Career Advice Interview Tips

How to Answer: What Motivates You?

By: Jillian Cash
May 26, 2020 • 3 min read

What Motivates You?

Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Disney knew from the start that if he had enough motivation to create the incredible reality that he envisioned, he would make it come true for himself. Having a strong sense of motivation is a desirable trait in the workforce. As jobs become more challenging to come by, being motivated to excel is crucial to land a job, as well as maintain it with success. Many recruiters will ask, “What Motivates You?”, wanting to understand what gets you out of bed and ready to perform each day. This article will delve into how to answer this question like a pro.

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Be Genuine

Like any other interview question, it is crucial to be genuine with your answer. Providing a response that you think will be attractive to an employer will only make you come off as shallow. Remember, it is a recruiter’s job to see through surface-level responses- be honest with your answer and speak from the heart! Providing a reply like “I am motivated by being able to be my best each day” appears vague and uncertain… this answer does not clue the recruiter into who you are and what keeps you moving each day.

Make a Connection

In an interview, the employer is trying to get to know who you are as a person and a possible employee. Make your interview a conversation, and don’t shy away from using personal stories to show how genuine you are. Try something more along these lines, to show the person that you are talking to an authentic side of yourself. “I am motivated by the desire to take care of my two children. They look up to me as a mentor to see what working hard and giving it all looks like. I want to show them that you really can do it all- hold a great job, be an amazing mother, and live your best life”. By revealing that you have children to support, for example, you open yourself up so that the recruiter feels that they have a real connection to you.

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Give Examples

The next tip on how to crush this question is to think about a few examples of how you have demonstrated strong motivation in previous jobs. By showing that you are a driven individual, you draw the picture in the recruiter’s mind of the type of hard-working employee that you are. Share how staying motivated to perform your best is always a top priority in your jobs. Saying a phrase like “Motivation is an important part of my success. I stay motivated by setting goals for myself each week and aiming at the top. In my last job, this strategy helped me to be a top-performing salesperson,” can be very useful. It demonstrates that you are motivated, how you build motivation for yourself, and the results of this.

Focus On Importance

To wrap up your answer and blow away the recruiter, finish off by talking about the importance of motivation. Perhaps discuss how your presence on a team will help increase motivation among employees. Maybe share that “motivated teams share a passion for success, and have a welcoming attitude for positive change. I am ready to continue building a motivated spirit on a team”. Demonstrating your commitment to bring this excitement to the team will speak volumes to a recruiter.

Remember that before any interview, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to prepare! By familiarizing yourself with JobGet’s Interview Series, you will be ready to take on even the most challenging questions. Take a deep breath, get out there, and grab that dream job!

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