The SHL Motivation Questionnaire also known as the SHL MQ Test, is a powerful tool used by employers to assess a candidate’s motivations, values, and preferences in the workplace.

This guide will provide you with valuable insights into the test, its sections, and how to prepare for it. We will also provide example questions and address frequently asked questions to help you succeed in your SHL MQ Test.

What is the SHL MQ Test?

The SHL MQ (Motivation Questionnaire) Test is a psychometric assessment designed to evaluate a candidate’s workplace motivations, values, and preferences. The test is often used by employers to identify candidates whose motivations align with the company’s culture and goals.

The test results provide insights into an individual’s engagement, satisfaction, and potential for success within an organization.

The SHL MQ Test is typically administered online and takes around 25 minutes to complete.

SHL MQ Test Sections

The SHL MQ Test consists of several sections that focus on different aspects of workplace motivation. These include:

  1. Achievement: This section evaluates a candidate’s drive for personal success, goal orientation, and desire for professional development.
  2. Affiliation: Measures the importance of building relationships, teamwork, and collaboration in the workplace.
  3. Autonomy: Assesses the candidate’s preference for independence, decision-making, and control over their work.
  4. Power: Evaluates the candidate’s desire for influence, authority, and leadership.
  5. Security: Measures the importance of job stability, security, and predictability.
  6. Work-life balance: Assesses the candidate’s preferences for balancing personal and professional life, flexibility, and working hours.

How to prepare for and pass an SHL MQ test

To prepare for your motivational questionnaire, you should understand the sections and types of questions in the SHL MQ Test. Knowing the structure will help you feel more comfortable and confident during the assessment.

Take the time to think about your personal motivations, values, and preferences in the workplace. This self-reflection will help you provide more accurate answers.

Remember the SHL MQ Test is designed to assess your genuine motivations and values. Be truthful in your answers and avoid trying to guess what the employer is looking for. An accurate assessment will benefit both you and the employer in the long run.

Example SHL MQ questions

Below are some example questions from each section of the SHL MQ Test. These questions are for illustrative purposes and may not exactly replicate the questions on the actual test.

Achievement example questions

  • How important is it for you to consistently exceed your performance targets at work?
  • How much do you enjoy taking on challenging projects that stretch your abilities?

Affiliation example questions

  • How important is it for you to build strong relationships with your colleagues at work?
  • How much do you value working in a team where everyone supports each other?

Autonomy example questions

  • How important is it for you to have control over your own work without frequent supervision?
  • How much do you value having the freedom to make decisions regarding your work?

Power example questions

  • How important is it for you to have influence over decisions in your workplace?
  • How much do you value the opportunity to lead a team or a project?

Security example questions

  • How important is it for you to have a stable, long-term position with your employer?
  • How much do you value having a predictable and consistent work schedule?

Work-life balance example questions

  • How important is it for you to have a flexible work schedule that allows for personal activities?
  • How much do you value having a clear separation between your work and personal life?


What does the SHL MQ Test measure?

The SHL MQ Test measures a candidate’s motivations in six key areas: achievement, affiliation, autonomy, power, security, and work-life balance.

How is the SHL MQ Test scored?

The SHL MQ Test is not scored in the traditional sense. It’s more of a personality inventory where there are no right or wrong answers. Instead, it generates a profile reflecting your motivations and preferences in the workplace.

Can I fail the SHL MQ Test?

You cannot ‘fail’ the SHL MQ Test. However, the results could indicate that your motivations and values may not align well with those of the prospective employer, which could affect your chances of success in the role.