Are you among the many job seekers who struggle to answer open-ended questions like “What motivates you?” during a job interview? You’re not alone. Hiring managers often use this question to assess your work style and determine if you would be a good fit for the job, the company culture, and the team members.
The best way to answer this question is to be honest, and provide specific examples from your work experience or personal life that showcase your intrinsic motivation. For instance, you could mention your desire to learn new skills, take on new challenges, or develop new ideas that could positively impact the company or its customers. You could also mention your love for customer service, your passion for working as part of a team, or your excitement about a new challenge that aligns with the job description.
How do you answer what motivates you?
Be honest and specific about what motivates you and how it relates to the role you are applying for, and demonstrate how your motivation aligns with the company’s values and goals.
At MatchBuilt, we’ve helped thousands of job seekers prepare for job interviews, and we know that this is one of the most common questions that candidates struggle with. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 example answers to the “What motivates you?” question that can help you craft a great answer highlighting your strengths and showing why you would be a valuable addition to any team.
But keep in mind; there’s no one “right” answer to this question. The key is to be genuine and thoughtful in your response. And don’t be surprised if the interviewer follows up with additional questions or asks for more specific examples of how your motivations have played out in your previous roles or your last job. With some preparation and a good understanding of your work style, you can turn this question into an opportunity to showcase your passion and potential and land a good job that provides a good challenge and allows you to learn and grow along the way.
So, whether you’re motivated by personal growth, making a positive impact, or working in a team, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to impress your interviewer and land your dream job!
10 Example Answers to “What Motivates You?” Interview Question
When a hiring manager asks, “What motivates you?” in an interview, it’s crucial to provide a thoughtful answer that showcases your best work. The best part about this question is that there is no one “right” answer, but there are some good ways to approach it. One good idea is to describe the work that motivates you and give a concrete example of a project you felt truly passionate about. If you need more time to prepare, you can always discuss your biggest motivation broadly, like your desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Additionally, talking about your long-term goals can be a great way to show the hiring manager that you are a good fit for the company and that you are looking for meaningful work. Remember, the key to a great answer is to be honest and specific, so you can avoid follow-up questions and impress your interviewer with your thoughtful answers. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or have had several previous jobs, showcasing your motivation for the work environment is a long way to go when providing a good answer. In the end, there is no single amazing answer, but with enough practice and careful thought, you can craft an interview answer highlighting the human need for a sense of accomplishment in doing our best work.
Below are 10 sample answers to the common interview question “What motivates you?” to help you craft the perfect response. It is important to remember that when answering this question, you should be honest and specific about what motivates you and how it relates to the role you are applying for.
Sample Answer #1: Personal Growth and Development
Personal growth and development are what motivate me. I am always looking for new challenges and opportunities to learn and improve. In my previous role as a marketing manager, I implemented a new marketing strategy that increased our company’s revenue by 20%.
I was motivated to take on this challenge because it would benefit the company and help me improve my skills and grow as a professional. I am eager to bring that same drive and motivation to this role, and I am excited about the potential for growth and development opportunities in your company.
Sample Answer 2: Making a Positive Impact
Making a meaningful difference in the world is what inspires me. I am passionate about using my skills and experience to make a positive impact in people’s lives. In my previous role as a community outreach coordinator, I helped to organize and implement various initiatives that benefited underprivileged communities.
The satisfaction of knowing that I was making a positive impact in people’s lives was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same passion to this role and make a difference within your organization.
Sample Answer 3: Challenges and Problem-Solving
Solving complex problems and finding creative solutions are what drive me. I thrive in environments where I can tackle challenges and find innovative ways to overcome them. In my previous role as a software engineer, I led a team in developing a new application that improved our company’s efficiency by 30%.
The fulfillment of solving a difficult problem and seeing the results was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same drive to this role and tackle the challenges that come with it.
Sample Answer 4: Recognition and Achievement
Excelling and being recognized for my hard work is what fuels me. I am driven by the desire to achieve great things and be acknowledged for my efforts. In my previous role as a sales representative, I consistently exceeded my sales targets and was recognized as the top performer in the company.
The recognition and achievement of those goals were incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same drive to this role and achieve great things within your organization.
Sample Answer 5: Creative Expression
Bringing my unique talents and skills to create something new and beautiful is what energizes me. I am passionate about using my creativity to make an impact. In my previous role as a graphic designer, I led a team in creating a new logo design for our company.
