Using Moving Motivators during Job Interviews

The Moving Motivators are a Management 3.0 practice that helps people to express their intrinsic motivations. It is an amazing tool to get to know people that can be used in a lot of different setups. Today, I’m presenting you how I am using these colorful little cards during our job interviews.

Moving Motiwhat?

The standard way of using the Moving Motivators is to ask someone to order the cards from the value they longing the less to the one they are longing the most. One can feel a very strong desire to be recognized for his competencies and another can wish to influence how things are done. There are no wrong answers, and the way one feels is the result of who they are and of their current context. It would change overtime. The most important part of this game is the discussions around one’s motivations.


Curiosity: I have plenty of things to investigate and to think about

Honor: I feel proud that my personal values are reflected in how I work.

Acceptance: The people around me approve of what I do and who I am.

Mastery: My work challenges my competence but it is still within my abilities.

Power: There’s enough room for me to influence what happens around me.

Freedom: I am independent of others with my work and my responsibilities.

Relatedness: I have good social contacts with the people in my work.

Order: There are enough rules and policies for a stable environment.

Goal: My purpose in life is reflected in the work that I do.

Status: My position is good, and recognized by the people who work with me.

Using the Moving Motivators during job interview

A job interview is only a couple of hours long, which means that you have to deep dive as quick as possible. Both sides have to answer and ask a lot of questions to make sure that this will work, both technically and personally. In some cases, some candidates stayed rather superficial and cold during the first hour and that didn’t seem right to us; and as we observed this pattern again and again, we decide to run an experiment by introducing an ice-breaker to our process. We needed something easy to understand, something that would help us to gain a lot of personal insights, and at the same time, something that would not be too intimidating. That’s where the Moving Motivators helped us.

Very basically, here is how we did it:

  1. we asked our candidates to read the cards and describe what they meant to them, in order to clear any possible misunderstandings.
  2. Then the candidates are asked to order the cards from the least important value to the most important value.
  3. And finally, they will explain why they places the card that way.

At this stage, it is essential to understand the candidate's motivations without questioning them too hard. Our goal was to clarify, not to challenge. If a candidate has the feeling that it doesn’t fit a job profile because of something said during the exercise, then the candidate is likely to try to cover it up and will not be totally honest for the rest of the interview.

What we learned from this experiment.

But it doesn’t stop here, we also noticed that discussing the intrinsic motivations of our candidates helped us massively during our recruiting process overall. Thanks to the moving motivators, we could better recognize what the candidates are looking for, their intrinsic motivation, what moves them. This led to critical discussions about what our organization can offer, and whether or not the candidate would be happy to work with us.

Nowadays, the Moving Motivators are a standard step of all our job interview, whatever the position, and we are experimenting with new and exciting way to improve them further … and now, it is up to you to try it out and modernize the way you are running your job interviews.



I’m an Agile Coach that wants to inspire you to seek happiness in your work and your life, by changing the way we do stuff.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store