Measuring motivation during interviews

Motivation is the internal force that drives us to action. It’s crucial to discover what motivates the candidate...

Motivation is the internal force that drives us to action. It’s crucial to discover what motivates the candidate, because you and the candidate must be convinced that the proposed job is for him the perfect match-fit between what he can do and what he wants to do.

Motivation at work depends on many factors. One factor is however always key. Professionals must have the opportunity to use their strengths, to do where they’re best in and what they like to do. With this article we would like to give some more insights in a strength-based interview, what are strengths, how to do strengths spotting during the interview.

Strength based interview

Just like the competency-based interview seek to assess the extent to which candidates have particular competencies that are required for the role, so are strengths-based interviews based to asses if candidates have the particular strengths that are required for the role.

There are however some important distinctions and differentiations between the two approaches. Whereas competency-based interviews are very much grounded in past experience, strengths based interviews are not constrained by the search of evidence that someone has done before the particular thing in question.

In contrast, strengths based interview draw from people’s natural talents and preferences for particular ways of thinking, feeling or behaving, and these natural aptitudes, recurring over the time, are indicative of what it is the person is most likely to continuing doing – with energy and engagement- into the future.

A strength based interview enlarges the focus now on getting people who can do the job to recruiting people who can do the job, but would also love to do so.

How we define a strength.

A strength is a pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energising to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance.

“Each of us has more hidden inside us than we have had a chance to explore”

YUNUS, (banker of the poor: the story of Grameen bank)

Strength spotting during interviews.

While interviewing a candidate, you can indirectly recognize their strengths by using the simple memo technic word SING as a tool.

S = Success = When you do it, you feel effective and successful
I = Instinct = Before you do it, you actively look forward to it
N = Need = While you are doing it, you feel inquisitive and focused
G = Grown = After you’ve done it, you feel fulfilled and authentic

As an interviewer you will experience major shifts in communication (verbal and non-verbal) when the interviewee is elaborating on competences or experiences he/she perceives as being powerfull.

  1. The energy levels significantly increase
  2. The noise levels significantly increase
  3. The exercise takes longer to stop -> stay in control of the interview
  4. Body language is much more open, engaged and confident

Of course, you could go for a more direct approach too. Here are some example questions to use while assessing someone’s weaknesses and strengths. In our opinion, it’s essential to start first with diving into the weakness first and finish with questions referring to strengths. Because for all people speaking about their weakness is a negative experience and we have a moral responsibility to leave people in a positive place.

Weakness questions:

  • What are the activities that you really dislike doing? Why is that?
  • Are there things that you never seem to get done, or things that you always avoid, What are they?
  • What are the activities that drain you when you have to do them, has it always been this way?

When asking about weaknesses, dare to dig deep into them. Rather then knowing what the weaknesses of the person you are interviewing are, it’s more valuable for you to understand them. Ask for the why and reasoning behind it. Ask for situations or circumstances where these weaknesses show. And assess what the person needs from their environment, manager, peers and / or team to manage these weaknesses.

Strength questions:

  • What sort of every days things do you enjoy doing?
  • What makes for a really good day for you? Tell me about the best day that you can remember?
  • What would you describe as your most significant accomplishment?
  • When you are the best, what are you doing?
  • What gives you the greatest sense of being authentic who you really are?
  • What do you think are the most energizing things that you do?
  • Thinking about next week, what will you be doing, when you are the best?
  • Do you have a particular vision (of the ideal job) for the future? What is it about?
  • What are you most looking forward to in the future?

Have you experienced hiring mistakes due to a mis evaluation of the required strengths? Do you perceive the process of finding weaknesses as challenging? Or are you curious to learn more about our experiences using this methodology?

Let connect!