Motivational Interview Questions and Examples of the Best Answers

Author Mollie Sherman

Posted Mar 27, 2023

Reads 10.2K

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Motivational interview questions are an essential part of the interview process for job candidates. These types of questions can help employers gain insight into a candidate's motivation, work ethic, and personality. Commonly used in various industries, motivational interview questions often appear in some typical form during interviews.

During the interview process, common ways interviewers ask motivational interview questions is by asking follow-up questions that dive deeper into the candidate's response. These follow-up questions help employers better understand how the candidate thinks and what motivates them. In this article, we will explore some of the best examples of motivational interview questions and provide tips on how to answer them effectively to impress potential employers. So whether you're a recent graduate or a seasoned professional looking to land your next job, keep reading for some valuable insights on how to ace those motivational interview questions!

Interviewer's Curiosity: Unveiling the Information They Seek

Motivation interview questions are meant to gauge a candidate's level of enthusiasm for the job they're applying for. This category helps hiring managers understand what drives the candidate, and whether or not they will feel enthusiastic about their work. After all, earning money is only one part of job satisfaction—being passionate about your job responsibilities is a major reason why people love their work.

Asking candidates about their motivations helps interviewers assess fit and determine if someone would be a good match for the company culture. By delving into what makes a candidate tick, interviewers can see if they align with the values and goals of the organization. Ultimately, motivation interview questions help both parties make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward with an offer.

Motivational Interviewing Techniques

Motivational Interviewing Techniques are a set of strategies that employ open questions, reflective listening, and other skills to help individuals achieve their goals. One of the most commonly used techniques is the acronym OARS, which stands for Open questions, Affirmations, Reflective listening, and Summaries. The use of OARS can help motivate individuals by creating a safe and non-judgmental environment in which they can explore their feelings and motivations.

Motivational interviewing questions make use of the OARS technique and have been shown to be highly effective in helping people overcome obstacles to change. These questions are designed to elicit responses that clarify an individual's readiness for change and encourage them to take action towards their goals. By using open-ended questions and reflective listening, motivational interviewing prompts individuals to explore their own motivations for change rather than being told what they should do.

Developed by William Miller and Stephen Rollnick in 2002, Motivational Interviewing has become widely recognized as one of the most effective approaches for promoting behavior change. Haque & D'Souza (2019) found that motivational interviewing techniques could help promote weight loss among patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. By using active listening skills like empathizing with the patient's concerns or offering support when needed, healthcare providers can inspire motivation in their patients towards healthier behaviors.

Discover What You Will Learn in This Article

Are you preparing for a motivational interviewing interview and wondering what questions to expect? Look no further! In this article, we will dive into the world of motivational interviewing questions and explore what they are all about.

First, we will define what motivational interviewing is and why it is important. Then, we will walk through some common motivational interviewing questions, including the decisional balance exercise, to help you prepare for your interview.

Finally, we will provide a take-home message that summarizes everything you need to know about motivational interviewing questions. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn how to ace your next motivational interviewing interview!

Readiness for Change and Motivation

Assessing a client's readiness for change is essential to determine the effectiveness of motivational strategies. Change predicts subsequent behavior, and assessing readiness can help avoid counterproductively referred clients exhibiting resistance. The Transtheoretical Model (TMC) defines five stages ranging from pre-contemplation to termination stage, helping identify where a client is in their readiness for change.

Once a client's stage has been identified, the TMC informs approaches that will be most effective in helping clients reach the desired behavior. Successful interventions require a systematic stage-based approach that reflects motivation and addresses barriers to change. The language used during the motivational interview questions should help clients make arguments for life-long change and connect their identity with healthy behaviors.

Readiness for change and motivation are intertwined, and understanding how they interact is key to achieving behavioral change. Change models such as the TMC help professionals assess clients' current level of readiness and inform tailored interventions that address individual barriers to change. By using systematic stage-based approaches and connecting clients' identity with healthy behaviors, professionals can create successful interventions that result in long-term behavioral changes.

1. Stage: Precontemplation

The precontemplation stage is one of the critical markers in the motivation interview questions. At this stage, clients are usually unaware of the risk and change comfortable. They might employ rationalization to protect themselves and avoid rebellion. However, at times, resignation sets in as the client feels helpless. Understanding their core thoughts can help you guide them towards positive change.

