The interviewer suddenly blurts, “What motivates you in life?” Your response should align with the factors necessary to steer your career to great heights.
Employers are looking for people who are keen to make a difference in their organization.
So if you aren’t terribly motivated by work or the only thing that keeps you going is the thought of leaving your workplace at the end of the day, keep that to yourself.
One trick is to say that you are motivated when you get to use the kind of skills that the employer is looking for.
For instance, if the employer requires someone with customer service skills, then it may be wise to say something like, “I really enjoy spending time with people and get a buzz out of dealing with customers and sorting out their problems. I hate it when I feel that I’m not doing my best on behalf of customers.” Yes, it sounds a bit cheesy, but if you say it with sincerity, it can nail you the job
Other good answers include:
- Recognition: While many interviewers consider it ungraceful to say that money is your motivation, you can say that you like to have your good work recognized by your boss, peers, or clients.
- Making a difference: Especially in the charity or nonprofit sector, saying that you are motivated by the pursuit of the organization’s goals is a good idea.
- Challenge: Another good answer is to say that you enjoy getting fully caught up in solving problems and getting to the bottom of difficult situations.
- Self-development: Employers like candidates who want to further their own learning and development. Do bear in mind the nature of the role that you are applying for, though. A management training scheme is likely to provide you with much more by way of development opportunities than, say, an office data entry job.
- Money: Only when going for a sales job should you talk about the fact that you are motivated by financial reward. In fact, many salespeople are suspicious of candidates who say that they are not motivated by money and the luxuries that money can allow you to buy.
Don’t just memorize one of these answers by heart. Take a moment to figure out what really motivates you – you’ll sound much more genuine. If you think carefully, the reason for your inspiration is not that difficult to search.
Possible Answer #1:
“I love public speaking. Preparing a presentation and talking about it in front of an audience, and then getting back to them with answers in the question and answer round, motivates me! The whole experience is so thrilling. As a sales rep, I think building a connection with my audience is useful, inspiring, and exciting.”
Possible Answer #2:
“Meeting the set target within an assigned deadline motivates me the most. When I do so, I get a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. When this is coupled with an award, I feel all the more motivated. All in all, I like to achieve milestones, so that I can look back at them and say to myself, ‘Yes, that was my achievement.’ Visible results are a real source of motivation according to me.”
Any tips on how to tackle “what is your source of motivation” interview questions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.