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5 inquiries to ask during a motivational interview (With Example Answers)

5 inquiries to ask during a motivational interview (With Example Answers)

Motivational interviewing is a strategy that can help people reflect on how they feel about themselves and their job. During such an interview, you can learn more about your relationship to your work by responding to open-ended questions. Knowing the types of questions that will be asked during a motivational interview and how to respond to them effectively can help you feel more assured in your capacity to give insightful answers.

In this piece, we’ve included sample answers to five often asked questions to help you prepare for your motivational interview.

What is a motivating interview?

A therapy technique known as a motivational interview seeks to help people identify their own innate motivation to make changes. When current employees feel they need to make changes to their work lives, the motivational interviewing technique may be utilized to help them. As the name implies, they are seeking new inspiration to help them successfully complete their work-related assignments. Instead of suggesting possible adjustments to make, motivational interviewers typically try to help their interviewees come up with solutions on their own. In order to do this, they compel the interviewee to evaluate their own professional selves and think about potential fixes for their current issues.

What does OARS mean?

The OARS approach is commonly used by motivational interviewers to ask questions and provide feedback. You are encouraged to be open and sincere about your feelings about your employment by using the abbreviation OARS, which stands for open-ended questioning, affirming, reflective listening, and summarizing. It also allows the interviewer to assist you in a difficult scenario. They enquire about your situation in order to help you see potential outcomes and recall the factors that drive and energize you for your work.

5 motivational interview questions with examples

Personal replies are required in response to motivational interview questions. The goals of the interview must be met with sincere responses. Take into account the following open-ended motivating interview questions and sample answers to help with your preparation:

1. Can you describe a time when you remained motivated despite doing boring work?

Using the STAR method, you can answer to enquiries that are directly related to your professional tasks. In spite of the fact that the purpose of a question like this is to help the interviewer understand how you feel about your job, STAR can help you clearly convey your work style. STAR stands for:

Situation: Providing the background information necessary to understand your response.

  • The precise task or subject covered in your article
  • What you did to act to resolve the issue
  • Your action resulted in a resolution as a result.

Example: “I was once tasked with supervising a project to aid in the implementation of a new policy. I had to establish the goals and the timeline before leading the team while we worked on the project. I had completed this task numerous times before, therefore I had no desire to do so again. Later, I realized that when I focused on working with my team rather than on individual tasks, the project was lot more enjoyable for me. By focusing on getting along with my coworkers, I made sure the project was completed on time and helped with the proper implementation of the policy.”

2. What does success in your line of work mean to you?

In a motivational interview, it’s critical to remember that the interviewer’s primary goal is to understand how you actually feel about your work. If they ask you what success means to you, be as honest as you can. Your interviewer will understand you and your situation better if you mention that your current definition of success differs from the one you had when you first started your career.

Example: “When I initially started working as a social worker, I always thought that being a supervisor was a sign of success, therefore I set that as my goal. I gave myself two years to finish it, and in that time I accomplished a lot and helped a lot of people. I instantly realized that I could actively help people in my current role. So, right now, success for me is more about building a career that entails helping my clients and making sure I can link them to the tools they need to improve themselves.”

3. What kind of environment do you find most conducive to productivity?

When talking about your work environment and productivity, it’s helpful to consider particular components. The interviewer likely wants to know your preferred method of working so they can help you come up with suggestions that will make you a better, more productive employee. Consider mentioning details that can make you more productive, such as the time of day, your attitude, your coworkers, or special assignments that can make you more efficient at your tasks.

Example: “I’ve discovered in the past that I work best under pressure. I can always excuse amending or modifying a report if there is no deadline since I have the time. I would take longer to finish the report even though the work’s quality remained the same. This time can be used to work on other things. I now create my own deadlines for tasks that don’t have one or are far away in order to be more productive.”

4. Do you want a better working environment for less money or a worse one for more?

By understanding about your ideal working environment, an interviewer can better comprehend your reasons for choosing your career or job. They can use your response as the basis for further specific questions to determine the situations that might improve your job happiness. Be truthful in your response if your preferred manner of working differs from the one used at your current job.

Example: “I’ve had experience working in a range of places. Despite the temptation of more pay, I’ve discovered that less ideal settings have an impact on my attitude toward my work. I find it to be far more rewarding to be proud of the work I do, even if the pay is less.”

5. Outline an occasion when you were concerned about missing a deadline. How did you find a solution?

Motivational interviewers could ask about tough work circumstances. This may help others understand your feelings and behavior in particular circumstances. You can gain from applying the STAR method when telling the interviewer a story about a specific incident.

Example: “I already had an article that was due at the end of the week, despite the fact that my schedule was jam-packed with other commitments. I realized some of those duties were more crucial than others. I created a schedule to assist me in completing the tasks that were most important first before moving on to the rest. I found that after setting the timetable that I did, I had time to work on the article intermittently. This allowed me to do all of my responsibilities before the week was through.”

Typical challenges with motivational interviewing in addition

Motivational interviewers will often ask you open-ended questions to get you thinking critically about your work. This inspires you to consider your current situation and search for opportunities to better it. In a few of these questions, you are required to assess your career. In other questions, you can be asked to evaluate your emotional connection to your job and how it might affect you while you’re at work.

To evaluate your professional life, you might ask yourself:


  • What are the benefits of your job, specifically?
  • How can you improve your work?
  • What steps have you already made to improve the situation?
  • What has changed since you initially began working there?
  • What exactly do you do for a living?
  • Has there been a recent event at work?
  • How may doing things differently produce a different result?
  • What did you expect this position to help you accomplish?
  • How have your goals changed?
  • How do your coworkers affect your productivity?
  • How would you describe the interactions you have with your coworkers?
  • What changes would you make to better assist you achieve your goals?
  • Could you describe a time when you had a great idea for a project at work?
  • How do you efficiently manage your time at work?
  • What progress have you made personally or professionally as a result of your work?
  • Could you share an instance of when you came up with a novel strategy to finish a task?
  • How do your employers motivate you to put in hard work?
  • What do you think motivates you professionally, in your opinion?

To evaluate your emotional connections and responses, you might be questioned about the following things:

  • Why are you now here?
  • How can I help you feel more comfortable at work?
  • What makes your work so valuable to you?
  • What drew you to this particular field of work?
  • What relaxation methods have you found to be effective in the past?
  • How long have you felt this way about your work?
  • What do you think might happen if you don’t change?
  • What do you think of the progress you’ve already made?
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What do you do at work to feel supported?
  • What professional achievements can you point to with pride?

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