2. Stage: Contemplation

The contemplation stage is one of the critical markers in understanding an individual's motivation. During this stage, core thoughts are examined, and prolonged periods experiencing stress may lead one to feel stuck. To gain insight into a candidate's mindset, asking questions about their thought process during this stage can provide valuable information for employers.

3. Stage: Preparation

In the preparation stage, clients should be taking steps to identify their core thoughts and critical markers in order to increase motivation for desired behavior. One effective way to do this is through motivation interview questions, which can help clients seek support and identify barriers standing in the way of their goals. By investing time in this stage, clients can set themselves up for success in achieving lasting change.

4. Stage: Action

During the action stage of the change process, clients exhibit diligence and take behavioral steps towards their goals. However, it's important to understand that occasional slips and setbacks may occur, leading the client to feel demoralized. Motivation interview questions can help bring awareness to thought processes, emotions, and self-image that may be hindering progress. By identifying critical markers and core thoughts, clients can periodically resume the change process and make meaningful strides towards their desired outcomes.

5. Stage: Maintenance

The maintenance stage is a difficult stage where sustained long-term effort is necessary to keep the progress that was successfully made. It's important to have a maintenance strategy in place to overcome negative circumstances and maintain critical markers. During the motivation interview questions, it's essential to evaluate core thoughts about the maintenance stage and how individuals plan to overcome challenges that may arise.

6. Markers of readiness for change

Motivational interviewing (MI) recognizes critical markers of readiness for change, such as clients' beliefs and self-efficacy. These markers can be measured using self-reported assessments like the Change Readiness Ruler or a formal readiness assessment. Scoring high on these measures in the early stages of pre-contemplation indicates a willingness to change behavior, making it easier for MI techniques to intervene and increase desire for the desired change.

7. Assess the importance of change

The first step in assessing the importance of change is to use a visual aid, such as a scale that ranges from marking 1 to selecting 100. You should then rate the desired change on this scale based on its importance to you. This will help you work hard towards achieving your goals and ultimately lead to greater motivation in your life.

8. Reflect on the answers provided

Step 2 in reflecting on the answers provided during a motivation interview is crucial. By analyzing the answers inquiring about specific numbers, such as scale versus a lower or higher number, employers can determine which candidates possess the drive to succeed. A lower score may not necessarily be a deal-breaker; it simply means that the candidate needs more work on their motivation skills.

9. Elicit change talk

Elicit change talk is an effective method used in motivational interviews to encourage clients to explore their values and envision their future goals. By introducing discrepancy between the client's current state and desired future, similar questions can be asked to elicit discrepancy and explore how their current behavior fits or supports their current values. This process helps clients identify areas where they may struggle with low desire for change, allowing them to elicit future goals and hopes for the future. This formal method of change exploring can lead to a more successful envisioning process that encourages clients to make positive changes towards achieving their desired future.

How to Respond to Interview Questions About Motivation

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are asked questions about your motivations. However, answering these types of questions can be an opportunity to highlight your intrinsic motivations and how they align with the job description. Before your interview, review the job description and think about how your motivational skills relate to the position.

When responding to motivation interview questions, it is important to emphasize what motivates you beyond just monetary gain. Highlighting intrinsic motivations such as a desire for personal growth, a passion for the industry or helping others can set you apart from other candidates. Additionally, discussing specific examples of how you have demonstrated these motivational skills in previous roles can showcase your ability to bring value to the position.

1. Note

Note: When it comes to motivational questions in job interviews, the responses can vary based on your previous positions and your current job. It's important to share examples from your day-to-day work, as well as your broader interests, studies, work experience, and volunteer activities. We strongly suggest being prepared to discuss environments that are busy or deadline-driven, as well as environments that are cooperative or competitive. Highlighting aptitudes required for the work involved will showcase why you are highly motivated for the position.

2. Example Answer #1

Example Answer #1:

When it comes to motivation interview questions, an example of a great response would be highlighting a time where you helped resolve customer complaints in a customer-facing position. Talk about how solving problems and providing answers to confused customers made frustrated customers happy. By giving customers the support they needed, you were able to ensure that they left with a positive experience.

