

'I'm currently doing first year accountancy, as part of my full Bachelor of Commerce. I'm hoping to get good practical experience across the range of accounts functions in this position.'


In this case the applicant used all three motivational indicators in the interview answer. The information provided is very relevant, and the academic studies indicate ongoing commitment to the position. The position would be ideal for an applicant in this position.

The applicant demonstrates these motivations:

  • Career needs
  • Career goals
  • Experience needs
  • Qualifications needs

Important: You can see that these interview answers can be kept very simple and easy to understand, and still answer the question fully.

Keep that in mind for all interview questions.

You're far more likely to get a job through quality interview answers, than quantity.