The best way to evaluate a candidate's motivation is to look at where they've been and where they're headed.

Where have they been?

You can learn a lot by listening to someone’s life story. Don’t just rely on a resume for this. Have a candidate walk you through their professional life. We ask candidates to divide their career history into chapters. Ask them about the highs and lows in each chapter and what drove them toward the next chapter. Look for insights and patterns. Why did they leave? How do they talk about their past? Are they taking responsibility for what has happened in their lives, or are they victims?
Can you see what is motivating this person? If you can’t, then how can you know they have the motivation to be successful at your company?

Where are they headed?

Once you understand where a candidate has been, shift your focus to where they're headed. What do they want to accomplish in the next five years? Of course, you want to know about their career goals — but you really want to know about their other goals in life, too. Don’t take the goals at face value. Dig a little deeper to find out why a goal is important to them and how it would make them feel to achieve it. This is where you’ll find their true motivation.

Now that you know what a candidate wants from life, you know how to keep them motivated if they're hired. Imagine what could happen when you help your employees reach their goals — you could end up with lifelong, loyal team members.

Check for Alignment

The last question we ask in a motivation interview is, "Based on everything that you know about us and this opportunity, will this position at our company allow you to accomplish all of these things that said you want to do in the next five years?” If the answer is no, will they really be the right fit for your team?