Unveiling Employee Motivation: Three Ways to Assess Candidates Before Hiring


hiring process

Hiring motivated employees is crucial for any organization’s success. Motivated employees are more productive, engaged, and committed to achieving the company’s goals. However, assessing a candidate’s motivation during the hiring process can be challenging. In this article, we will explore three effective ways to check an employee’s motivation before making a hiring decision. By leveraging these methods, organizations can identify genuinely driven candidates to contribute to the company’s growth and success.

Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interviews can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s past actions and motivations. Interviewers can gauge their motivation and dedication by asking open-ended questions that encourage candidates to share specific examples from their work experiences. Some sample behavioral interview questions include:

“Tell us about a challenging project you worked on in your previous role. How did you stay motivated to overcome obstacles and achieve success?”

“Describe a situation where you went above and beyond your job responsibilities to achieve a significant outcome. What motivated you to take that initiative?”

“How do you stay motivated when facing tight deadlines or high-pressure situations?”

Recording and comparing candidates’ responses to these questions can help assess their motivation, resilience, and commitment to excellence.

Skills Assessment and Task-Based Evaluations

Skills assessment and task-based evaluations are practical ways to check a candidate’s motivation. Assigning candidates real-world tasks or simulations related to the job can reveal their enthusiasm for the role. Look for candidates who approach the tasks with enthusiasm, creativity, and a willingness to go the extra mile. Assess their willingness to take ownership of the task, problem-solving abilities, and the quality of their work. This method allows employers to see firsthand how motivated and driven candidates are to showcase their skills and abilities.

Reference Checks and Work History Verification

Reference checks and work history verification are essential steps in the hiring process to validate a candidate’s motivation and work ethic. Contacting previous employers or references can provide valuable insights into the candidate’s performance, work attitude, and level of motivation. Key questions to ask during reference checks include:

“Can you describe the candidate’s level of motivation and dedication during their time at your organization?”

“How did the candidate approach challenging tasks or projects that required high motivation?”

“Did the candidate demonstrate a proactive approach to learning and self-improvement in their role?”

By gathering feedback from past employers and colleagues, organizations can better understand the candidate’s motivation and suitability for the position.

assessing employee motivation

Pros and Cons of Assessing Employee Motivation

Method Pros Cons
Behavioral Interview Questions – Reveals candidates’ past actions and motivations – Candidates may provide rehearsed answers
– Provides insight into problem-solving abilities and resilience – Difficult to quantify motivation levels
Skills Assessment and Evaluations – Allows direct observation of candidates’ motivation and skills – Requires additional time and resources for evaluation
– Demonstrates candidates’ commitment to the job role Candidates may feel stressed or nervous during evaluations
Reference Checks and Verification – Provides validation of candidates’ motivation from previous employers – Some employers may not provide candid feedback
– Confirms candidates’ work history and track record – Limited to the information provided by the references and employers

Checking the motivation of potential employees before hiring is essential for building a motivated and high-performing team. Utilizing behavioral interview questions, skills assessments, task-based evaluations, reference checks, and work history verification can provide valuable insights into candidates’ motivation levels, dedication, and commitment to excellence. By employing these methods, organizations can make well-informed hiring decisions that align with their company’s values and goals, ultimately leading to a more motivated and successful workforce.