Tough Interview Question - Is money important to you?

Is money important to you?

Similar interview questions:
How much will money weigh into your decision on accepting a new role?
What is most important to you about making a career change?
Is salary a motivator for you?
Would you rather earn a lot of money or have a job where you can grow and advance?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer is looking for your prioritization of money in your decision making, not only for accepting the role itself, but as a future consideration for whether or not you can be retained. This question is usually asked by employers who tend to pay less than average or at least less than the leaders in the industry, yet offer other benefits. It is also asked by employers in lower cost of living areas who cannot pay the same salaries as employers in higher cost areas.

The best approach to answering this question:
Money is important for everyone and you should not reject its importance outright. But you should not make it your first priority. As you will come to learn in your career, opportunities for growth and advancement, in the long run, are far more important for your career development.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"Money is important to me in that it both reflects the value of what I am providing as well as taking care of my personal and family needs. That said, it is not the most important driver for me in my career. Opportunities for growth and advancement are far more important to me over the long run. Can you give me some examples of the growth path others have achieved in this role?"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"Yes, money is important to me, since it’s both a measure of my value and it helps me to take care of the personal needs in my life. But the opportunities for growth and advancement which would be offered to me are even more important to me than money as I grow and succeed in the role. Can you give me some examples of how others in this role have advanced in their careers over time?"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Yes, money is the real key for me. It’s how I’m measured in my work. Everything I do revolves around how much money I make. If I’m doing a great job, I expect to be paid for it. If not, I will move on to another employer who values me higher. In fact, that’s why I’m here talking to you today…"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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