What Motivates You: When you apply for a job, you will be asked a slew of interview questions, some more difficult than others. “What motivates you?” is a common question that may take you by surprise. Continue reading to learn how to best respond to the 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.
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.”
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.
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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.
Sample Answers to “What Motivates You?”
Here are some real life examples of responses on the question “what motivates you?“
Working for a greater good push me to perform my best. I take pride in my job regardless of the situation, but I believe that I work best in a setting where I can make a difference.
I worked in academic administration for the most of my career. I enjoy the buzz on college campuses because kids are there to alter their lives and discover new opportunities.
As an advisor, I’ve had the privilege of meeting thousands of students and providing guidance on their academic paths.
The autumn semester is typically hectic, with many nighttime hours, and it can be stressful at first, but I’ve been doing this for seven years and keep reminding myself of past successful programs and how the challenge of this time is exactly why I’m drawn to working at a college in the first place.
It’s worthwhile to stay late if the information provided by our office in that workshop can assist a student in obtaining an internship or full-time employment offer. That’s what drew me to this open position: the opportunity to continue assisting students.
When I’m in charge of a group, I’m at my best. It began when I was voted President of the Student Council in high school, and continued throughout college and into my professional career as I was drawn to positions involving people management–which is why project management has been such a good fit. It’s where my ability to connect with people and bring out the best in them meets my organizing abilities.
I was the youngest manager at ABC Company, having been promoted after only a year (which traditionally took 2 years or more). During that time, I led our team through a successful transfer from a legacy system for one of our largest clients.
I held group meetings as well as periodic check-ins with each team member to ensure they understood the goals, had the tools they needed, and to troubleshoot any project issues that emerged.
We were able to execute the transition to the new system on time and on budget. It’s a testament to the team’s dedication and hard work. The client was so pleased with the outcomes that he recently hired us for a second, even larger project.
What drives me is to provide an exceptional customer experience. It all started during a summer job at a high-end hotel in college, when we were taught the value of putting the customer first.
That event affected my decision to pursue a career in UX/UI since, when I design websites, I consider visitors to be guests who deserve the best experience possible.
We learned to anticipate needs and truly listen to folks at the hotel. That level of customer service (both in-person for support and on the site) was important at the startup where I worked as we approached our Series A round of investment.
In fact, the founders invited me to those pitch meetings with angel investors to discuss our design and how our level of customer service set us apart from the competition.
I’m pleased to report that the investment was received, and I was pleased to be a part of the team that helped the company advance to the next level.
When I have the opportunity to learn something new, it motivates me. I’ve made a conscious effort to focus on professional development in each of my positions because I feel it’s critical to keep learning in order to perform at the highest level and remain competitive in the face of ongoing change in the industry landscape.
During my meetings with my boss, I inquired about upcoming tasks and what I could do to prepare ahead of time. The last one required me to utilize Python, something I had never done before. I was able to prepare for the project by taking a few online courses ahead of time.
My desire to learn new things also aids me in navigating change since I see it as an opportunity to expand my skill set and contribute more to my role.
I’m inspired by data since I’m an analytical person who enjoys analyzing data and uncovering the hidden stories and surprises that it frequently exposes.
In my last position, I was hired by a 50-year-old family business that wanted to start focusing on analytics. First, I extrapolated years of data (both digital and hard copy for bills before to 2000) and examined the results to assist the organization in identifying areas of weakness and strength.
This initiative allowed the organization to undertake a thorough SWOT analysis, which enabled the CEO to successfully grow the company into new markets identified as promising by the data.
It was wonderful to assist the organization in taking their business to the next level based on data-driven advice. That is why I am interested in this position, which will focus on assisting companies in their growth.
“My two main motivators are working as part of a team and contributing to something bigger than myself. I believe the extremely collaborative environment and your objective of bringing people closer together through technology would keep me motivated at your organization in particular.”
“I’m inspired by the chance to discover problems and help people solve them – for example, at my last business, I led an effort to analyze and restructure our onboarding process, which resulted in a 20% increase in 90-day check-in satisfaction across the board.”
“Setting lofty goals for my team and mentoring my direct reports to help us accomplish them is what motivates me the most.” In my present position, we established a goal of generating $2 million in revenue in Q4, which we knew would be difficult but achievable if we kept pushing ourselves.
I’ll never forget the excitement of coming together and hitting our quota with a week left in the quarter!”
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