Job Interview Question & Answer: What Is More Important, the Money or the Work?
Reasons for “What Matters Most” Questions
Employers want to know what motivates job seekers to succeed. By asking whether money or work is more important, interviewers can learn if your objective is career development or simply financial gain. The right answer can let them know that your passions make you an excellent choice for the job.
How to Respond to “Do You Care More about the Job or the Pay?”
Ultimately, hiring managers prefer candidates who believe that the work is more important than the paycheck. However, they also understand that money plays a vital role in workers’ lives. Try to combine these two motivations when giving your answer. Discuss personal interests and goals that support the company’s mission statement while also mentioning your need to earn a reasonable wage.
Answers to Avoid
Avoid telling an interviewer that money matters more to you than the work you do. It suggests that you might leave the company if a higher-paying opportunity comes along. On the other hand, it’s better not to give disingenuous or cliche answers like, “I don’t care about money,” when you talk about how much the work matters to you.
Examples of Acceptable Answers to “What Matters Most, the Money or the Work?”
There are a few different ways to show interviewers that your passion for the work is most important, but that money matters, too. Here are a few sample responses that include both personal and financial motivations.
Sample Answer 1 – Caregiver Jobs
“Personally, the work has always mattered more to me than the money. Making enough to support myself is important, of course. However, I have had jobs in the past that paid well but made me feel miserable. I would much rather get by with a fulfilling career that allows me to help others than make a ton of money doing a job that I dread going to every day.”
Sample Answer 2 – Barbering and Cosmetology Jobs
“Both are important, but I think pursuing my passions motivates me more than getting paid. I love using my creativity to make people look and feel good, and I enjoy developing strong relationships with my clients. I mostly think of money as a tool that allows me to take care of my family and get new equipment to keep doing what I love.”
Sample Answer 3 – Automotive Technician Jobs
“As a parent, I definitely think about earning enough money to make ends meet. Still, I believe that choosing a job that I enjoy and am good at will make me happier in the long run. I like working with my hands and enjoy doing work that helps me improve my skills, and that drives me to keep doing my best.”
You may think that employers who ask either/or questions are looking for one correct response. In this case, however, your answer can combine both options. When an interviewer asks, “Is it the money or the work that motivates you?” emphasize how your passions align with the goals of the company while also expressing your desire for a decent wage.