3. Example Answer #2

Example Answer #2: In a motivation interview, it's important to highlight your drive and ambition. For instance, you might mention that you're incredibly motivated by solving problems, and that this passion extends beyond the workplace into your personal life. You might also describe how completing the daily crossword puzzle or reviewing monthly spreadsheets keeps you engaged and focused. Additionally, you could point out how customer feedback helped guide upper management in improving the products performed and that your response connects with the goals of the upcoming year stated in the annual report.

The Meaning Behind Staying Motivated

Neon Sign in a Black Background

The term motivation is commonly used in everyday usage, but what does it really mean? Staying motivated refers to the internal drive that pushes people to achieve their goals. It helps drive goal-oriented behaviors and keeps individuals focused on the task at hand. Without motivation, people may lack the energy or desire needed to accomplish their objectives. Therefore, understanding the meaning behind staying motivated is crucial for success.

1. Note

Note: Motivation interview questions are designed to help employers understand what drives a candidate. There are two types of motivations, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivations involve personal gratification, such as the satisfaction of completing a complicated crossword puzzle purely for the challenge, while extrinsic motivations involve rewards like trophies, money, or social recognition. By understanding what motivates a candidate, employers can reduce thirst for knowledge and create a more effective work environment.

Opinions from those who read our content

Our article on motivation interview questions has been a hit with readers! According to Janice Freel, who read the article on December 9, 2022, it was a relevant well-written article. She found great information that she could use in her work hand-in-hand with building self-efficacy.

Sylvia Busch also had good things to say about our written article. On October 5, 2022, she read it and found it to be filled with crucial information. She particularly liked the pointers for tough conversations and how they work hand-in-hand with motivational interviewing.

Andrea Ms Mc agrees that this is a fantastic resource. On November 3, 2022, she found the article to be informative and valuable. She appreciated the advice on dealing with anger management issues during interviews and felt that it was an excellent piece of writing. If you're looking to learn more about motivation interviewing and how to ace your next interview, then this is definitely worth checking out!

1. Let us know your thoughts

Motivation interview questions are a crucial part of any hiring process. They help employers determine if a candidate is truly passionate about the job they are applying for, or if they are just looking for a paycheck. It's important to answer these questions honestly and confidently, as they can set you apart from other candidates. If you're interested in learning more about how to prepare for motivation interview questions, leave your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter.

2. How to Assess and Improve Readiness for Change

Assessing and improving readiness for change is crucial for clients seeking professional help. One effective way to do this is by asking motivation interview questions that can reveal their level of commitment, confidence, and concern about the change they want to make. By understanding their readiness for change, professionals can tailor their interventions and support their clients in achieving their desired outcomes.

3. What Is Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)?

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a type of therapy that helps individuals struggling with addiction to find and strengthen their motivation to change. In recent years, addiction treatments have shifted away from punitive methods and abstinence protocols towards more client-centered approaches like MET. Studies have shown that motivation is a powerful predictor of successful outcomes in addiction treatment, making MET an essential tool for recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some core elements of Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational Interviewing includes core elements such as expressing empathy, avoiding arguments and resistance, supporting self-efficacy, and rolling with resistance. It is a collaborative approach that aims to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.

What is the purpose of open-ended questions in motivational interviewing?

Open-ended questions are used in motivational interviewing to encourage clients to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without feeling judged or pressured. This approach helps the client explore their own motivations for change and find solutions that work best for them.

What are some questions to ask during a motivational interview?

Some questions to ask during a motivational interview are: "What motivates you?" "What goals do you want to achieve?" and "How do you overcome obstacles?" These questions can help inspire and guide the conversation towards positive change.

What are some benefits of motivational interviewing?

Motivational interviewing can improve patient engagement, increase their confidence in their ability to make positive changes, and lead to more successful outcomes in behavior change.

What is the purpose of motivational interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is a technique used to help individuals resolve ambivalence about behavior change by exploring and strengthening their own intrinsic motivations for making positive changes.

Mollie Sherman

Mollie Sherman

Writer at CGAA

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Mollie Sherman is an experienced and accomplished article author who has been writing for over 15 years. She specializes in health, nutrition, and lifestyle topics, with a focus on helping people understand the science behind everyday decisions. Mollie has published hundreds of articles in leading magazines and websites, including Women's Health, Shape Magazine, Cooking Light, and MindBodyGreen.

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