// How to face motivational and biographical questions

Nowadays each employer has different interview styles, therefore it is essential to prepare for all scenarios. Recently, we have posted about how to answer strength and competency-based questions and how to tackle Telephone and Skype interviews. Here, we will provide you with tips on how to face motivational and biographical questions. Preparing for these type of questions is a key in order to land a job. 

Motivational Questions 

This type of question seeks to examine if you are genuinely interested in, and have the right motivation for the job. Employers will try to measure how passionate you are about the field you apply to and the company, as well as whether you have done your homework prior to the interview. 


  • Why did you apply for this position? Why are these reasons important to you?
  • Why do you think you are suitable for this role?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
  • To successfully answer these questions you need to show your sincere interest in the job and organisation. Whenever you make a claim about how well you would fit in or how passionate you are, try to back it up with an example.
  • In order to deliver convincing answers, you need to have a good knowledge of the company as well as the position you apply to. Make sure you do thorough research beforehand about the job description and what the job involves. Try to relate your prior work experience with the skills that the position requires demonstrating that you are the best fit for the role.

Chronological or biographical questions 

These types of questions can be tricky and seem vague. However, you can easily use them to show how suitable you are for the job. It is important to remain focused on the purpose of the interview, or you can become side-tracked.

Example questions:

  • What have you learned from your degree course?
  • Tell me about your dissertation/project.
  • What was the last book you read?
  • Why did you choose your degree course?
  • Make sure you are familiarised yourself with your CV and well-prepared to talk about your past experiences.
  • If you are applying for a graduate job, make sure you prepare some examples from your university career and previous internships that demonstrate the key skills and qualifications required.
  • Do not mention too much about the course content, unless it is relevant. Try to focus on the transferable skills you have gained.
  • If you have gaps in your CV, be prepared to answer queries regarding that issue and ensure that you phrase your answers in the most positive way.
  • If the questions seem irrelevant, keep in mind that the recruiter is only trying to map up your personality and understand your motivations and interests.

Our team at CIUK wishes you the best of luck with your interview. If you have any questions or worries regarding your upcoming job application please get in touch with one of our qualified coaches.



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