Why Interviewers Ask About Job Satisfaction
What the Question Reveals
For many workers, job satisfaction plays the biggest role in deciding whether to remain in a particular occupation or pursue new opportunities for employment. As a result, employers often want to know where job seekers derive professional satisfaction from. To elicit the information necessary to help determine whether potential employees will remain content if hired, interviewers frequently ask, “When have you felt most satisfied in a job?” In addition to identifying sources of professional satisfaction, responses to the popular interview question give employers a better understanding of the specific and unique factors that motivate each candidate on the job.
Preparing the Response
Because the question demands the recollection of previous work experiences, applicants should prepare a suitable response ahead of time to avoid sitting in awkward silence while trying to remember the details of past jobs during the interview. Refrain from being overly general or vague and focus on coming up with an answer that specifically demonstrates appreciation for past experiences, enjoyment of work, and enthusiasm for the current job opportunity. If preparing a response proves challenging, start by making a list of personal and professional strengths, as workers tend to gain the most satisfaction from jobs which play to their strong points. Use the list to trigger memories of instances that would make appropriate responses.
Answering the Question
A good response not only specifically addresses the question, but also showcases the relevant skills of the job seeker. In other words, the response needs to include a specific example of feeling satisfied about a former job while simultaneously positioning the candidate as the perfect choice for the role being filled by the interview. An applicant interviewing for a customer service position, for instance, might want to respond with an answer like, “I’m always most satisfied when I’m working with customers because I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what they need and providing the best service possible. The opportunity to interact with customers on an even deeper level is part of what drew me to this job.” Regardless of the type of position desired, the response should never include references to money or anything else typically regarded as a superficial source of satisfaction.