Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: for Renegade Recruiters
Building a Remote Workforce

Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: for Renegade Recruiters

by Crossover
Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: for Renegade Recruiters
  • What is Motivational Interviewing?
  • Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: The Four Keys
  • Motivational Interviewing Example Scripts
  • The Art of the Motivational Interview
  • Why MI is Your Secret Weapon
  • Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: Closing the Deal

Recruiters: Need a motivational interviewing cheat sheet? It’s the best way to find top performing candidates in a sea of average performers. And if you’re not using it, you’re being left behind.

Why, you ask? 

Because it's the Bruce Wayne of recruitment strategies: unassuming on the surface, but sure to pack a punch when it comes to the crunch. 

Did you know that by 2025, 70% of the workforce will work remotely at least five days every month?

As recruiters, we're like the love child of a motivational speaker and a matchmaker, tasked with finding top talent to join the most innovative companies in the future of work.

So, we need an effective strategy. That’s where this motivational interview cheat sheet comes in handy.

Keep it open during your next virtual interview to inspire change talk, open-ended questions and positive results.

I know what you're thinking, “Sure, that sounds great, but does it actually work?” Let’s just say it’s as effective as a good punchline in a stand-up routine.

Here's your quick guide.

What is Motivational Interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is all about collaboration, compassion and understanding.

It’s a tango between the recruiter and the candidate, where the goal is not just to impress with fancy footwork, but to create a connection. In other words, it’s a better way to communicate.

This ground-breaking method has revolutionized the medical and health sciences, and its success has led to its adoption in many other fields.

It's been a successful tool in helping to identify top performers and provide an alternative to traditional behavior-based interviewing techniques.

Using the four key principles of motivational interviews, we can unmask these high value candidates during virtual Zoom calls - without fear of letting them slip by.

These techniques give your candidate a compelling opportunity: the red pill or the blue pill. Expose their true strengths, skills and motivations, or expose their real attitude towards work.

Much like in the Matrix, they’ll quickly realize there’s no going back.

Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: The Four Keys

1. Empathize 

Practice active or reflective listening and show understanding. Reflect back what candidates say to ensure you’re on the same page. 

And remember, you're a recruiter, not a judge on American Idol.

2. Explore discrepancies 

Help candidates spot the gap between their current and desired situations. When they can see that what they do doesn’t align with their values, they’ll realize change is imminent. 

Use open-ended questions to reveal true feelings.

3. Roll with resistance 

When candidates express concerns, don't contradict them. Instead, acknowledge their fears and work on solutions. Much like how Bruce Banner handles the Hulk, approach resistance with understanding, not rage.

4. Support self-efficacy

Help candidates believe they are top performers. Point out their strengths, and make them feel empowered. Share success stories from past hires to inspire confidence. 

Encourage autonomy and self-belief while on the call. 

Motivational Interviewing Example Scripts

Knowing the principles and applying them are two different things. Here are some sample motivational interviewing questions to put you in the right frame of mind.

1. Empathize

• "Can you tell me more about your concerns regarding this role?"

• "That sounds challenging. What does your ideal workday look like?"

2. Explore Notable Discrepancies

• "You mentioned you dislike micromanagement, but you prefer to manage in-office. Can you help me understand this better?"

• "How does your current work-life balance reflect your ideal work-life balance?"

3. Roll with Resistance

• "You've shared concerns about shifting to contract work. What ways do you see this being an obstacle to you in this position?"

• "I hear that you’re not happy in your current position and that you don’t want a lateral move. How would stepping into this role change things for you?"

4. Support Self-Efficacy

• "What strength of yours stood out among your peers in your last position?"

• "Can you tell me about a time you took charge and changed things for the better? How did you handle it?"

Keep this motivational interviewing cheat sheet close for your next big interview.

The Art of the Motivational Interview

Conducting a motivational interview is like leading a guided meditation: You provide the path, but they have to walk it.

Steer the conversation, but let them do most of the talking.

Remember, you're helping them decide, not selling them a timeshare. And please, resist the urge to dominate the conversation. An interview shouldn't sound like a monologue at an open mic night.

Why MI is Your Secret Weapon

Motivational interviewing not only reveals the hidden attitudes of your candidates, it also helps you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to high performers.

By applying these principles, you create a safe space where candidates can voice their goals and fears in a virtual environment. This process might seem as daunting as convincing a cat to take a bath, but the results are worth it.

Still screening candidate resumes? Here’s why you’re wasting your time.

Motivational Interviewing Cheat Sheet: Closing the Deal

In the world of recruitment, it’s clear that motivational interviewing is not just another fad diet that promises quick results but leaves you feeling empty. Instead, it's a robust strategy that helps you find candidates who can perform on the job, after they’re hired.

In the end, remember you're not just a recruiter; you're a coach, an ally, a lighthouse guiding candidates through the foggy uncertainties of change.

Use this motivational interviewing cheat sheet to your advantage.

Watch as your candidates reveal who they really are during the interview and become the truly high performers they were destined to be.

The future is knocking. 

As recruiters, we hold the key to that door. 

Let’s use motivational interviewing to open it wide and welcome candidates into the new normal.

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