How To Answer “What Motivates You?”

The interview’s hardest question to answer might be, “What motivates you?” This typical HR interview question will reveal two things about the applicant. Is the person self-aware? 2) How motivated is he or she to work?

How Not to Talk

Make it about them, not you. It’s preferable to react by concentrating on reasons that are linked to your job. Instead of stating that you enjoy receiving a paycheck each week, for instance, talk about the tasks you are responsible for at work that keep you motivated and up for a challenge.

Don’t blather on. Provide a concise and well-thought-out answer to the query. To avoid confusing the interviewer by providing too much information, be aware of what inspires you and keep your response focused.

Remain upbeat. When you reply, keep your attention on the good. You wouldn’t want to claim, for instance, that you are driven because you don’t want to be fired for performing below expectations.

Here is a collection of sample responses we’ve put together for various scenarios to help you respond as best you can to the question, “What motivates you?”


Sample Response #1

My father is an example I look up to. He has a strong sense of motivation and is successful in life. This applies to his personal life in addition to his professional one. He recently enrolled himself in keyboard instruction at the age of 55. My father disproved my belief that it is impossible to develop a skill later in life. He is a serious musician as well as a committed learner. Every day he spends two hours practicing while having a blast. When one has a parent who sets a good example, inspiration is all around. I try to work with the same zeal as him, and this motivates me.

Sample Response #2

I want to always push myself. One must always improve their abilities and never stop learning. When faced with a challenging circumstance, I begin by listing all of the potential advantages that could arise. For instance, I was required to write a market report on a client’s current strategy. I had to submit it the following day, and the timelines were strict. I came to the conclusion that it would be nearly difficult to complete this project within the remaining work hours. The fact that I was working alone on this assignment added to the pressure. I started by compiling a list of the advantages of working on this project. There were several! I had no problem staying up late to complete my work. The following morning, I arrived early and asked my boss to review the presentation. I was prepared to submit it to the client at the appointed time after incorporating the input. I was quite worn out, yet the joy of realizing my goals kept me motivated despite how exhausted I was.

Sample Response #3

My ability to stay organized and set goals is one of my skills. Setting daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly objectives gives me joy. When I reach these objectives, I reward myself. To keep track of my objectives, accomplishments, and progress, I use an antiquated planner. The highest form of motivation, in my opinion, is receiving periodic reminders of one’s quest. My dependable calendar serves as a constant reminder that I have worked hard to accomplish my triumphs and may decide to continue moving forward on the days when I need inspiration.

Sample Response #4

Regret is a powerful emotion that motivates me to never stop looking for answers. Never in my life do I want to consider that I could have made a different choice and improved my life. I therefore give my all to any task I take on. I was requested to start a new branch at my prior company, which required me to often travel between two locations. I was aware that the circumstance would be demanding on both a personal and professional level. But I regarded the offer as a challenge and accepted it. I was worried that I would miss out on the many possibilities to grow, like setting up a new place and leading a team. The experience was incredible, and it has driven me to continue pushing the envelope every day.

Example Response #5

When asked “what motivates you,” there is just one word that springs to mind. It’s called appreciation. To me, appreciation is similar to jaggery to an ant. I’ll put in a lot of effort to get there, and the pleasure of success will give me the energy I need for my upcoming journey. But I’ve also come to realize that receiving praise is a type of external validation, and I might not get it as frequently as I can do excellent work. This was quite difficult for me to manage at first, but I’ve learnt the value of just acknowledging and appreciating my own accomplishments. Since I enjoy reading a lot, treating myself to a new book is a common manifestation of appreciation. I have a growing library and rising sense of self-appreciation. Undoubtedly, it is a productive and instructive self-incentive system.

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Example Response #6

When I have the chance to mentor others, that’s when I’m most motivated. In my early years, I frequently required assistance and guidance. It inspires me to work with people and help them over their learning curves as a result. I aspire to be a manager who is also a skilled delegator, mentor, and observer. Every day, both by myself and in teams, I put in a lot of effort to become such a manager. At my present company, I had the chance to teach the workers, and it was an exciting experience! I’m motivated to advance in this area because I want to, and that is what keeps me going.

Example Response #7

The dread of fitting in with the crowd is what drives me. I’ve always been incredibly competitive and want to be unique among my peers. I actively look for chances to advance my knowledge and take on new challenges. In the long term, I have no doubt that this will help me stand out. Sincerely, I think that this approach has helped me become a smarter worker, and my manager has praised my time management abilities.

Example Response #8

My motivation comes from a variety of sources and evolves over time. My current driving force has been helping my team achieve more success. I received a managerial promotion six months ago. My motivation prior to that promotion was to excel as a team player. But during the last six months, I’ve greatly appreciated the duties that come with being a team leader. The atmosphere has been electrifying and all projects have been successfully finished. My current source of energy is the joy of supporting a team, so I want to take advantage of all the chances I have to do so.

Sample Response #9

Being self-motivated is a quality I possess, and I see it as a crucial talent. I simply tell myself aloud every morning, “I am a winner, and I am going to continue winning today.” Starting the day off well is beneficial. I can recall a challenging circumstance where I was forced to face my concerns. Although that happened a long time ago, it solidified the habit for me. On the day of my board exams, the history exam was taking place. I sobbed to my mum because I was scared of failing and lacked confidence. I didn’t want to take the test, at all! She gave me a hug and informed me that I had to leave despite my temper tantrums. She asserted that showing there was more crucial than anything else. Sincerity be told, the test went smoothly and I aced it. I had diligently studied all year, but on that particular day, I would have let my worry win. I really think that if I put forth sincere effort, I can get through any obstacles. I’m motivated by being fearless and maintaining a good outlook at all times.

Example Response #10

Peer recognition is what really drives me. When those close to me appreciate my efforts and come to me for suggestions and counsel, I have a strong sense of accomplishment. We have an open workspace at the company I currently work for. We frequently have to make cold calls to potential customers; on sometimes, 15-20 calls must be made in a single day! A coworker recently remarked on how interesting she found my introduction phone calls. She asked me to assist her with her calls as well. I was very proud of myself and what I had accomplished. I was overjoyed, and it motivated me to continue honing my abilities.

The interviewer should pay close attention to the candidate’s response to the question “What motivates you? ” because uninterested employees cost companies money to manage. Healthy and prosperous workplaces are guaranteed by a highly motivated workforce, which also contributes to the organizations’ overall excellent growth.

Even though everyone’s primary motive may be financial gain, keep this information to yourself during the interview. It gives the impression that if another company offered you a larger salary, you would walk away immediately. Instead, put your attention on shared goals like challenges, advancement, and success. Be the applicant that drives home the idea that your future professional triumphs are what drive you, and that you’re not scared to keep putting in the effort to get them.

Best wishes!?

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