The What Motivates You interview question is a popular but broad job interview question that can be tricky to answer without some preparation. Your answer to questions about what motivates you at work should be honest and personal but also relevant to the job opportunity, reinforcing your suitability for the position.
The interviewer is evaluating the following by asking this interview question:
The "why" of you career choices is usually not evident from your resume, the "What motivates you" interview question is designed to provide the employer with insight into what drives you.
This requires some self reflection. To understand what motivates you at work, ask yourself the following questions:
In order to make your answer to the "What motivates you?" interview question relevant to the job opportunity and supportive of your job application consider the following:
to find a match between the job requirements and what motivates you and
highlight this in your interview answer. For example, a manager or
supervisor will usually be required to coach and develop employees while
building effective relationships with them. These motivators will likely be
more applicable to the job opportunity than learning new skills.
In your interview answer to "Tell me what motivates you" select one or two specific job-relevant motivations that reinforce your suitability for the role. Support your answer with examples drawn from your work experience.
Most people are motivated by a number of factors. Typical motivations at work include:
Consider which of these apply to you and support your answer to the "What motivates you?" interview question with concrete examples.
What motivates you sample answer when you are motivated by working as part of a team to achieve an outcome and the role you are interviewing for involves teamwork.
Achieving measurable results or tangible goals
When you are driven by tangible or measurable results. Most jobs involve an element of goal attainment or achieving results, so this is a good general motivation to highlight in your interview answer.
Developing, mentoring or coaching others
When developing and empowering others motivates you and you will be required to do this as part of the job.
Learning new skills and self-development
Learning and self-development are important motivations in the workplace. Consider if the role you are interviewing for provides learning opportunities before highlighting this in your answer to the "What motivates you?" interview question.
Data analysis and problem-solving
If evaluating data is part of the job description, this is a good motivation to highlight in your "What motivates you at work" interview answer.
Meeting a challenge or overcoming an obstacle
This motivation is applicable to most jobs and is a good interview answer to the What motivates you interview question for entry level job candidates and those with little work experience. Examples of typical challenges employees face in the workplace include:
Helping others and making a difference can be a strong motivation. This is particularly applicable to jobs in the medical industry, social work environment, social responsibility roles and education where the motivation to be of service to others is both necessary and valuable. A sense of purpose is commonly derived from working in these fields and is a driving force in selecting these careers.
This is an important interview question as it helps the company evaluate whether the type of work environment on offer is a good match for the job candidate. In preparing for this question it is essential you do your research beforehand to fully understand the type of work environment and the company culture.
Examples of different work environments include:
In your answer to this interview question, highlight the particular type of work environment you enjoy and why that workplace style or culture suits you. It is important to be honest, if this is the wrong work environment for you then it is unlikely to be a good job fit for you or the company. However if you are flexible, you can emphasize that you are able to adapt to different work environments in your interview answer.
There are a number of motivation examples from your education or
extra curricular activities that are applicable to the workplace. These
Sample answers to entry level interview questions