What motivates you

How To Answer Interview Question: What Motivates You? 

If you’re a job seeker or a recent graduate embarking on the exciting journey of deciding on a career path, you’ve probably already asked yourself this question, and your interviewer is likely to do so as well. After all, an employee’s job revolves around their inspiration. Employees who are enthusiastic about their work are more productive. Employees who are motivated are more likely to excel and achieve higher levels of performance. Hiring motivated workers, in turn, means hiring people who can help the organization achieve its objectives.

“What motivates you?” is one of the toughest questions to answer at an interview, and it could catch you off-guard since the question is open-ended. It’s not as complicated as it seems if you have the correct answer.

Motivation comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it is also transferable. Volunteer jobs, hobbies, and class projects are all possibilities. You must demonstrate how your motivation translated into results for the interviewer to understand what your motivation would do for their company.


Why is this question asked?

There are a plethora of reasons why this question is asked.

The interviewer or hiring manager wants to know what makes you so thick. They want to get a sense of who you are as a person and your personality. They want to hear about your tenacity, dedication, and so on. How can you deal with obstacles and difficulties (a difficult project, having to work late, filling in for another team member, or being asked to do anything that isn’t exactly in your job description, etc.)

And how you’ll do it if the work is more difficult to learn and get started than you expected. They will not recruit someone who will leave and waste their time. The interviewer is primarily interested in knowing why and how you are inspired to accomplish career goals and excel. They’ll also want to know if the things that inspire you fit with the company’s goals and the job you’d be doing.


How you can determine your motivators

 Since this is an open-ended question, you should have some ideas about what motivates you. You would delve deeper into your interests, both personally and professionally. Thinking ahead of time about what your motivators are ensured that your answer is genuine and enthusiastic.

Knowing your motivators (keep in mind that you’re probably motivated by many things) necessarily requires some self-reflection. Consider what motivates you in your personal, academic, and professional life.

For instance, 

  • What happened on your happiest days?
  • What propels you to get up from bed early in the morning?
  • What are your strongest skills?
  • When was the last time you looked forward to a day at work?
  • What projects do you look forward to doing?
  • When did you come home from the workplace with stories and feeling enthusiastic and excited?


Keep these positive moments in mind when determining your motivation, whether it’s a new skill you’ve mastered, a fruitful meeting with a client, or something else.

If you’re still uncertain, try taking some online quizzes to figure out just what matters to you. It could be your relationships, your ideologies, your social or economic status, the adrenaline rush of competition, or something completely different.

Make a list of everything; these are your motivators.


Guidelines to follow to answer the interview question “what motivates you?”, Dos and Don’ts 


Always give a straightforward and concise answer, and then provide specific examples from previous experiences to explain or describe the types of projects or tasks that motivate you. It doesn’t have to be some heartfelt tale about how your grandma was diagnosed with a disease and you spent your life trying to find a cure.

For example, if you’re motivated by leading others, tell the interviewer about a time when you led a team to complete a significant project or job.

If learning new skills motivates you, talk about the time and effort you put into earning professional certifications.

You can say that you enjoy working together and accomplishing big goals as part of a team and that this is what motivates you to do your best every day (only say this if the job involves teamwork).

You can say you enjoy doing important work…creating products that make a positive difference in people’s lives. However, you can only say this if the company you’re interviewing with has products that make a difference in people’s lives, or if they provide services like selling software.

Perhaps you helped a company save money, accomplished a project ahead of time, or assisted an employee with a problem. A good way to show the interviewer your achievements is to tell a story about them. This will assist the interviewer in understanding how your motivation will benefit the company.

When discussing what motivates you, remember to keep the job in mind. Consider what skills and abilities would be most useful for the job you’re interviewing for while preparing your answer.

Anything you say during the interview should be suited to the company. You must consider the job they are offering and ensure that your answers are appropriate and fit in with that otherwise, you will not be hired.

You may also discuss personal interests that are relevant to the work, for example, whether you have an interest in agriculture and know how to raise livestock or grow crops, and you’re interviewing for jobs as a farm attendant/assistant, farm manager, or agricultural teacher, for example.

Another example is if you were a college athlete and are excited about it. This is an excellent justification for why you’re applying for any athletic-related work and what motivates you daily. This job could be a personal trainer, a coach, or something else in the sports industry.



  • Giving an insincere answer

You may be tempted to adapt your answer to the interviewer’s preferences. Don’t feel obligated to fabricate a compelling lie. However, since this is a crucial question, you must be genuine, keep it clear, and have a straightforward answer. This isn’t to suggest you shouldn’t tailor your answer to the company you’re interviewing with. Only keep in mind that you’ll have to back up your response in the interview and on the job.

With this interview question, being deceptive is not a good idea. 

  • Giving a vague or generic answer,

Since “What motivates you?” is an open interview question, that doesn’t mean the response should be ambiguous or generic.

  • Answering “money” or” getting a promotion”

Every interviewer understands that everybody comes to work for a paycheck. However, since this question is intended to elicit a more in-depth answer, concentrate your response on non-monetary motivators, which will enable the interviewer to gain a better understanding of you as an individual and an employee. If you get paid every 30 days, you’ll need something else to keep you motivated the other 29 days. That is what they are concerned about.

Also, if you don’t know anything about the Company, do some research and learn as much as you can before your interview.

Interview Questions

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