Interview Question and Answer – Do you know how to motivate other people?
in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question and Answer – Do you know how to motivate other people?

This is a question that again you could answer with a yes and no but by doing so you would almost certainly miss out on the opportunity to give an answer that demonstrates your management experience. Give two specific examples if at all possible but vary them. This can be in a non-work environment if you are still at the start of your career or if you are working and have been for a number of years it is probably quite important to give work examples as opposed to social or leisure activities.

Examples of Answers
“Yes. When I worked as part of a team on a project to rebuild a community centre in a disadvantaged part of Blackpool. At times the project felt as if it was never going to finish and insurmountable problems began to arise unconnected to the work the team was doing. It was important to keep everybody motivated and usually team dynamics mean that each member of the team has different things that motivate them. Some team members need encouragement and praise to get them to perform at their best, others need extra work and targets to achieve and some people simply need financial incentives to get themselves motivated to increase the task in hand. I have always felt it is important to identify these individual motivations and to use these to drive the team forward as a whole. I think as a manager having the ability to identify what motivates individuals is key to getting the best out of any team. Without identifying individual requirements and needs it is virtually impossible to have a successful team.”

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at