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Career Motivation Questions

28 September 2015 |

Many candidates struggle to articulate their motivation for pursuing a particular career. However, this can be an incredibly important aspect of interviews and you should give this element some serious thought when preparing. This question will typically come up during competency interviews, although some firms may have specific interviews dedicated to a candidate"s motivation for applying for a particular role. Tell the story of how your interest in your chosen career has developed. For instance, when and why did your interest in your chosen career first materialise. Was it at school whilst studying a particular subject, whilst undertaking work experience, or following a conversation with an acquaintance working in that industry? What did you do to further explore this interest (e.g. undertake certain work experience)? How did your research confirm that this was the right career for you? Ensure your answer is sensible however. Stating that you have always wanted to be a lawyer/banker/consultant/accountant/actuary may not come across as genuine and believable to your interviewer!

Below are some of the aspects that you may want to keep in mind when considering your personal reasons for pursuing your chosen career. However, do not just parrot these justifications to interviewers. Remember, many firms will have seen this handbook and may think you are merely reciting phrases from it as opposed to relaying your genuine personal motivations. Furthermore, your answers will be unconvincing unless you relate them back to your own personal experiences.

Types of Questions You May be Asked

  • What influenced your decision to pursue this particular career?
  • Which other professions have you considered and why did you not want to pursue them instead?
  • If you had to work in any other industry, which would you choose and why?
  • What is your understanding of the role for which you are applying?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?