what motivates you

5 Smart Ways To Answer “What Motivates You” In An Interview

With interviews comes the inevitable question – what motivates you? Along with a few other questions like “tell us about yourself,” it is among the most typical and baffling questions. While no one answer will work for everyone, understanding why this question is asked can help you frame your answer effectively. In this blog post, we’ll show you five ways to answer this question. We will also look at how you can find out what motivates you. Whether you seek advice on your next job or want to be prepared for the interviewer’s next question, read on!

Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Motivates You?”

Primarily the interviewer wants to know what you want. Or in other words, what will make you give your best? It is a broad question with many answers, which is why it can be difficult to figure out the right answer. The right answer is the one that creates a bridge between the company’s values and the candidate’s motivation.

Employers want to know what motivates them. When answering the question, be sure to share examples from your past work experience or current goals. When it comes to values, it’s a good idea to think about things that make you happy and why they matter to you. This has to show in your answers. This answer will give the interviewer insight into your personality and working style, based on which they can determine your suitability for the role.

Moreover, while answering this question, your degree of self-awareness will be visible too! Employees who can comfortably identify and explain their motivations are much more self-aware than those who cannot. Further, these candidates are more likely to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others in their teams too.

Additionally, they are looking for things that appeal to the company – this will demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job and the company’s culture. The company wants to ascertain that you share their values and, therefore, will be capable of understanding and executing their vision as a team member.

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How To Understand What Motivates You?

Before seeing how you can answer this question, you need to identify the contents of this answer. Many candidates cannot answer effectively despite excellent communication skills as they do not understand what motivates them. Your motivation lies above the monetary compensation, giving you a sense of fulfillment after a long work day.

Finding out what motivates you is key when looking for an answer. By asking yourself various questions and discussing your motivations in an interview, you’ll show that you’re dedicated and passionate about the role. You need to figure out a few things to understand this.

First, begin by asking yourself why you are only working in that field. It could be a love for the work or want to use the software and processes common to the field. It might also be the human connections that you can form at work. The answer to this question is the beginning of your motivation.

Secondly, figure out what gives you a sense of fulfillment. Which part of the day makes it worthwhile? What is it at work that makes you eager to come the next day? This is your motivation for showing up day after day – even in the face of setbacks and constant ups and down.

Next, move on to the role that you are applying to. Consider what made you choose the role. Was it the learning opportunity or the autonomy that comes with it? Your answer to this question will show what will make you do justice to the job. The things you anticipate the most from an upcoming offer will likely be your source of fulfillment.

Once you have the content of your answer figured out, we can work to get the message across in the best way possible.

Five Smart Ways To Answer “What Motivates You” In An Interview

When answering the question “what motivates you,” many job seekers feel stumped. However, with a little preparation, you can easily answer this question confidently. Here are five things you can do to tackle this question in your next interview:

Focus On Introspection

As we saw earlier, candid chit-chat with your mind is the best way to understand your motivation. Remember that your answer should be honest and straightforward. Do not include things you do not believe in to show that you can fit the role. Consider the questions we asked above and draw your conclusions from them.

Learn About The Company And The Role

Before any interview, you must learn details about the company and role you are applying to. Organizations at different stages of their lifecycle will be looking for different people. A start-up aiming for rapid growth will seek someone innovative, multi-functional, and willing to build new things. On the other hand, an established corporation will want a person who can adapt to its systems and work within them. You can tailor your answer to the position accordingly to ensure a match between your values and what they are looking for at the company.

Pick Relevant Points To Mention

Once you have understood what the interviewers are looking for, you can frame your answer accordingly. Make sure to pick points that will strike a chord with interviewers. For example, suppose the role requires you to perform highly independently. In that case, you can mention instances where you worked alone to derive significant results, suggesting a new sales strategy with better results.

Read more about 7 Proven Tips For Becoming A Results-Oriented Leader.

Use Examples To Highlight Your Values

Take examples from real-life situations that show who you are and what matters to you. For instance, if you want to demonstrate that your motivation lies in building relationships in the workplace. You can talk about the great experience of building a new team at a previous workplace. It will point to the importance you give to teamwork and collaboration.

Craft A Well-Rounded Answer

As an open-ended question, the answer can take many directions. Therefore, you must ensure that your answer specifically highlights your motivations and values. Utilize examples from your own life or experiences to illustrate your point. Speak about what motivates you regarding work, goals, and other areas of your life. Be prepared to answer this question with detailed reasoning to show that you are the best fit for the role. Ultimately, a well-crafted answer to this question can make all the difference in the interviewer’s decision!

Example Of Answering Interview Question – What Motivates You

Let us look at an example of an answer to the interview question, “what motivates you”

I am motivated by challenges and handling multiple tasks. In the past, I have managed teams and projects in multi-functional roles. I like to ensure that my team coordinates well on all operations. My teams have demonstrated efficiency and delivered results before deadlines continuously. Achieving goals and overcoming challenges with others keep me going.

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Common Mistakes When Answering Questions About Motivation

When interviewees answer the question “What motivates you,” they often make common mistakes.

Making General Statements

Some of the most common mistakes interviewees include saying things like, “I like working with people,” or “I love helping others.” These general statements don’t really tell the interviewer anything about what motivates you specifically. Ideally, interviewees would want to cite specific examples of why they are motivated in a particular way. This gives the interviewer a better idea of what kind of job or task you would be good at and can potentially place you in a position where you can help someone.

Not understanding what the interviewer is looking for

It is crucial to understand what the interviewer wants to gauge from your answer. Here, they want to see what you are passionate about. The answer needs to reflect that, in all honesty.

Not preparing properly

It can be helpful for interviewees to spend some time thinking about what motivates them before sitting down for an interview. However, they might be unorganized or unprepared if they do not prepare properly. This can make the interviewer less likely to offer them the job or position. Although you should not cram an answer, you can practice answering this question multiple times to get at ease with it. It will also help you create a mental model for tackling such questions.


Interview questions are a great way to learn more about a potential candidates, and understanding what motivates them helps managers decide whether or not to hire them. However, with so many interview questions out there, it can be difficult to know how to answer them. In this blog post, we provide you with five smart ways to answer “what motivates you” in an interview. By using these methods, you’ll be able to confidently answer questions about your motivations and show that you are a good fit for the job. Thanks for reading!

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