Answering motivational questions
Motivational questions are designed to check how serious you are about applying for a particular job or course. These questions could include:
- Why do you want to do this job / course?
- What do you know about our organisation / institution? Why would you find us interesting to work for / study with?
- Which aspects of the job / course interest you most?
- What do you think will be the main challenges of this job / course? Why does that appeal to you?
- What steps have you taken to find out more about the job role / course?
- Which aspects of your previous work experience / course have you enjoyed and why?
- Tell us about a current news story that has caught your attention and why it interests you. How might it relate to our organisation / institution?
Questions like this highlight how important it is to do plenty of preparation so that you understand what sort of job or course you are applying for and know as much as possible about the organisation or institution.
Applying for a job
If you are applying for a job, think about:
- why you are interested in the main duties of the job
- the organisation’s values and culture and how these fit in with your own
- why the core business activities of the organisation appeal
- training and development opportunities
- the aspects of the job that may be challenging
The interviewer is looking for evidence that you have the skills that they need and so may ask questions such as:
- Give an example of when you worked in a team to complete a task. What was your role and what did you contribute?
- Tell us about a situation where you’ve had to overcome a difficult problem.
- Describe an occasion when you have had to manage your time to achieve a deadline. What happened and how did you meet the deadline?
- Can you give an example of when you have done work that required a high degree of accuracy? How do you ensure that your work is accurate?
- Outline a situation where you’ve had to communicate complex information in an easy-to-understand way.
- Tell us about a time when you have had to deal with someone who was angry or upset. How did you deal with it
STAR stands for:
- Situation – provide some brief details about the situation you were in when you used a competency so that the reader can understand the context of the example.
- Task – outline what your objective or purpose was during that situation, again to put your answer into context.
- Action – describe what you did in that situation and how you approached it.
- Result – state the outcome, for example: Were the objectives met? What did you learn/gain from being in that situation?