Conduct a Better Interview by Understanding Candidate Motivations

Conduct a Better Interview by Understanding Candidate Motivations

As banks vie for top candidates, understanding what motivates these potential hires can significantly improve the interview process.

This insight not only positions banks as desirable employers but also ensures a cultural and motivational fit, crucial for long-term success. Here are some strategies to uncover and align with candidate motivations, transforming interviews from mere evaluations into powerful recruitment tools.

1. Identify Candidate Motivations Early On

The first step is understanding that candidate motivations extend beyond salary expectations. They encompass career growth opportunities, work-life balance, company culture, and the impact of their work.

During the interview, ask open-ended questions that encourage candidates to express their professional desires and personal goals. For instance, questions like, “What drives you in your professional life?” or “What are you looking for in your next role that you don’t have currently?” can reveal deep insights into their motivations.

2. Highlight Opportunities for Growth and Development

Candidates, especially those in the dynamic banking sector, often prioritize opportunities for growth and professional development. Banks should clearly articulate the career pathways available, including training programs, mentorship opportunities, and potential career advancements. This approach not only resonates with candidates looking to evolve professionally but also demonstrates the bank’s commitment to employee development.

3. Showcase Work-Life Balance and Cultural Fit

In today’s job market, a healthy work-life balance is a significant motivation for many candidates. According to a report by Clockify, 94% of employees believe that work-life balance is important, and 78% of workers feel they have a good work-life balance.

Banks should highlight their policies on flexible working hours, remote work options, and leave policies. Additionally, giving candidates a sense of the company culture—through meet-and-greets with future colleagues or virtual tours—can help them visualize themselves as part of the team. Remember, candidates are not just looking for a job; they’re looking for an environment where they can thrive.

4. Communicate the Impact of Their Work

Many candidates are motivated by the impact of their work on the community and the larger financial ecosystem. Banks should articulate how their roles contribute to the organization’s mission and values, and by extension, to the financial well-being of their customers. This connection can be especially motivating for candidates who seek purpose in their work.

5. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

While not the only motivation, competitive compensation and benefits packages are undeniably influential. Ensure that your offer is attractive compared to the market standards and reflects the value the candidate brings to the team.

What are competitive salaries in Commercial Banking and Private Wealth? Read our salary report now.

Besides the base salary, consider highlighting bonuses, stock options, pension plans, and health benefits. Tailoring these aspects to the candidate’s life stage and professional priorities can make your offer even more compelling.

6. Foster an Environment of Open Communication

Throughout the interview process, maintain open lines of communication, providing candidates with timely updates and feedback. This transparency builds trust and shows respect for the candidate’s career journey, further motivating them to join your team.


By understanding and responding to candidate motivations, banks can significantly improve their hiring process. It’s about creating a match that benefits both the candidate and the bank, leading to higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a committed, engaged workforce. Remember, the goal is to make candidates feel valued and understood, setting the stage for a fruitful and lasting professional relationship.

As the banking sector continues to evolve, those institutions that master aligning with candidate motivations will not only attract but also retain the industry’s best talent, securing their place at the forefront of financial innovation.

The Anderson Search Group is built on the belief that superior service, a passion for quality, and highly professional deployment bring value to our clientele in the commercial banking arenas. We are conscientious, incisive, and ready to exceed your expectations. Contact us today.

Conducting Better Interviews