My pride in creating something beautiful and impactful was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited to bring that same passion to this role and my creative talents to your organization.
Sample Answer 6: Helping Others
Making a positive impact on people’s lives is what moves me. I am passionate about using my skills and experience to help others. In my previous role as a social worker, I helped to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals and families.
The satisfaction of positively impacting people’s lives was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same passion to this role and positively impact your organization.
Sample Answer 7: Financial Security
Providing for myself and my loved ones is what fuels me. I am driven by the desire to achieve financial security and stability. In my previous role as a financial analyst, I led a team in creating a new investment strategy that improved our company’s financial performance.
The delight of achieving financial success was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same drive to this role and secure financial success within your organization.
Sample Answer 8: Making a Difference
Bringing positive change and improving an organization is what excites me. I am passionate about using my skills and experience to make a difference. In my previous role as a consultant, I helped to improve the efficiency and performance of several organizations.
The promise of making a positive impact was incredibly motivating for me. I am excited about the opportunity to bring that same passion to this role and make a difference within your organization.
Sample Answer 9: Working On a Team
Collaborating and achieving common goals as a team is what energizes me. I am driven by the desire to work with others and make a difference together. In my previous role as a project manager, I led a team in completing a large-scale project on time and under budget.
The satisfaction of collaborating with others to achieve common goals motivates me, and I’m excited to bright this same passion to this role.
Sample Answer 10: Sense of Purpose
What motivates me is the opportunity to work on challenging and meaningful projects that positively impact the world. I find it incredibly rewarding to be part of a team that makes a difference and contributes meaningfully to society. I am particularly drawn to companies with a strong sense of purpose and mission aligning with my values.
In my previous role, I was part of a team that developed a sustainable energy solution that helped reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment. It was incredibly fulfilling to see the tangible results of our work and know that we were making a positive impact.
Answering the Common Interview Question, “What Motivates You?” FAQs
A thoughtful and well-crafted response can set you apart from other candidates and increase your chances of landing the job. However, it can also be a tricky question to answer, as it requires introspection and self-awareness. These are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you prepare for this question and ace your next interview.
This question aims for the interviewer to gain insight into what drives the job candidate and what they are passionate about. This can help the interviewer determine if the candidate will fit the company culture and the role they are applying for.
When answering this question, it's important to be honest, and specific. Provide examples of what specifically motivates you and how it relates to the role you are applying for. It's also important to demonstrate how your motivation aligns with the company's values and goals.
Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to mention money as a motivator, as long as it is not the only motivator you mention. It is important to mention other factors such as professional growth, making a difference, or achieving goals.
Yes, it's perfectly okay to be motivated by personal reasons, such as providing for your family or achieving financial stability. However, it's also important to mention how your personal motivations align with the company's values and goals.
Yes, mentioning multiple motivators is perfectly okay as long as they are relevant to the role you are applying for. It's also essential to prioritize and emphasize the most pertinent and important motivators to the role.
You can show that your motivators align with the company's values and goals by researching them beforehand and being familiar with their mission and values. You can also provide specific examples of how your motivation aligns with the company's goals and values.
To prepare for the "What motivates you?" interview question, think about what specifically motivates you and why. It can be helpful to write down your motivations and think of specific examples that demonstrate them. Researching the company and its values is essential before the interview.
Some common mistakes to avoid when answering the "What motivates you?" interview question include: being vague, not providing specific examples, not demonstrating how your motivation aligns with the company's values and goals, only mentioning money as a motivator, and not being honest. It's important to be specific and direct and demonstrate how your motivation aligns with the company's values and goals.
What’s Your Motivation Infographic
Final Thoughts on the “What Motivates You?” Interview Question
In conclusion, the “What motivates you?” interview question can be an excellent opportunity for job candidates to showcase their passion and drive. By being honest and specific and demonstrating how their motivation aligns with the company’s values and goals, job candidates can increase their chances of landing the job.
Remember, MatchBuilt, as an executive search firm that’s worked with thousands of job seekers and hundreds of clients, is always here to help you with your job search and provide you with helpful advice and resources. With the proper preparation and mindset, you can ace the interview and take the next step in your career. We’ve explored other common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here? “, “Why do you want this job? “, “Tell me about yourself,” “What are you passionate about? “, “What areas need improvement?” and “Why should we hire you?” We invite you to review them as well.