Skip to main content

How to Answer “What Motivates You?” in an Interview



It’s finally the day of the big interview you’ve been waiting for. You’ve planned all your responses thoughtfully and you’re feeling cool, calm and collected. But then they drop the big question you weren’t expecting – “what motivates you?” Before you panic and spiel off an answer that has nothing to do with the question, you must consider your answer and also what the interviewer wants to hear.

Read on to find out some top tips for answering the question perfectly.

1) First consider why they are asking you the question:

Every question posed in an interview is posed for a specific reason, whether it be to test your skill, knowledge or experience. By asking what motivates you, the interviewer will find out what type of person you are, what your values are and whether or not these combined would make you fit in well with the team.

2) Think about your own interests:

It’s important to be honest, but at the same time you don’t want to blurt out ‘money is my only motivator’. Instead, think about times in the past when you worked as a team to get things done, and use this as an aspect to tell the interviewer. You could mention how the buzz of working in a team motivates you, or the positive results that happen after you’ve completed a piece of work to a high standard.

3) Don’t forget to back it up with an example:

Whether it’s career based or not, in an interview, it’s always best to have an example on hand to explain your answer. Before you go into an interview, make sure you have situational stories to back up all your answers.

4) Mould the answer to the job at hand:

If you’re going for a job that’s target driven, why not mention that you love smashing goals and targets, and give an example of when you did and how it made you feel. You should do the same with any other role.

5) Remember what employers are looking for:

A key point to remember is that employers are not looking for a robot who can spiel of the ‘correct’ answer – they’re looking for a human with real aspirations, who are willing to grow and learn with a new employer. So make sure you highlight this in your answer.


** This post originally appeared on theundercoverrecruiter and was penned by Ruby Lowe

Popular posts from this blog

Sales as a Career!! Are you Game ?

Although debatable, Sales is the single most critical function of an organization. Be it a fortune 500, Series funded or a startup. Sales guys are the front-runners who face clients head on. The heart & soul of a business entity lies with the Sales/marketing Team. In one liner - Sales is like oxygen without which a business entity suffocates and slowly fades away.
As much as we would like to think that we're living a the 4th revolution (Aka Digital World), one where all sales happen on line and there is no need for us to pick up the phone, but unfortunately that's not true.
Although sales does happen through the web, there are still many sales strategies that need us to pick up the phone, or have face to face meetings, where building relationships is still the key to closing the sale, especially if you're in a services business.
To me, job titles don't matter. Everyone is in sales. It's the only way we stay in business. - Harvey Mackay
Sales appears as the top…

Ridiculously Insane Interviews - Part 1

It's been a while since we published something new here. The time was well invested in gaining more experience and insights on the Recruitment System.

Recently i happened to view an amazing piece of article and something stood out. Let me share it with you:

Assume you are recruiting for a few positions and ypu have been presented with 3 choices. Which one would you bet on

Candidate 1: Sleeps till noon, was kicked out from public office twice, used opium in college, drinks a quart of vodka daily. 

Candidate 2: has 2 mistresses, drinks 10 martinis a day, consults an astrologist for his decisions, chain smoker. 

Candidate 3: Decorated war hero, does not smoke nor drinks, never cheated on his wife. 

If you chose Candidate 3, here is more information...

Candidate 1: Winston Churchill 
Candidate 2: Franklin D. Roosevelt 
Candidate 3: Adolf Hitler 

We are too quick to make snap judgments about people, particularly on interviews. Do not you agree?

What a classic example!! Not always do we get a …

The Broken Recruitment System

It is ridiculously easy for a job-seeker, no matter how qualified, talented & competent, to get beaten down and to start to think there's something wrong with him or her. Its easy to bog down the finest of talents & shatter their dreams.

Hundreds & thousands of amazingly well polished Talents are running haywire because of useless recruitment methods. These processes are insane and sucks out our energies. The recruiting process is broken. Qualified people can't get job interviews and if they do manage to get them it will drive them away.

Many Talents feel frustrated and sucked out that they discount themselves. They think they do not have what it takes to grab that Offer. In reality, YOU are not alone. You are not defective! You are talented, smart and creative but the recruiting process is designed to beat your confidence out of you and grind you down to mush.

The recruiting process is broken from start to finish. The way companies write job ads is ridiculou…