Tough Interview Question - What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?

What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?

Similar interview questions:
How do you like being rewarded in your work?
Tell me about how you have been rewarded in the past for your efforts.
What is most important for you in terms of recognition and rewards?
Which is more important to you, advancement or salary?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
This is a motivation and expectation question combined into one. The interviewer is seeking to understand what your motivations are for your career while also assessing how realistic you are in your expectations. If the interviewer does not feel that your motivations and/or expectations align well with the role or the employer, you may be bypassed as a candidate in spite of having the competencies required to do the work.

The best approach to answering this question:
Focus on career growth and advancement commensurate with your contributions over time.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"The most important rewards for me are recognition and advancement in my career. As an example, I have had two promotions in the past four years which were in alignment with my ability to deliver. As my skills and contributions increased, I was given the opportunity to perform at a higher level…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"The most important rewards for me are the opportunity to do the highest level work in alignment with my abilities and how I deliver on my projects. As an example, during my last internship, I completed the main project ahead of schedule, so I was given some higher level work on an internal project team which needed to move forward quickly. That project was delivered on time due partly to my involvement as an added resource to the team…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, the employee health insurance is probably the most important part of the rewards package. That and salary. I tend to get sick a lot and so I need to have a good insurance plan. My mother says that I was always a sickly child and I guess it’s carried over into my being a sickly adult. So having the health care coverage to see a doctor whenever I want is what is most important to me…"


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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