How much does money matter to you?

  | James Innes

How much does money matter to you?

Alternative and related questions:

How important is money to you?
If you won the lottery, would you stop working?

The meaning behind the question:

No, this question doesn't mean the interviewer is about to make you a derisory salary offer!  Although it might not be immediately apparent, this question is actually a close cousin of a question we covered a few pages back, "If you won the lottery what would you do?"  The interviewer is looking into what your values are, what motivates and drives you.

Your answer:

Money is of course important to pretty much all of us – but is it what's most important?  Whatever your opinion on the subject it's important not to give the impression that it's all that matters to you.  That won't impress the interviewer.  Instead, shift the focus onto more 'desirable' motivations for you to turn up for work each day instead of staying at home and sitting on the sofa watching TV.  And try to make your answer relevant to your current application if at all possible.


I think money probably matters to me about as much as it does to anyone.  It's obviously vital and necessary for us to live and prosper but, at the same time, it's not my single most important driving force.  I see money very much as a means to an end, not an end in itself.  While being appropriately and fairly rewarded for the work I do and for what I achieve for an organisation is naturally something that I take seriously, there are many other factors which motivate, drive and inspire me, in particular the desire to learn and to develop, both professionally and personally.  I wouldn't, for example, decide to change jobs purely for financial reasons.  There would have to be a number of other positive reasons for me to make such a decision, as indeed there are in the case of the job for which I am now being interviewed.  You're offering an interesting and compelling new challenge in a well-regarded organisation with considerable scope for me to progress significantly in my chosen career path.

Word of warning:

As with the previous question, if you work in sales or some other highly money-driven and largely commission-based role then this question takes on a particular importance.  The example given above probably won't cut the mustard.  They'll most likely be looking for more of a killer instinct!

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