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What Motivates You Tricky Interview Question


What Motivates You Tricky Interview Question: There may be many interview questions given to you when you apply for a job, some of which will be more challenging than others. You could be surprised by the customary query, “What motivates you?” Continue reading as we demonstrate the appropriate way to respond to the query.

What Motivates You Tricky Interview Question

What Motivates You?

This is a broad and open-ended question, making it difficult to know what to say. It can often be difficult to determine the appropriate course of action.

After all, many reasons inspire people, such as pay, prestige, making a difference, witnessing results, and interacting with fascinating people.


Interviewers attempt to learn what makes you tick by asking this question. The hiring manager is interested in learning what motivates you to succeed.

They also want to know if your motivators are a good fit for the job‘s responsibilities and the company’s culture.

The hiring manager will also want to know if the things that excite you connect with the company’s goals and the job you’d be doing.


What Motivates You Tricky Interview Question

How to Answer “What Motivates You”

Here’s a rundown of the experiences that might motivate you

(always make sure your response is personal and relevant to your own background, as well as provide a concrete example):


1. achieving deadlines, targets, or objectives

2. Others’ mentorship and coaching

3. Gaining new knowledge


4. Generating innovative ideas to improve or create something new analyzing complex facts to reach clear and straightforward conclusions

5. Work hard in a team, leading a team to success, completing a difficult project and seeing it through to completion, spotting flaws and errors to ensure the project’s end result is as good as possible

6. Figuring out a solution to a problem or overcoming a challenge


When asked about her motivation interview questions during an interview, one of our trainee editors said,

“I am motivated by meeting set targets within deadlines because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and it’s something I can look back on and say, “I achieved that.” I’m also motivated by tangible results; for example, knowing that an article I wrote for my student newspaper would be read by up to 16,000 students gave me a sense of accomplishment.”

Read Also:


What Motivates You as a Team Builder?

Honest responses might show what circumstances make you feel energized and enthusiastic. (Another popular interview question is, “What are you enthusiastic about?”

This question also aims to figure out what makes an applicant feel excited and fulfilled.)

The candidate who is motivated by building teams and forming strong relationships with coworkers and the candidate whose best day works independently on a report that improves the company’s bottom line.


Both candidates would come with different advantages and mindsets for the same job.

How to Motivate People

Below are some of what motivates people in building a team using my response to an interviewer:

1. Recognizing Achievements

Recognizing good aspects of employee performance, in my opinion, is vital to motivating most employees. For example, I manage a staff of five employees, and I noticed that one of the workers was somewhat introverted and tended to stay in the background.


He functioned decently but was reluctant to contribute during meetings, and I thought he could be more productive if ideally motivated. I began a daily routine of checking in with him and keeping track of his output.

Regarding his daily accomplishments, I gave him positive feedback. As I dealt with him more frequently, I noticed that the quality and amount of his output improved.

2. Consistently providing feedback

When dealing with a worker who is not functioning to her full capacity, I believe that regular and concrete feedback is critical. A few of my restaurant customers complained that one of my bartenders was not as friendly or attentive as they would have liked.


I began questioning her customers about the quality of service as they were leaving, and I informed her as soon as possible after they had left about what I had learned.

When the customer was satisfied, I told her which behaviors were problematic and complimented her. After a few shifts, I noticed a shift in her demeanor, and she started receiving consistently positive feedback from her customers.

3. Creating a Work Environment

Staff members, in my opinion, are more motivated when they grasp the scope of a project and their position within it. I also believe that if they have a say in how to achieve group or departmental goals, they will be more driven.


I arranged a gathering when I started a fundraising campaign for a new library to explain the aim of the drive and how it would help the college. Then I invited the group to offer their thoughts on the best way to achieve our objective.

I developed a consensus around a plan and assigned duties for each team member after brainstorming techniques for attaining the greatest results.

4. On Motivating Others in the Team

As you can see from my resume, I’ve previously marketed fundraising software. My strategy for inspiring clients was to learn about the problems and obstacles that their development team faced.


Then I’d offer elements of my product that would assist them in overcoming those obstacles. When I spoke with one museum development officer, I discovered they didn’t have a system in place to identify specific contributors based on their aesthetic preferences.

The personnel relied on recollection or handwritten notes. I showed how different art might be coded in our prospect files, and how lists of past and potential donors could be generated.

What Motivates You Interview Question

Below are some tough interview questions on what motivates you asked during interviews:


1. What did a great day at work look like in previous roles?

Take a time to analyze your work experience and what you found rewarding in each position. Attempt to spot any patterns.

For example, you might notice that your fondest memories from each of your prior jobs involve achieving a challenging goal or solving a difficult challenge.

You may say that being pushed out of your comfort zone.


Tackling a problem motivates you in this scenario.

Consider what pushed you to achieve your best at internships, volunteer roles, or studies if you’re new to the professional sector.

2. What made you choose your profession or field?

Consider why you were pulled to your area of work in the first place, aside from the money. Maybe you enjoy having the ability to assist others or putting your creative skills to use.


A teacher, for example, may find inspiration in assisting students in learning new skills and seeing them succeed.

Compensation may be a powerful motivator for you, but it’s not one you want to discuss during a behavioral interview.

3. What prompted you to apply for the role when you read the job description?

Review the job description and determine which job responsibilities persuaded you to apply. For example, if you liked the prospect of working at a startup to build a new software application.


You might say you’re motivated by the opportunity to create something innovative or see the tangible results from your efforts.

Other Ways to Answer “What Motivates You?”

Reflect on your past accomplishments, examine why you chose your area, and write a tale that brings your motives to life to answer the question “what motivates you?“

Let’s take a closer look at each step:


1. Read the job description

Reread the job description before you begin composing a good answer. Look for the soft skills that a perfect employee possesses, as well as the job’s primary responsibilities.

Although we value honesty, a strong response will demonstrate that you read the job description carefully.

If you notice that the job doesn’t require much collaboration or interpersonal communication.


You shouldn’t mention how personal interaction and teamwork motivate you.

2. Reflect on your past accomplishments

Consider your most significant professional accomplishments to begin putting together an answer.

Don’t just think of the times when your supervisor congratulated you or gave you a prize like a bonus or a plaque.


Instead, think about times in your professional life when you were proud of your work or felt a sense of significance and purpose.

Of course, external acclaim or prizes may have accompanied these events; just don’t use them as criterion for a “accomplishment,” especially for a topic like this.

3. Look back on your history in the field

A (very) brief history of your interest and entry into the field can provide great insight into your motivations.


For example, having an impactful teacher who made a big difference in your life could have gotten you into education, or an experience of providing emergency support to a stranger to become an EMT.

4. Prepare a story

The hiring manager will put the rest of your response into context with the help of your stories.

It’s a relatively straightforward statement to claim you’re motivated by solving problems and assisting others.


Using a narrative about how you remained late during the Christmas rush to ensure customer was satisfied is a much more memorable response.

5. Mention your motivation to apply for the job

Finally, as you wind up your response, it’s a good idea to circle back to the job you’re applying for. Step one’s details from the job description should be incorporated.

That way, you can make sure your motivational elements match up exactly with the job posting’s ideal candidate. Of course, don’t go too far with this and deliver an untrustworthy response.


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