In today’s competitive job market, it’s more important than ever for employers to make the most of their interview process. This means not only assessing candidates’ skills and experience but also understanding their motivations and what they’re looking for in a long-term career.

Why it’s important to understand candidates’ motivations

Taking the time to understand a candidate’s motivations can give you a real chance to see if they’re a good fit for your company culture and long-term goals. If you can find candidates who are aligned with your company’s mission and vision, they’re more likely to be engaged and productive employees.

In addition, understanding a candidate’s motivations can help you sell your company and role in a way that’s relevant to them. If you can highlight how your company can help them achieve their career goals, you’re more likely to attract top talent.

How to understand candidates’ motivations

There are a few different ways to understand a candidate’s motivations. One is to ask them directly about their career goals and aspirations. You can also get a sense of their motivations by reviewing their resume and cover letter, and by asking them about their previous work experiences.

Here are some specific questions you can ask to understand a candidate’s motivations:

  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What are you looking for in your next role?
  • What are some of your past accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
  • What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
  • What are some of your values?

Know your non-negotiables

Before you start interviewing candidates, it’s important to identify the essential skills and qualities that you’re looking for. These are your non-negotiables, and the interview should be designed to assess whether or not the candidate meets these criteria.

Once you know your non-negotiables, you can create an interview structure that tests the candidate against these behaviors. This may involve asking situational questions, giving the candidate a behavioral interview, or asking them to complete a skills assessment.

Here are some examples of non-negotiables:

  • Strong communication skills
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail
  • A positive attitude

By understanding candidates’ motivations and knowing your non-negotiables, you can conduct effective interviews that will help you identify the best candidates for your company.

Additional tips from our directors

Tom: “Don’t be afraid to sell your company! If you’re not enthusiastic about your company and its culture, why should a candidate be?”

Chris: “Be prepared to answer questions about your company and the role. Candidates are more likely to accept an offer if they have a good understanding of the company and what they’ll be doing.”

Remember, the interview is a two-way street. It’s an opportunity for you to learn about the candidate and for the candidate to learn about your company. By taking the time to prepare and conduct effective interviews, you can make sure that you’re hiring the best possible candidates for your team.