What Motivates You?

What Motivates You?, Along with questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “where do you see yourself in five years,” are one of the most popular interview questions for job seekers.

It’s also a difficult question to answer because it’s both wide-ended and susceptible to interpretation. How can you respond in a winning manner? That is the focus of this guide.

We’ll discuss why the question “What motivates you?” is asked, how to prepare for it, and what you should respond to impress the interviewer.

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Why Interviewers Ask – What Motivates You?

What Motivates You? – So, why are hiring managers so fond of asking this question? Is it because they like seeing job seekers fail? Do they get a twisted thrill every time they witness a potential employee break out in a cold sweat while trying to find the appropriate words? Are recruiting managers truly that…cruel? No.

While it may appear that the only reason for asking this question is to amuse your interviewer, there are several important things an interviewer can learn about the interviewee based on their response, including what kind of person they are and how that matches up with what the company is looking for in a new hire.

Hiring managers are interested in knowing what you enjoy doing and why you enjoy doing it. They’re also interested in knowing what you’re excellent at.

Check: Are You Self-motivated?

They want responses that offer them instances of the qualities you have that will help them evaluate if you’ll be a good employee.

  • Do you like to work as part of a group or as a lone wolf?
  • Do your skills match the requirements of the job?
  • Do they share the same values as the firm as a whole?
  • Are you looking for a job that you want to thrive at, or are you simply there for the money?

To put it another way, they’re attempting to figure out how you see and approach success, as well as what motivates you. What inspires you as a person is closely connected to your goal-orientedness and level of ambition.

Are you driven to achieve more in life, or are you content with achieving the absolute minimum? Do you take a more casual approach to jobs or are you prepared to work hard for what you want?

Of course, this implies that there is a correct and incorrect method to answer this question… We’re here to assist you to figure out which is which and exactly what to respond to when presented with this sometimes perplexing issue.

Read also: How To Answer: Why Did You Decide To Become A Teacher?

Best Tips To Answer – What Motivates You?

Now that we’ve covered what you shouldn’t say, let’s look at what you should! Here are five simple pointers to help you plan your own response.

Be well-prepared. Ask yourself this question ahead of time and write down potential responses as well as instances from your own prior life/work history that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Recognize your own limitations. Being prepared goes hand in hand with this. Hiring managers want to know that you’re thinking about what inspires you. A quick generic response will not get you any points. Take the time to truly reply to the question by first evaluating who you are, what you enjoy, and, most importantly, what motivates you!

Be energized. This is what keeps you going! This is your area of expertise! Let your excitement shine! The more zealous you are about what inspires you, the more zealous the hiring manager will be about you!

You must be self-motivated. Hiring managers adore self-motivated individuals. Even if the position you’re looking for requires you to work as a team, hiring managers want to know that you’re capable of completing the duties allocated to you on your own.

If you get all of your motivation from outside sources, a hiring manager may be concerned about your capacity to accomplish duties if you are not continuously watched.

Never forget honesty over anything else.

What Motivates You? Sample Answers

Sample Answer 1

I enjoy learning new things, which is why I enjoy working in a team. At my last employment, we had a half-dozen different ideas and approaches for each assignment.

We would all collaborate to develop those into a single final strategy. Being open to what others had to say and seeing fresh and interesting ways others thought outside the box not only kept me engaged in the job I was doing, but also motivated me to improve my own knowledge outside of work so I could continue to contribute to the group as a whole.

You may like: How to Show That You’re Detail-Oriented in a Job Interview

Sample Answer 2

I am immediately motivated when I see the fruits of my work manifest as a physical item. I like every step of product creation, but nothing beats witnessing a functioning prototype. That is why I am compelled to be hands-on at all times and why I am so concerned with quality control.

Sample Answer 3

I get a lot of energy from watching pleased clients… people that enjoy the process as much as they do the product. In my former employment, I made every effort to ensure that customers were handled with dignity and never felt pressed.

Not only did this indicate that they were pleased with their experience with my firm, but it also led to a lot of repeat orders. This approach to sales helped me become the top earner in my district three years in a row, which pushed me to keep focusing on the client experience.

Sample Answer 4

“My motivation is participating in a project that makes me feel fulfilled. I believe that the extremely collaborative atmosphere and your aim of bringing people closer together via technology would keep me motivated at your firm in particular.

Sample Answer 5

“What motivates me the most is setting high objectives for my team and working with them to accomplish them.

In my present role, we established a goal of generating $2 million in sales for the fourth quarter, which we knew would be difficult but attainable if we kept pushing ourselves. I’ll never forget the thrill of coming together and exceeding our quota with a week remaining in the quarter!”

You may also like: Interview Questions To Discover Commitment And Motivation

Sample Answer 6

“I am driven by the chance to identify issues and assist people in overcoming them – for example, at my last business, I led an initiative to assess and revamp our onboarding process, which resulted in a 20% increase in satisfaction levels at 90-day check-ins across the board.”


Most recruiting managers are considerably more interested in a potential employee whose motivation is position- or company-centric rather than the “feel good” responses that some are forced to offer. Remember that sincerity is essential!

Remember that, while there are correct and incorrect ways to answer this question, there is no genuinely ideal response. Your response will be as one-of-a-kind as you are.

Of course, understanding how to respond will help you move from a possible recruit to an actual employee, which is why it’s critical to think about it before you get to the interview stage.

Just remember to follow our advice, write your own response with your own unique examples, and be truthful.

Don’t make it about yourself. When responding, it is better to concentrate on work-related motivators. Rather than stating that you like receiving a salary every week, talk about job duties that keep you interested and ready for a challenge.

Don’t go on and on. Have a concise and well-thought-out response to the question. Recognize or acknowledge what motivates or inspires you, and keep your response focused so you don’t confuse the interviewer with too much information.

Maintain an optimistic attitude. When responding, keep the good in mind. You don’t want to claim you’re driven, for example, since you don’t want to get fired for poor performance.

Best wishes!

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